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The art of pipe smoking is something that is highly individual and whichever type of pipe you like to smoke - be it a brandy, a billiard, or bulldog - and however you like to pack your pipe, the quality and blend of tobacco you choose is key.

Special Virginia is a hand crafted pipe blend of Virginia, Kentucky and burley tobaccos that can trace its origins back to as early as 1770. However you like to smoke your pipe, we hope you enjoy this high quality coarse cut ready rubbed blend with it's distinctive character, appreciated around the world.

Notes: In May 2017 the pack name changed from Mellow Virginia to Special Virginia Ready Rubbed due to legislation, and now has Gallaher Ltd. on the pouch, although this is a subsidiary of JT international. Now in a pouch only as the tin was phased out.

BrandGallaher Limited
Manufactured ByJapan Tobacco International
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Virginia
FlavoringCaramel, Other / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams pouch
ProductionCurrently available
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Room Note
Very Pleasant, Pleasant
5 reviews
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Granny Smith Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Granny Smith (29)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is basically Mellow Virginia with a name change and it's pretty much the same tobacco as it always was. So here's a pasting of my original review - 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 silver spigot

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: ASDA

5 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (76)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Unnoticeable

Update 27th March 2018.

Having smoked a few ounces of this I find I get on well with the bready, doughy flavour. If this were the only tobacco left in the world, I'd smoke.


All dogs have four legs. My cat has four legs. Therefore my cat is a dog.

Something must be done. This something. This is what must be done.

The name change from Mellow to Special Virginia proves this logic.

I recall this as moist and dark. Now it's dry and light. It's ok. It can be smoked.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billiard.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin.

Purchased From: Astons of Manchester.

Similar Blends: Mellow Virginia..

4 people found this review helpful.

patriot1314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
patriot1314 (2)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I haven't smoked this for many years, it was still very much Mellow Virginia then. Back then it had a very distinctive room note, very sweet and reminiscent of caramel. If anyone was smoking this within a few yards of you there was no mistaking exactly which blend they had fired up. I quite enjoyed it back then until I developed a taste for Condor. These days it's still Condor as first choice for me although I like to try many different blends but I keep coming back to the darker. "meatier" blends. Today, on a whim, I thought I'd try something completely different and picked up a pouch of Special Virginia. Packed it using the Frank method and couldn't get any sort of ignition going at all, much too tight. Emptied it out and tried again with a fresh batch taking care to pack it as lightly as I could and Bingo! At first I thought it tasted the same as all those years ago but the room note wasn't just as sweet and appealing but after a few minutes I got it back, exactly the aroma I remembered from decades ago. It's a very good and very distinctive tobacco and a welcome and flavorful break from the darker Lakeland blends. There may be better tobaccos out there but there are a lot more which are worse. For my taste, it will never beat the Lakeland blends but it offers a great contrast if you ever want to mix up the rotation a bit. I'll be buying another pouch when this one is done.

Pipe Used: Bent Falcon with Apple Bowl

Age When Smoked: Fresh as a daisy

Purchased From: Sainsburys

Similar Blends: Many other medium blends but nothing comes close to the same aroma.

2 people found this review helpful.

thesmoggypipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thesmoggypipester (75)
Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant

A classic British otc that has stood the test of time. I tried this a number of years ago under its old name of mellow virginia. I have a sneaking suspicion that along with condor, its production has moved to Poland.

Whereas condor has infamously declined, from what I remember, mellow virginia hasn't changed much if it all. It is still the same stellar smoke, virginia burley and kentucky, cased with vanilla, cocoa, and caramel. Packing is a doddle, as is the lighting, the casings are pretty strong on this, but they don't sublimated the tobaccos too much.

Cool slow burning and very satisfying. Has a decent kick of nic behind it, room note I find very pleasant and it shouldn't offend the masses so a perfect company smoke as well.

All in all a stellar smoke, which is classic British otc, kind of steps into the realm of gawith hoggarth in the way their aromatic tobaccos are. Well worth a try.

3 and a half stars and one I'd be happy to keep in semi regular rotation.

Pipe Used: Straight falcon with Dublin bowl.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My smoking shop

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2076)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Gallaher Ltd - Special Virginia Rubbed Out.

It's been rubbed to the appearance of a broken flake. The colour's quite dark and the moisture's faultless. I find there's little aroma from the pouch, apart from a slight sweetness.

Just like Mellow Virginia, which is basically what this is, it gives a fairly uncomplicated smoke. I find it's a VaBur with a touch of honey. The Virginia and Burley seem equal; slightly sweet and a little coarse. The Kentucky offers a little 'power', but isn't a formidable ingredient. Because of the chunky cut it burns slow and cool. It also gives me no tongue bite.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: pleasant.

Special Virginia? Like I said with Mellow Virginia, although it's readily available in the UK, it's still damn good! Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Golden Supreme Meer'

Age When Smoked: 7 months

Purchased From: My Smoking Shop

2 people found this review helpful.