Mac Baren Gold Block

(2.09)
Virginia, burley tobaccos sweetened by a secret process. Smoke this tobacco peacefully. Pouch blurb: "An aromatic blend of bright Virginia and rich burley tobaccos. Finest quality leaf for a subtle smoke."
Notes: Now owned and made by MacBaren. From P&C's website: Gold Block from Ogden's of Liverpool was known for being one of the most widely available pipe tobaccos in the UK. This smooth and relaxing blend of sweet, bright Virginia and mellow white burley is treated to a pleasant top note which allows the user to get real tobacco flavor, while delivering an enticing room note. For anyone who is looking for an all day blend, or for a lightly flavored tobacco for earlier in the day, Gold Block is certain to please.

Details

Brand Mac Baren
Blended By MacBaren
Manufactured By MacBaren
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Sweet / Sugar
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams pouch, 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

2.09 / 4
6

21

34

25

Reviews

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Displaying 31 - 40 of 86 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2016 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
It seems like Gold Block was an iconic blend back in the day and it may well have merited all the hype and sales in days gone by. Never smoked the original. With that being said, this tobacco as it is no great shakes with me. Very seldom if ever do I dislike a blend because I believe each stands on its own merit. I find Gold Block to be a monotone blend. While you do get components of both Virginia and Burley they just don't seem to marry very well. To each his own I guess. I think I may add this to some others and try it. I am sure it will marry with something.
Pipe Used: Various briars and cobs
PurchasedFrom: Smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: New and 2 + months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 10, 2012 Medium Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable
This used to be my staple 30 years ago and beyond. The rubbish that is marketed today is a travesty. The original certainly was an "aristocrat" but the current incarnation is an impostor. Enough to drive you to cigarettes, and equally as bland. This is NOT a blend for any serious pipester. It may just have some limited appeal if you were never spoilt by the original, but I doubt it. You'll probably end up using it sparingly as a blending bulker just to get shot of it.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 26, 2011 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong
After watching a series of reveiws of classic American blends on YouTube (by nickandhispipe) I decided to work my way through some of our classic (and readily available) British blends.

So what do I think of Gold Block? I am genuinely unconvinced that the ribbon cut, golden leaf in the (rather nice) gold foil pouch is really tobacco.

It was harsh and stung the lining of my mouth. It tasted of over-brewed tea and the smell of the dried, mouldy grass clippings that you find when you drag the lawn mower out for the first time in spring. I found nothing that I recognised as tobacco flavour and nothing that I liked.

I hear it is niced mixed 50/50 with St. Bruno, which is how I will use the rest of my pouch. I'll give an update when I've formed an opinion on this mixture.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 25, 2011 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
based on my 31 years of pipe smoking,i read that gold block gets very low ratings.but to me this is an ideal smoke for the first pipe of the day.i keep this one in my rotation.my next smoke will be either penzance or balkan flake.also i have had no problems with tongue burn,it depends on how the pipe is packed.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2010 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable
Bought a pouch of this from Sainsbury's out of sheer interest.

That was 2 months ago. I've still got it.

I like the pouch aroma. Really enticing. As a pipe tobacco it's pretty pointless. I mean it's just tasteless.

It's not nasty and doesn't stink the place out either.

It makes great cigarettes.....

Nearly ten years later I decided to try this blend once more. I was a little influenced by the fact that any pipe tobacco is difficult to find anywhere in supermarkets now.

This one is still available from Sainsbury's so I decided to get a few packs in. My taste has shifted from aromatics and now I find myself trying more and more virginia based blends.

So I returned to this one, feeling that I had done it an injustice. I was right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this blend at all. Sure, it lacks taste and the pouch aroma (40g that's mean) is superb, but this is an excellent tobacco that satisfies and can be smoked all day long.

It's quite moist, yet burns really well. Best in bigger pipes I have discovered. It has little aroma that I can detect, and noone who I inflict with tobacco fumes has complained.

Yes, this is the best of the OTC brands and I will buy it whenever I come across it.
Pipe Used: Briars & Meers
PurchasedFrom: Sainsbury's large supermarket kiosk
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2008 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Original June 16 2008

I had a passionate afair with this for a good number of years, would'nt smoke anything else 'till one day my tobacconist, Nat Chait (RIP) led me astray, could hardly face it afterwards.

Reccomended here in England as good tobacco for new pipe smokers, and as I'd just come back from ten years on the other side of the pond, it was a good one to get back into English tobacco's, burned well, smoked well, with a good taste. Unfortunately, as I said, I was led astray and wandered into the world of aromatics for a goodly number of years before coming over to flakes.

