John Middleton, Inc Carter Hall

Cross cut burleys with a sprinkling of Virginia flake.
Notes: Carter Hall has been providing a straightforward and enjoyable smoking blend at an affordable price since 1895 by keeping things simple: ribbon-cut Virginia and burley leaf of good quality, combined in the right proportions.


Brand John Middleton, Inc
Blended By John Middleton, Inc.
Manufactured By John Middleton, Inc.
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Bourbon, Cocoa / Chocolate
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 14 ounce plastic tub
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.03 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 82 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
In 1976, I tried this blend and hated it. I wasn't ready for burley blends. Except for my occasional SWRA forays, my reluctance for smoking OTCs since then was hard to break. In 2012, I decided to try it again. The burleys are nutty, woody, earthy, and bready with a touch of cocoa. They are the lead components. The grassy, tart and tangy citrusy Virginia is in the background. The toppings are mild chocolate, a little molasses, and light bourbon, and mildly tone down the tobaccos. The toppings do weaken a tad around the last quarter of the experience, and the natural tobacco flavors become more obvious. The one drawback is that with the lessening of the topping, you can experience a cigarette note or two if you puff fast. The strength, taste and nic-hit levels are mild. Won't bite or get harsh, though it does sport a few small rough edges. It burns at a moderate pace, cool and evenly. Packs very easily, with a short lived, pleasant after taste and room note. Leaves just a little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. It's easily an all day smoke. It goes well with any drink you choose. Three stars.

UPDATE 6-2022: This blend is currently made in the Dominican Republic and there are some differences between it and the old Carter Hall. The chocolate and bourbon are a little stronger now, so you won’t notice the expected nutty quality of the burleys quite as much. The effect of the molasses is lighter as a result even though the chocolate isn’t as rich in flavor as the earlier production. However, the toppings do lightly weaken after the half way point, and the familiar, though mildly rougher and savory nutty, earthy, woody burley notes light rise to your taste buds. So does a slight sourness. The Virginia is reduced in status a mite. The toppings have a very small chemical note as they help create a smoother, mildly less tobacco forward version of the old CH. There’s still a chance of a cigarette note due to fast puffing after the half way mark. The strength and taste are a couple steps past the mild mark. The nic-hit is a notch behind them. All of the other aspects of the original that I noted in the first paragraph still apply. This manufacture is a two star blend, and my Tobacco Review site rating reflects Carter Hall’s latest version, and not the first one.

105 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2005 Mild Mild Medium Tolerable
My 90 year old pipesmoking mentor smokes this blend exclusively. He will accept tins of the high-dollar tobacco that I sometimes bring him, and smoke them, but a few months later when I stop by for a visit, there's a can of Carter Hall sitting beside his easy chair, open and ready for the next fill of the pipe.

My friend is a pipesmoker like the old men I remember from my youth. He gets his pipes from Wal Mart and smokes them till they "wear out," and then buys some more. No fancy tobacco jars, no special packing technique, just a dip, a push of the thumb and light 'er up, tamp once and relax.

And so I like this blend. Not only because my pipesmoking friend smokes it, but I like the way CH packs, lights, burns steady and without too much fuss. I inhale occasionally and the draw feels good. This blend is just steady and unpretentious, like my friend, and I know I'll always have a tub of this on hand. Whenever I leave after a visit, the old pipesmoker says, "Load up a bowl before you go." That's the way I think of Carter Hall, easy-going and always ready with a kind offer of a good smoke.
72 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2009 Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable
Ahhh, remember when the poet said, "It's possible to feel homesick for a place you've never been"??? I suppose it's also possible to miss a time you've never witnessed.

And so we have Renaissance Fairs, Star Trek, Modern Burlesque, and Codger Envy.

Like many, it seems, I've been investigating the old standards like the Prince, the Sir, and the Carter. Of the three, the Prince is, to my mind, by far the best, but the Carter is a serviceable little blend. After a dozen or so mostly uninspired bowls of CH on its own, I have (again, like many) found it to be a decent base Burley for a faux-Revelation or Country Doctor type blend. A dollop of Latakia, a pinch of Perique, a smattering of Virginia and a wee drizzle of a fruity aromatic such as Devil's Holiday and naked, homely Carter is ready for the prom.

On its own, though, Carter Hall is little more than a house fire waiting to happen. It puts me to sleep when I smoke it.
14 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 13, 2005 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
This tobacco was once given as an answer to the following question: "If you found yourself away from home with a pipe and no tobacco, would you wait until you got home, or would you duck into a drugstore? And once in the drugstore, which blend would you get?"

Well it so happens I ducked into a drugstore and noticed several boxes on the shelf. For $1.19, what did I have to lose, right?

