Benson & Hedges Special (Mellow) Virginia

A rich blend of pipe tobacco for a mature, satisfying smoke.


Brand Benson & Hedges
Blended By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Caramel
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 50 grams pouch
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.48 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 58 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2011 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
This was the first tobacco I smoked in a pipe back in 1983, and I think it is a good one: can't see why so many don't rate it. It's a nice toffee sort of flavour, doesn't bite easily, and is altogether very pleasant.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 11, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The Virginias have a little grass, wood and earth along with a fair amount of tart citrus, and a light tangy dark fruitiness along with a very slight floralness. They form the base of the blend. The nutty, woody, earthy, lightly molasses sweet burley plays a strong second lead. The woody, mildly smoky, earthy, lightly floral, herbal, dry tasting dark fired Kentucky also sports a small spice note that well complements the other components. The rich caramel and toffee toppings, along with a light vanilla don’t tone the tobaccos down very much, but you’ll notice them in every puff. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium, while the taste level barely reaches the medium threshold. The nic-hit is a slot below the strength level. No chance of bite, and has no harsh or dull moments, but fast puffing may get you a very light cigarette hit. Sports a light rough edge here and there. A little moist, it burns slightly less than a moderate pace, cool and clean with a sweet, very consistent flavor from start to finish. Requires an average number of relights. Leaves a dab of moisture in the bowl. The pleasant after taste will linger as does the stronger room note. Not quite an all day smoke, but certainly is a repeatable one.

15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Benson & Hedges - Mellow Virginia.

The smell from this isn't exactly what I was expecting for the price. From a cheaper tobacco the aroma sometimes can often be bland and boring but the smell from this has a deep almost Caramel side to it. The pieces of tobacco are chunky, a lot of them resemble broken flake pieces.

The smoke from Mellow Virginia tastes quite rich. The different tobaccos are mixed together well with the surprising factor being that unlike a lot of cheaper tobaccos that contain Virginia the flavour of Mellow V' isn't a 'Virginia only' one! The Burley cuts through the blend nicely, a warm taste with slightly sugary type of sweetness. It can be inhaled without reprisals unless I take in a huge mouth full of smoke, to be fair though I am more than content to smoke this for only the flavour!

I think the fact that this is so easily available and classed as a dreaded 'Super-Market' brand negates the score for most people but from my point of view (as I found with St Bruno) just because it's an over the counter blend it doesn't change WHAT'S GOOD IS GOOD! Four stars in my humble opinion!!
Pipe Used: Peder Jeppesen IDA Cherrywood
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: New
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Very Pleasant
This blend came as a very pleasant surprise to me. The pouch note is mouth watering, with a lovely sweet toffee/ caramel and honey aroma. Very seductive!. The moisture content is spot on and ready to go. The tobacco is wonderful golden leaves with a trace of dark leaves, ribbon cut, and appears to be of fine quality. I couldn't wait to fire this up, and was rewarded, unusually, by the exact same taste as the pouch aroma. Nice, sweet toffee like flavours , nicely balanced with a slight honey topping. This blend is not supposed to have any added toppings but it has, very mildly, and in it's favour, and will not trash your pipe or make you feel sickly. It burns well, but can get a bit hot if over done. Zero tongue bite though. The only negatives I can find is it does tend to go a bit sour near the end of the bowl, which is a shame, no matter how I pack it, and can go a bit strange, taste wise, when left in a baccy jar for a day or two, again becoming a bit sour. Odd. Other than that I recommend this highly as a good OTC tobacco. Well priced too.
Pipe Used: Falcon International.With and without filter.
PurchasedFrom: Asda
Age When Smoked: New.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2014 Mild Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant
This is damn decent tobacco. Some people always give bad reviews to tobaccos easily found in supermarkets but they are talking through their rear ends. Out of all the easily available blends this comes third in my list behind St. Bruno and my all time fave, The Mighty Condor. Mellow Virginia is in my rotation because it offers a welcome change of pace for me since I usually smoke the more powerful Lakeland style blends. Mellow Virginia offers a nice caramel and smooth and I do like it.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula
PurchasedFrom: ASDA
Age When Smoked: Fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 16, 2003 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
I recently ordered this one from across the pond along with some St. Bruno and Mick McQuaid. It comes in a pouch, is ribbon cut and easy to load and smoke. And while, as the above reviewers indicate, this is a milder type of smoke it is not bland. (Not in the American sense anyway.)

