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 52 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
Nov 19, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Immediately upon opening the tin, I recognized the smell of Tonquin / Coumarin. This also comes through quite strongly in the smoke as a vanilla-like flavor which decreases throughout the smoke. Once the topping subsides a bit, the overall tobacco flavor is that of the Dark Fired. Smoky, earthy and robust in flavor ... like a Kentucky Cheroot with a light French Vanilla addition. Overall, it's a bit too "aromatic" for my everyday smokes but will be a sweet, yet powerful, change of pace now and then.

Edit: I see Doc noted the 1792 comparison ... another Tonquin inspired tobacco. For those of you that use nasal snuff, if you've ever had SG Elmo's Reserve then you know the scent. I ground and snuffed some of the WH Bar and it was much lighter but similar.
Pipe Used: cobs and briars both
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 20, 2017 Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
All three components are very well married making it difficult for me to separate them. The overall natural flavor is delicious. Earthy, woody, nutty, mildly smoky and spicy. Pretty dang smooth too. I'm a little conflicted about the topping. At times I find myself really enjoying it and at others I find it a little too "perfumey". It tastes like a mix of vanilla, fruit and florals with a nice sweetness. It's a stout smoke and never fails to satisfy. It's a little better than 3 stars, but I just can't go 4.

Medium to strong in body. Full in taste. Flavoring is mild. Burns pretty well.
Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2016 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant
Formed of leaves pressed into what more resembles a cake than a bar, the new War Horse Bar comes out of the package with a strong vanilla scent indicating the ever-popular top flavoring (among others) has been applied here in strength. It burns off quickly, however, revealing in sequence the smoky taste of the Dark Fired Kentucky Burley, followed by the sweetness of Virginia, and underneath it all, a heart of dark Burleys beats, giving the blend a reasonably strong presence of Nicotine and a broad, rich flavor. Unlike the UK plugs, this blend will not put you on the floor, but it has reasonable strength and a solid flavor, if a bit less integrated than the variants from across the sea. The grim fact is that little can compete with the steam-powered presses that are used over there, as PipesMagazine Forum member "misterlowercase" opined some years ago, and so this bar more resembles the loose-cut blends of the Americas than the European variety. In this blend, the dark fired and Burley tobaccos form a pleasant synergy and mostly absorb the Virginia, but there is not the smooth integration from overseas. Nonetheless, it is a pleasant smoke despite the stench of roasted marshmallows it leaves behind, and if offered at domestic prices, would be a good addition to a regular rotation.

Thanks to Pipes Magazine forum member "cosmic" for this sample.
8 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 18, 2017 Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant
A man could go mad trying to work out the flavour additives of some tobaccos. Different reviews cast up a cornucopia of potential flavours. My two cents, the predominant flavour is maraschino or almond cherry. I get some caramel/vanilla/butterscotch aromas, but I'm not smelling tonquin at all. I agree there are some floral spice notes as well.

Comes as a thin loose plug, more like a cake to be fair. It resembles dark peat in colour and texture. As others have noted, this is easy to prepare; you can just tear off a piece and it almost rubs itself out.

This is a full aromatic, and apart from some pepper from the Kentucky, I struggled to get real tobacco flavours underneath the casing/topping.

This is quite literally a one match tobacco and burns a treat with absolutely no tongue bite. It is autumn here in the southern hemisphere now, and this feels like the right season to enjoy this baccy. Not as a regular smoke for me, but for someone looking for an aromatic that had some nicotine strength and did not sparkle and crackle with chemicals, this might fit the bill. It will however leave an lingering aftertaste in the mouth.
Pipe Used: MM Cob
6 people found this review helpful.
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