Borkum Riff Ruby

A highly aromatic blend. Kentucky, burley, and cavendish, sweetened with the luxurious flavour of cherries, and a touch of vanilla, producing a delicious smoke with a great aroma.
Notes: Known in the US as "Cherry Cavendish". The name was changed in Europe to "Ruby" due to EU regulations.


Brand Borkum Riff
Blended By Swedish Match
Manufactured By Skandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Cavendish, Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Alcohol / Liquor, Cherry, Vanilla
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 50 grams pouch
Country Sweden
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.22 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 18 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2017 Mild Mild to Medium Very Mild Strong
This blend was my last try from B all other blends this was no good thing.the smell of tobacco was feeling the taste while tobacco taste for me with lots tongue biting and a very bad aftertaste.nocotime level was almost medium and room note very tense to others.this blend has no balance.burns very hot and it is a filter destroyer due to moisture and dumbness.not recommended for consuption
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2016 Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant
Borkum Riff - Ruby.

This is the last out of a selection of blends I bought whilst on holiday in Portugal.

The flavour's good, the cherries don't, as they often do, bully everything else out of the way. The vanilla gives the blend a good creaminess, and this is heightened by the Black Cavendish. Even though it says there's alcohol included, I detect none of it. The Burley and Kentucky have a notable flavour and give the smoke a fuller feel. It doesn't bite any, and the smoke's pleasingly cool; perfectly relaxing! It burns exceptionally well, leaving no dottle, and gives off a VERY thick and palpable smoke. The nicotine's mild, and the room-note's good; cherry vanilla!

I think many smokers would find this a bit of a bore; one of many cherry vanilla blends! I on the other hand enjoy it:

Three stars.
Pipe Used: Mastro Geppetto
PurchasedFrom: Portugal
Age When Smoked: Two weeks
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
Has a pleasant cherry topping that does sublimate the tobaccos a bit. The Virginia is grassy with a touch of citrus as the base of the blend. The burley is lightly nutty earthy, and woody in a secondary role. The black cavendish is a little sugary, and is just above being a condiment. The Kentucky is a little earthy and woody as a condiment. The strength is just short of the center of mild to medium. The taste is a step past that center. Has a very mild nic-hit. Burns too warm and fast, but at least it doesn't have the chemical taste I noticed in BR's other cherry blend. I recommend this one over the other. Sip it, and you'll avoid tongue bite. Has a very consistent flavor from start to finish, along with a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste and room note. An all day smoke.

7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2020 Mild to Medium Very Strong Medium Very Pleasant
"The cherry is strong in this one."

Not being a huge fan of heavily topped aromatics, I got this pretty much by accident - needed some pipe tobacco as I was running out and could not easily replenish, the only place that had any and was still open was a gas station near Stockholm, and the only brand they had left was this. Only knowing the basic Borkum Riff line (the "bronze" as it's now called, and the "sungold" I'm not touching) I already guessed by the "Ruby" denominator that I was taking a bit of a risk and that I would probably be treated to some cherry flavour, and I wasn't wrong. The cherry is there and boy, is it there - already opening the pouch is like cutting into a big fresh steaming cherry pie made of dark, somewhat over-ripe cherries, and that promise is not failed by the taste! Even the room note probably smells a few hundred feet upwind of a large vat of cherry jam being boiled.

Unfortunately, like all heavily laced aromatics where an otherwise nondescript mix of cheap tobacco is made to smell and taste in a certain way by the liberal use of spices and chemicals rather than careful selection of quality tobaccoes complementing each other and then spiced just that little bit necessary, the taste never quite achieves complete wholesomeness, and always remains feeling just that little bit fake.

Not a regular smoke for me by any means but funnily enough, the overall experience is not that bad once you get used to it - if I ever feel the urge (and sooner or later, I probably will) to treat myself to some cherried pipe tobacco this is the brand I'll go for.
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: Gas station
Age When Smoked: Fresh from pouch
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2019 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
Borkum Riff, Cherry Cavendish! (now called ruby). Opening that pouch and smelling that sweet amazing cherry aroma - is just the best!

Tastewise: Creamy cherry deliciousnesss, with just a small splash of vanilla mixed in there for added benefit and uniqueness. No bite, No bitterness, No fuss. Lights well every time, always delivers that pleasurable no-frills smoke when you need to wind down and puff away. This is what I want in my pipe bowl during a lazy summers afternoon, THIS is the stuff i would stash away a metric ton of, inside an secure underground bunker when the world was coming to an end. After a while of testing different styles and blends early in my pipe hobby, this became the staple, go-to, golden standard on my shelf.

The other borkum riffs i don't care for at all, they are ranging from just ok to flat out hideous. This one howewer is a true gem worthy of the name ruby.

Also: Getting compliments from people on the lovely smell as you are smoking, is an added benefit.

Price point: Cheap As of writing this 165:- SEK in Sweden (17 USD) by online stores.