I rather enjoyed the unique taste of this Virginia/Burley mix. Just a hint of some discreet flavoring made the experience even more enjoyable. B&H Mellow Virginia burns cool, does not bite and leaves a rather dry dottle. I certainly shall order another pouch in the future. Perhaps not as elegant as the blue blooded St. Bruno and Mick McQuaid, but still, a dadgum nice batch of weed for this simple country boy.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2017 Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This classic mixture -- Virginia, Burley and some dark-fired leaf -- forms a spicy and tangy mixture on its own. The "mellow" in "Mellow Virginia" is that this blend produces a full-bodied smoke bursting with flavor but lowers the tang, despite having topped the rubbed-out flake with what tastes like honey, citrus or apricot, vanilla and a faint floral essence. The Virginia rises on the tongue with a sparkly vinegar-sweetness, but then the Burley and dark fired rise as a counterpoint, picking up the sweet flavor and melding it into the caramelizing Virginias. This creates a toasted nut and grain flavor where the toffee-like top note takes a background. It loads easily with a dump and tamp, burns slowly and is remarkably bite-free, giving a long-lasting bowl of gentle but flavorful smoke. Wish this were available in the states.

Thanks to Pipes Magazine Forum member "mawnansmiff" for this sample.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2017 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
**UPDATED TO ADD ** Due to the new tobacco laws in the UK, this tobacco is now sold as "Special Virginia". The product remains the same, they are just not allowed to use a descriptive word in their name anymore! Because of this name change, you may have to wait for the supermarkets to start stocking it again. Bless you Morrisons for being ahead of the competition.

A wonderfully comforting smoke with a rich caramel flavour and aroma. As the ads in the 1980's used to say, it's neither harsh nor mild but cool and satisfying. It's the one I always come back to, especially as my local stores only ever seem to stock St Bruno. I do appreciate the sweetness of Mellow Virginia. True pipe smokers may sniff at it, but it remains my favourite, with its sufficient nicotine hit.
Pipe Used: Mr Brog Tabachos
PurchasedFrom: Asda, UK
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2011 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This was one of the first tobaccos I tried, I found it a bit rough and thought it was down to me not packing or smoking it properly. After doing the rounds with a few other tobaccos, I came back to it and gave it another go and wasn't impressed.

The aroma in the packet aroma is reasonably pleasant though nothing special. Lighting and packing is easy too. It's there that the troubles start. Even with filters in the bowl and stem, the flavour is, at best, okay and descends reasonably quickly into that rough bitter taste that cigars often reveal towards the end of their smoke. Without the filters, I get about two good puffs before descending into bitterness. I get not so much tonguebite as tongue three course meal and my lips feel so swollen and numb that they feel like Lesley Ashe after her botched collagen treatment. Also, the gurgling from the bowl suggests that this is a very damp smoke, not a pleasant sound when I'm trying to chill with my pipe.

Okay, so I admit I am still an inexperienced pipe smoker, so might be packing it wrong or suchlike, but considering this is the only tobacco I've not enjoyed thus far and the only one where I've thrown away a half full packet, I see no reason to try this again.

Update: 14/02/2013

Strange that I find that myself reviewing this again. I only bought 25 grams of this recently as it was a week before payday, only a fiver left in my pocket and was in desperate need of some of the naughty leaf. I was in my local shop having just topped up my electricity key and espied this on the shelf. In my hour of need, I took the plunge and thought "What the hell! At least it will give me something other than money to worry about.".

