War Horse War Horse Bar

Made of dark-fired Kentucky, dark air-cured and matured red Virginia.
Notes: From P&C's web site: War Horse Bar is a plug tobacco made in the tradition of the long-missing Irish tobacco. Made of darker, earthier leaf, War Horse Bar has a singular top note added, and the tobacco is pressed and cut into plugs. The flavor and body are astoundingly stout, and is definitely meant for the experienced pipe enthusiast. If you love robust and bold pipe tobacco, War Horse Bar will become a staple for you.


Brand War Horse
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Anisette, Floral Essences, Other / Misc, Tonquin Bean
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.37 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2016 Extremely Strong Very Strong Extra Full Strong
The dark air cured Virginia provides an abundance of tangy dark fruity, toasty, boldly earthy and woody with a little smokiness, sugar and floralness, and fair amount of spice as the lead component. The floral dark fired Kentucky also has a bit of smoke, herbs, vegetation, sourness, nuts, earth, wood, some spice, mild barbecue, and a touch of cocoa. It is a supporting player. The burleys offer a lot of earth, wood,nuts and bread in the third slot. Almost equaling the burley is the tangy ripe, fermented, sugary dark fruit red Virginia, which also offers some tart and tangy citrus, earth, bread and wood. The toppings are the very rich Valerian root, and a deep anise extract along with a tonquin-like essence. While they do sublimate the tobaccos a little, they also work well together to create a sweet, floral synergistic contrast to the varietals. The strength and taste levels are very strong, as is the powerful nicotine content. I recommend you do not smoke this on an empty stomach. There’s no chance of bite, and there are no harsh spots or dull moments. It does have some rough edges. The plug has a little density, but is easily broken apart to suit your preference. It’s a little moist, but needs no dry time. Packs well and lights with no trouble. Burns a tad slow, cool and clean with a fairly smooth, sweet and lightly rugged, very consistent rich, deep, bold flavor from start to finish. Easily burns to ash, and requires a few relights. Leaves a slight dampness in the bowl. The after taste pleasantly lingers. The room note is potent, but not unattractive. It most certainly is not an all day smoke, but if you like really strong tobaccos, you’ll have more than one bowl a day. Will ghost a briar, and no meer is safe either.

In comparison to the 1970s and 1980s versions that I have smoked, I find the amount of the various tobaccos in the new release are not far off from the earlier versions regarding the flavor. The only differences I note are that this is mildly more spicy, and a shade less earthy. The toppings are close as well, though the new version is a little sweeter. However, the toppings on the earlier incarnations may have faded just a little, which furthered my impression of the sweetness level of this plug.

67 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2017 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
There are always a few new blends that seem to come out every year that are worth continuing production while many are just attempts at adding to the bottom line by throwing together this and that and then giving it a clever name. War Horse Bar has a clever, eons old name attached to it. And, it measured up! I really like the stout presentation and the Kentucky leaf shines. Others here call the topping Vanilla but I did not get that impression. It was kind of mysterious to me and added greatly to the overall presentation. Solid, stout, a little on the sweet side and palate pleasing. I was gifted my tin but am now going to spend some coin on getting more for the cellar.
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 08, 2016 Strong Medium Medium Pleasant
First impressions review. Upon opening the tin, the aroma is odd - something of a cross between mild mothballs and scented candle, albeit not floral per se. It's not overpowering or offputting; just curiously odd. Unlike some other reviewers, I don't get any distinct sense of tonquin aroma akin to 1792 or Bracken Flake.

I can easily tear off a corner of the well-formed and pliant dark brown bar. This is much looser than, say, GH Dark Plug. The piece pulls apart remarkably easy and I can tear it into small pieces with little effort. No knife required.

I let it sit for only a couple of minutes and although I would usually expect to need to give something like this quite awhile to dry, it seems ready. So I load it into a pipe and off we go.

It lights with little fuss and burns quite well. The scenting is fairly pronounced at first - even now its still hard to put my finger on the flavor. I'm reminded of Lakeland florality, but while this is scented it just isn't floral, so its quite different from something like GH Bosun Plug. The tobacco is unduly smooth, easygoing and a bit understated; slightly dark, slightly earthy, slightly spicy, slightly toasty. The room note is warm and pleasant. One might think this was intended as an all-day smoke. I had expected to tangle with something more visceral like GH Brown Twist or Dark Plug, but this is seemingly altogether a tame horse.

However, as the bowl progresses, the scenting recedes some and the tobacco comes forward until at mid-bowl the two meld and it reminds me of gingerbread. It is so smooth and pleasant that I am puffing along at a good pace and am quite surprised that at 2/3 of the way down the nicotine has suddenly made a grand appearance. Whoa, where did that come from? This turns out be fairly potent, yet still retains its deceptively good manners and deliciousness almost all the way down. There is a slight ashiness in the final moments.