Fun fact: Borkum Riff is named after a reef located in the north sea.
Pipe Used: Unnamed briars, meerschaums and corncob
PurchasedFrom: Sweden
Age When Smoked: straight from pouch up to several months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2018 Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant
Smells strongly of cherries from the pouch, so you know what to expect. Smokewise it's fine for being one of the most available brands here in sweden, more on that later. It tastes cherries, together with mild vanilla and it does have some body to it, so it's better than many aromatics out there simply due to that.

This also serves a special purpose for me, it's my panic button... once in a while i run out of tobacco or don't have it at hand.

***Emergency schedule***

- Enter any store - Buy pouch - Run outside - Stuff pipe - Fire!

Even in a rush it's fine and most importantly it gets the job done! Three stars for being a lifesaver!
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2022 Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant
I've been a pipe smoker for more than a decade and I've smoked tens of blends on my journey even before I've started doing reviews. Then, one day, I was in a tobacco shop and I saw a selection of Borkum Riffs, which I've always avoided. Then I've decided "What the heck?". Let's try one and see if it's as bad as people say. I always give tobaccos a chance.

Upon opening the pouch I had my first alarm signal. I've smoked cheap tobaccos before, even gas station blends, but never have I had one that smelled like this. Very sweet and cherry, that's true, and very pungent, but too chemically enhanced. It smells like candy or car air freshener. Not a good sign...

With some trepidation I've loaded the pipe and lit it up. Not a minute in and already I was starting to regret my choice. It started to burn like the fires of Hades and began to feel a scorch on my tongue. I immediately took the pipe apart and put a filter (which I HIGHLY recommend for this one; your tongue will thank you for it). That made it a bit more bearable.

As for the smoke, the pouch note pretty much translates to the taste itself (which isn't saying much, considering how uncomfortable I was with the pouch note). After a while it started to make me gag, feel uneasy and somewhat sickly, but what was started must be finished. A strong "cherry" note that tastes more like lipstick, cotton candy or chewing gum. I like aromatics and sweet blends, but this is WAY outside my comfort zone. It's not even worth talking about tobacco taste, because there isn't much. A truly horrifying experience indeed.

After letting it breathe for a week in the pouch and then letting it dry on a paper towel for almost 90 minutes, I've decided to try it again, give it a second chance. The result is bearable, but not by much. It doesn't burn quite as hot and that sickly sweet topping has toned down a little. I still find the taste bad and I have to put it down quite often as it coats my mouth with a pretty unpleasant, sickly sweet taste that's clearly not tobacco.

After two unhappy experiences, I can say that this is clearly not for me, though I can understand why others might like it. And I do believe that it's overpriced. I've smoked cheaper tobaccos that tasted better than this and that I would even revisit sometime, which is definitely not something that I will do with this one (or any other Borkum Riff, for that matter). Still, I've survived and now I can scratch this brand with a very thick line off my list.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2021 Mild to Medium Strong Overwhelming Pleasant
One of the first pipe tobaccos I tried. Luckily, it didn't take long for me to realize that if I wanted something similar to orange, I should eat an orange and that if I wanted something with a flavor similar to Borkum Riff Cherry (Ruby), I should buy myself a gum.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 22, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Very Pleasant
I have chosen this as my first cherry aro and i have to say that I have mixed feelings.

Up on opening the pouch I was greeted with a warm, natural cherry scent, the tobacco in side is of a perfect moisture level to just pack and light. With my first proper draw I get a most agreeable sweet, strong cherry flavour that while enjoyable takes total control of the experience. Yes I also get a smattering of creamy vanilla and if I concentrate I can detect the underlying tobacco but both are thrust to one side by the overbearing cherry. It's a nice cherry don't get me wrong but it left me feeling as though the whole offering is slightly unbalanced. Maybe this is the way of the cherry aro, maybe I'm missing the point.

Past the half way point and the sweetness is joined by a slight sour edge that helps to avoid the whole experience becoming too sickly and stay this way to the bottom of the bowl.

Will I be finishing the pouch? Most definitely, though I will be sticking to a small bowl as I think for me a large bowl may become too sickly. On the upside a friend of mine has told me how agreeable the room note is.
Pipe Used: Small bowl briar
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2019 Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong
The pouch note when you open this is a thing of beauty, rich tobacco, fresh cherries and a hint of vanilla, it made my mouth water! Given that, I just had to pack and light my pipe as I walked to work, the taste was that of cherries, vanilla and a deepness from the Kentucky and Cavendish! I was hooked! The flavour was consistent throughout the bowl, it leaves a little moisture in the bowl and only required a single relight. The added bonus was the truly lovely room note it gives off, to the point that a random passerby complimented it. Given I'm only three bowls into this having never tried it before my opinion may change and if so, I'll update this accordingly, but at the time of writing this has become one of my favourites and I'd reccomend it to anyone who appreciates a good aromatic.
Pipe Used: Falcon AN7 with a Meerschaum bowl
PurchasedFrom: Cigs n Papers, Exchange Street, Norwich
Age When Smoked: Fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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