There seems to have been a lot of poor reviews to this particular offering of Ogdens, and in comparison to other tobacco's, I would have been inclined to agree, had it not been for my discovery of this site, which gives much credence to the cellaring of tobacco's, virginia's in particular. last week, my wife discovered a tin, yes a tin of Gold Block that I had opened and then left, perhaps eight years ago ? or more, needless to say, the tobacco was a little dry, but by leaving a damp tissue in the tin for about four days, I actualy ventured to try it, surprise suprise, not bad at all, there seems to be something in this cellaring.

Still only giving poor old Gold Block three stars, change that, I'll give it four. Why? well it served well it's original purpose, and I've found an aged Gold Block to be even better. But I am not sure about ageing pouches as that of couse is what it's served up in these days.

Updated 7th August 2010 For old times sake, I tried a 25g pouch of this and it's nothing like what I remember, the basic taste is still there, but it just burned hot and peppery so I tried the trick of mixing it with 25g of St Bruno RR. And that did nothing to save the day either.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2004 Mild Medium Mild Pleasant
"Hi Mr. Gold Block, I know that you're not very popular, but don't worry, I think you're a quite nice fellow"

A weird outsider this tobacco is.. Almost cigarette-cut, bright VA with a strange topping that i find very interesting. I smoked this when it was still made by Imperial, so this review may not be up to date.

Upon opening the tin I was greeted with the smell of freshly mown hay and that special topping which you either love or hate. I have difficulties describing it, but it smells and tastes like tarragon/woodruff/coumarine.

The nicotine level is, unfortunately not very high, but it doesn't matter, because the strange taste tickles my senses and makes me forget it.

All I can say is: Try it for yourself - It's 50/50 if it's gonna ring your bell I guess.

Note: The newer version from Orlik is totally void of the original topping. It's now a bright virginia - very close to RYO tobacco like Cutter's Choice of Amber Leaf. But a different cut of course

***** Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark *****
Pipe Used: Several
PurchasedFrom: mysmokingshop.co.uk
Age When Smoked: Old and New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2021 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I really believe this is a misunderstood blend ! I totally love this blend and smoke it all the time. It needs to be dry as a bone and packed tight. I find it a wonderful light smoke with lovely sweet nuances. Lovely room note too. If you smoke it damp it is really bad and like smoking air - I have had one or two bad smokes in the early days and nearly abandoned it.

I smoke it in big pipes or in a cob. It seems to work really well in cobs for some reason. There is never any system overload – it is very light and I’ve never had the greenies or light head from too much nic hit. I have some really sublime smokes from Gold Block from understanding it better. I am very much in a VABUR phase with my pipe smoking journey and this one is really working for me at the moment.

I especially love it in my Paronelli Egg shaped Lemon wood pipe, or in my Savinelli 606. Didn't work so well in my Meershaum's. People say to mix it with St. Bruno – that’s certainly a possibility but I didn’t really enjoy that. I just don’t like soapy blends like St. Bruno or Condor, so IMHO its better on its own. Just enjoy it for what it is – but DRY DRY DRY. Light pre-dinner smoke with a cool beer. Maybe later on in the evening I'll move over to Presbyterian Mixture, my go-to English blend. Or Special Virginia from JTI which I love but find quite strong and is more an after dinner endeavour. Same with this go DRY or you'll miss the nuances.

I seem to be swimming against the tide on Gold Block but there you go! We are all different in the pipe smoking world, and tastes are amazingly varied. Adios Pipers.
Pipe Used: Paronelli Egg Limone, Cobs and Savinelli 606.
PurchasedFrom: Black Swan Shoppe UK
Age When Smoked: 53
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 09, 2020 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
This may not be the most sophisticated tobacco I've smoked, but it is easy to smoke and very much an 'all day' tobacco. Moisture levels straight from the pack are OK and I don't feel the need to dry it before smoking. It packs and lights easily and requires only few relights. The flavours are mild but satisfying and the slightly sweet casing is pleasant. Unlikely many other Virginia heavy blends, I get no tongue bite at all. In summary 'mild' and 'easy smoking' (damned by faint praise??).
Pipe Used: Peterson System Reject
PurchasedFrom: Tesco
Age When Smoked: straight from the packet
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2019 Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable
Another disappointment. I found this one sharp and mostly uninteresting. I'd consider this a crossover rather than a straight aromatic. The tobacco burned fast and verged on nipping me. Not the worst tobacco out there by a long shot, but no where near great. I'm glad I sampled it, but I would rather have spent my money on something else.

Keep on pipin'
1 person found this review helpful.
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