If subsequent bowls are like this one, this is going to be a favorite.

Pipe Used: MM Shire Cobbit
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: New
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2017 Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Standard Tobacco - War Horse Bar.

This surprised me. I only opened this with the intention of reviewing it because it's snowing outside and due to a disability I have I'm unable to walk in the snow. My dog, Thelma, will have to wait! I didn't expect to like this so had the idea of a doing a review pipe, or two, passing some time, and re-cellaring it.

The presentation isn't quite congruent with the word plug. The tin contains one dark brown slab of tobacco, it measures 7x7x2cm (sad, and pedantic, I know, I used a ruler), but it's halfway between a plug and kake. Don't expect something like Warrior Plug, where you risk a serious back injury trying to slice it! Succinctly put: softer than a plug but firmer than a kake: a dichotomy. The moisture's perfect, it appears to be maybe a bit damp but once crumbled I could see it was smack on.

I don't want to sound like a rhetorical, chauvinistic pig, but boy, this is a seriously manly smoke. The dark fired Kentucky gives a perfectly clear flavour, fire-cured without coating the mouth with acrid, stickiness. Although there's the flavour from curing it also has a woody note to it. The Burley has the usual nuttiness, which along with the Virginia's tangy fruit flavour, keeps the Kentucky restrained. There's a herby, tonquin flavour, but unlike a lot of folks on here I wouldn't suggest there's a vanilla type of character. As well as the herby nuance the smoke has a touch of liquorice. After half a bowl an added sweetness gains recognition. The flavour of the smoke's immense, but I avoid retro-haling as this can cause too much sharpness to the back of my nasal passage. The best accompaniment to this is a nice and strong coffee. It burns quite slowly and the smoke stays defunct of bite throughout.

Nicotine: strong. Room-note: quite heady.

War Horse Bar? Has to score a full house. Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Altinok Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: One month
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 09, 2016 Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Wow, this is a man's man tobacco! I've smoked pipes on and off for more years than I care to think and have recently taken it up more with a passion. I generally prefer many of the GL Pease blends (eg, Westminster, Maltese Falcon, Samarra, Gaslight, etc). All great smokes, very subtle and flavorful. War Horse is in another category. What a switch. Because my wife claims to be allergic to tobacco smoke, I have to smoke outdoors, which is a challenge here in PA with winter upon us. So I smoked my first bowl while driving-not sure I recommend this as the nic hit came on all of a sudden, making me a little woozy. But this smoke is extremely satisfying, sending me into a smoke filled nirvana (driving with the windows rolled up). Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart (or stomach).
Pipe Used: Savinelli
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: right out of the tin
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2017 Very Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant
Standard Tobacco Company - War Horse Bar

This has quickly (by which I mean "instantly") become one of my favorite tobaccos.  Although the info at top says it's made by Sutliff I seem to recall reading that it's made by Lane...?  Regardless it's very well put together.  I'd first like to commend and thank Mr. Ouellette and the folks at Standard for their work on this fine blend.

It was fun to read through the reviews as folks do their level best to call out all the flavors they found in the smoke, room note, tin note, etc.  All of them are correct.  I'd like to mention, bowl size or more likely shape seems to reveal or obscure these different flavorings to an extent.  Also I've noticed the tin note has changed from rich chocolate cake to playdoh to more of an anisette note since I've opened this tin.  The flavorings are potent but not obnoxious.  In the base tobacco I'm getting mostly warm nutty burley with occasional hints of dark fired.  As has been mentioned, this blend presents as far closer to a crumble cake than a plug.  It flakes apart easily and moisture was perfect, slightly moist, not wet or sticky, ready to smoke on demand. I'm hesitant to fully call this an aromatic, but it's far closer to an English style one than anything else I can think of.

Now a word about the nicotine.  It's potent too.  And it will creep up on you.  The beginning of the bowl will have you to think, "oh this ain't *that* strong," but just past mid-bowl, the nic-hit will leap out, virtually every time.  This is a very relaxing tobacco to me, and I suspect this may be the effect of the valerian root additional to the nicotine power.  I'd advise some caution on your first go with this.