It ain't bad. In my stash there are "sit-down" tobaccos and there are "road tobaccos". Sit-downs are those pricey tins (MacBaren, Dunhill, Peterson) that I prefer to smoke when I can relax in my big comfy chair and fully experience the pleasure of a premium smoke. "Road tobaccos" are for puttering around in the house or the yard, driving, lunch-break smokes, etc. Carter Hall is a solid choice as a road tobacco, and if you're into smoking a brand for sentimentality, I understand this one has been around a long while. It's an honest blend free of any hideous casing and delivers a nice (if bland) tobacco taste. Won't replace Navy Flake or 3 Year VA, but I'm sure to visit and re-visit Carter Hall in the future.
14 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2015 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
This is one of the first pipe tobaccos I ever smoked (way back in 1971!). I didn't like it then, I thought the baccy was too strong and didn't like the taste (at all). The only thing I enjoyed was smoking it in a corn cob pipe (the novelty of doing this at the time intrigued me). Well, I just revisited CH over this last weekend, and, just for nostalgia's sake I used a cob. Unfortunately, nothing about my original experience changed. I find the Burley in CH to be "dirty"—I don't believe this is a high quality leaf, nor is the Virginia. For an OTC it's not bad but really, you'd be lying to yourself if you say this is a great Burley; it's not. I don't regret trying it again after all these years, but, honestly, I can think of about 90 other tobaccos I'd rather be smoking.

Keep on Pipin'
7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Among the best of the "OTC" blends. A decent mixer for aromatics that lack smokability. Pleasant enough when smoked slowly to avoid the chemical bite so common with OTCs (the pipe versions of sheet tobacco). I'll call this one the best of the worst. But honestly- there are so many better choices. However, if you must smoke OTC tobacco, and there are times when I've had to, smoke this one.

I'll agree with previous reviews though: it does somehow smoke better in a cob. Over time, this blend has grown on me. And I'll reach for it from time to time. But I can't give it more than two stars given the far more high quality burley blends available from Uhle, Peretti, Mac Baren, Hearth & Home, etc.
7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2005 Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable
I smoke all the so called cheap drugstore burley's and like most all of them. This is a another dependable mild smoke that like Velvet is mild and hard to burn too hot. I think everybody should find one of these easy to find brands that they like as a fall back tobacco when your not able to get to a good tobacco store. Of Middleton's selections, Kentucky Club has more flavor and the Prince is more funky having a more distinct room note and taste. A decent pack of Pinkerton's Velvet is even more smooth then Carter Hall. The nice thing about the simple blends, with the exception of Half and Half, is that you can mix them with other tobacco without really ruining the taste of the stronger flavored tobacco. This of course depends on not over doing it, but hey you can always find a use for these tobaccos. I am very fussy about aromatics but this sort of simple burley smoke is as dependable as vanilla ice cream.
6 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 24, 2015 Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I have to judge Carter Hall relative to its OTC brethren.

I have not much to commend it, not much fault to find in it either. It is simple, the taste is light, it won't bite - although it can get very bitter if you puff too hard. It is a little sweeter than Prince Albert, but the flavor overall is lighter too. Sir Walter Raleigh and Captain Black are both more flavorful, although each is distinctly different from the other. I would hazard a guess though that the person who likes Carter Hall is more likely to enjoy Sir Walter Raleigh than they are to enjoy Captain Black.
Pipe Used: CC
PurchasedFrom: Rite Aid
Age When Smoked: right out of the pouch
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2011 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
I have been gradually easing myself into exploring some of the Burleys out there, having initially avoided them after some early bad experiences with Prince Albert and Half & Half. Carter Hall affords a great deal of respect both here and on the various tobacco forums, so at the local drug store I figured, "Why not?", and picked out a pouch, including another helping of Prince Albert, to see if my tastes had changed.

The smell emanating from the pouch was delicious, like fresh chocolate, warm and sweet. The cut is rough, not exactly a ribbon, nor anything else I might describe, though it has an almost pellet like look. I puffed away my first time around fully expecting to be grossed out. I wasn't. That familiar "nutty" description blasted my receptors. Not bad!

People criticize these drug store blends for the inclusion of chemicals that allow the tobacco to keep, and those that aid in controlling burn. I must say, I can't recall a tobacco firing this quick--it lit with barely a flame and immediately took off. To that end, I sense somewhat of a metallic, synthetic taste that I don't detect with some of the higher quality Burleys like Solani's Aged Burley Flake, my standard for the leaf.

I must be honest here and divulge that my long standing and early negative impressions of Half & Half and Prince Albert have bred a seeming distaste for the average Codger Burley that encompasses more than a fair share of fans. Consistent with that opinion, subsequent smokes of Carter Hall proved less appealing, as that nutty flavor fell deeper into the background and that metallic note grew increasingly evident. I haven't given up on the blend yet, however, though I admit that it will be difficult to finish this pouch.

At this point I'm not certain whether tastes change or even where I stand with these drug store Burleys. I can tell you with absolute certainty that my reunion with Prince Albert didn't go well. I'm going to throw that bastard out of my house.
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2010 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I've been working on a tub of this for some time now, off and on. This is your proto-typical OTC burley blend. It's far from my favorite OTC, but it's your basic non-offensive pure burley tobacco. Not overly flavorful, this was obviously designed to be an all-day smoke, probably for those who smoke a lot all day! There is a mild topping that becomes an irritant from time to time but it comes and goes - it's mostly "gone". It's predominantly a straight tobacco taste, nothing to throw the taste buds into a rapturous tizzy, but nice and steady. It's hard to imagine anyone hating this but I can certainly see how some smokers would long for a bit more pizzaz.

If you're into OTC's, you've obviously tried this already. If you're not and you're wondering what the fuss is all about, this might be a good place to start. My experience tells me that as cute and handy as those little packages are, the tub is much more consistent.
5 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.