After finally getting home, I thought I'd best tuck in. The packet aroma was as nice as I remember from the first time, it was the best bit of it back then if I rightly remember. A little trepidation crept in as I whacked it in the pipe and lit up. A hint of pleasure and pleasant surprise as tasty wafts of toffee arraigned themselves upon my taste buds and nostrils as I sat back and chilled out. There's also something else there, something akin to a milder Condor Green. The flavour continued throughout most of the smoke only getting a little rough towards the end. There was only the slightest hint of tonguebite at the bottom of the pipe and none of those numb lips either.

Although my original review was right at the time of going to press, I can't help thinking a lack of both experience and a certain physical tolerance to the vagaries of pipe smoking played a part in my lack of enjoyment of this and some other tobaccos. With a bit of hindsight, wisdom and experience I am now in the process of correcting some of these. My correction here then, is that this is a good, solid, earthy smoke, perhaps a little brother of Condor Green. At some point I look forward to getting a full 50g of this so I can enjoy its worthy three star delight.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Special Virginia - not the most appealing name to use when rebranding your product; it hardly smacks of deep thought and introspection from the good people at STG but, hey ho.

In it’s old, Benson and Hedges guise, this was the favoured smoke of my best mate at schools, dad. I remember this blend smelling far more appealing in the room or the car than the ‘old codgers’ blends my grandad used to smoke; I remember there being multiple open pouches around their house to sniff at and - on occasion - pinch a bit of.

Lockdown has allowed me more time to read reviews and build up tobacco stocks and this was one of the blends I really wanted to get first, because of the fond memories associated with it but I have to say, I was slightly disappointed.

The pouch in the ‘90’s came with information about different pipe types on the inside of the pouch which I found fascinating as a teenager, in the final days of analogue, before the inter web thing came along. The pouch taught me about meerschaum pipes, clay pipes, Churchwardens and all the rest with the sign off line “whatever your pipe of choice, Mellow Virginia is the perfect tobacco.” Or words to that effect. I note that there is still some pipe related blurb on the pouch but of the three pouches that I have bought so far this year, they are all the same blurb.

Anyway, I’m descending into a fug of nostalgia rather than a fug of pipe smoke.

Some may say it hasn’t changed but to my pallet it certainly seems to be more sour and less fruity on the tongue. It has a tendency towards a flavour of cheap aftershave after the first few pulls which can last longer than required but not throughout the bowl. Some people may call this ‘soapy’ but to me it reminds me of stale aftershave.

I find it to be a fast burner, even if you try to sip at it, which is fine if you are wanting a quick smoke. I’ve had it in Falcons, bulldogs, basket pipes and a cutty, with different bowl shapes and sizes and I always seem to get the same result so at least it’s consistent.

Of tongue bite itself there isn’t much but there is a warm pepper vibe going on somewhere between the half to two thirds of the bowl mark.

There are toppings - caramel certainly and possibly some vanilla which adds to a very pleasant room note - “make peace with your pipe” indeed.

The pleasant smell doesn’t seem to hang in the room for long though, before you get hit by the smell of the virginia’s hanging around, making the place smell of cigarette smoke. This might not bother some people but it can bother me.

It’s easily available from the supermarket and online but most smaller shops seem to have given up stocking tobaccos for the discerning pipe smoker these days - certainly in my part of the world - but then pipe smoking does seem to have been driven underground somewhat these days, like the A-Team.

All in all, it’s part of my rotation but a part I might visit once or twice a week and one that I prefer to smoke outdoors in the garden.
Pipe Used: Multiple
PurchasedFrom: Supermarket
Age When Smoked: New to a few months old
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2012 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
"A rich blend of pipe tobacco for a mature, satisfying smoke" eh? I wouldn't describe it as rich or mature (whatever THAT means), but it is pipe tobacco and it is comforting, and may even be described as satisfying.

This is a classic British newsagent pouch tobacco. It's less strong than Condor or St Bruno, but the clue was in the title, it's mellow.

Perhaps some here might feel that "Recommended" is too generous as this tobacco is nothing unusual or special. But isn't that exactly the point of this tobacco? For a mellow unassuming pouch tobacco it doesn't put a foot wrong, and just because it's mellow that doesn't make it bland.
4 people found this review helpful.
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