A blend with no total equal that I know of, highly recommended.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 19, 2020 Strong Very Strong Full Strong
War Horse Bar has a very sweet tin note. While I can certainly say that there is tobacco present in the tin note the sweet toppings (whatever they are) are the predominate note. As for the smoke: The KY seems to be a little forward for me compared to the Burley and VA's. It has a floral, vegetative note that is unique to KY along with its woody note from the fire curing. It is slightly earthy and smokey with just a hint of spice. The VA's follow this and are slightly tangy that verges on tart at times with a dark fruit note that suggests Red VA's are present. I also get a little grass and citrus that suggests some brights were used as well. They too may have a little earthy note. They burley offers its usual nutty earthiness and falls behind the VA's but moves froward at times. The toppings are sweet and defy my attempts at figuring out everything that has been added. I do get something similar to tonquin bean/vanilla and there is definitely some licorice root extract there but there is certainly more going on that just that. Whatever it is it is quite strong and I have to really focus on the flavors to find all the nuances of the tobaccos. Yet, it is very complementary of the tobacco and works very well. This is a great scented plug! That has a nic hit that is right at the strong level and is very satisfying. It has too much going on to be an all day smoke and after a while it was not an every day smoke for me. The room note was noticeable for me and I usually do not notice it without leaving the room and returning to it. So it is strong. I found it very pleasant but others found it overwhelmingly intolerable. So you will either love it or hate it.

On a personal note I will pick up a tin or two from time to time but in the future when the mood strikes for this I think I will cut off what I want to smoke for a week and jar the rest for later use.
Age When Smoked: ROTT
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2018 Strong Medium Full Tolerable to Strong
It is my understanding that War Horse Bar is a modern American attempt to recreate an old Irish staple plug. I hope someone will correct me if they know different. The tobacco is certainly pressed, whether or not with steam, I don’t know, but it’s pretty dark, consolidated, and dense. Tin note is tonquin over fruit leather and dirt that’s only slightly musty. I tried slicing flakes off the plug with no success, as they break apart, but I have not wasted a lot of time on this yet. Rather I have settled for crumbled tobacco that loads easily and lights and smokes down OK with regular tamping. Initial tastes and scents are like an amplified tin note, then the tobacco builds in strength and intensity as it is smoked down. The scent of tonquin is strong, and the Kentucky is strong and smoky, also somewhat bitter. The VAs are stoved reds and something like air cured brown, all fairly melded with the KY, and the tobaccos are well met in strength by the tonquin. Basically, if you dislike tonquin, don’t bother with War Horse Bar. I fiddled around with this tobacco for some time before trying it in an old briar pot that I’d recently resurrected by enlarging the air hole, which was constricted through its bit. Though a 1” bowl might be more WB than some wish to smoke, it finally “deconstructed” this concentrated blend enough that WB’s flavors are present and accounted for all through a lengthy smoke, including dark fruit leather, some sugar, and enough anise that I’m surprised I missed it for so many bowls. For comparison, WB is not so smooth as 1792, but it is similar in character, which is to say, strong. So, no surprise, strength is strong. Tastes are full. Room note is barely tolerable, and it stinks up one’s pipes, clothing, and person. Aftertaste is the best of the smoke, trailing off with increasing sugar; quite nice, actually!

Here is another “he-man” smoke that I suspect will not please the majority of pipe smokers. It took me some doing to get its best. For me, it can be compared to 1792 or Bold Kentucky, though IMO it is not quite that good. FYI, I also like it from one of my old, group 5 KY pipes, though it hardly shines from other pipes I’ve smoked it in. Recommended 4 stars worth to fellow codgers, and not at all to beginners, unless they be fearless adventurers.
Pipe Used: varous briars; pot preferred
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: straight from tin and young from jar
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 27, 2016 Strong Medium Full Pleasant
In a word, delicious. The overall impressions come more from the flavoring than the tobaccos, although hints of the Kentucky come through. The flavorings strike me as cocoa, with hints of coffee and tonquin. The bar seems to be between a plug and a heavily-pressed crumble cake, but it breaks apart fairly easily. The N is well-hidden at first, but it does sneak up on you throughout the bowl. Unless you already smoke ropes and other heavy-N blends, this isn't an all day smoke. It lights easily, but does need a relight or two more than usual after the first half of the bowl.
Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers
PurchasedFrom: pipes & cigars
Age When Smoked: 2 months after purchase
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 07, 2016 Medium Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I haven't ever been of fan of tobacco that tastes like anything but tobacco. Upon cracking the tin, it smelled so familiar, but couldn't place it. I'm the first to say so here, so perhaps I'm alone, but I smell Amaretto, almond liquor. I ripped off a corner by hand and rubbed it out onto a tray. It's a tad moist, but I packed it as is. It lights easy and burns nicely. As a child, my mother used to make something called Black Russian Cake which contained, if memory serves, Kahlúa. This blend reminds me of it. I taste chocolate, almond, and a slight coffee taste. It's very sweet which puts it right in my wheelhouse. The taste stayed consistent to the bottom. This is a VERY seriously tasty tobacco. It wasn't what I was expecting and turned into a very pleasant surprise!
Pipe Used: Dunhill 5128 Black Briar
PurchasedFrom: pipesancigars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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