Charatan Four Leaf

A pronounced smoke delivering a robust taste for smokers later in the day.
Notes: Equivalent to Dunhill Aperitif, Charatan Four Leaf is comprised of the ‘Scottish’ recipe that is cavendish, Latakia, Oriental and Virginia.


Brand Charatan
Blended By  
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Scottish
Contents Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.20 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 09, 2019 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Charatan - Four Leaf.

Firstly, I've not piped the original for many years, so can only go from my notes.

Well, I and many other reviewers thought very highly of Dunhill's Aperitif. So like the other Charatan clones of Dunhill blends, this has big shoes to fill! How does it compare? Let's see!

Popping the lid reveals a blend with a few correspondences to the original. Same colour, same cut, same decent hydration, and the same aroma; a definite inclusion of Latakia. A bowl fills easily and ignites without a hitch.

The flavour's synonymous to the original. The first equivalent to jump out is that the Latakia adds a clear 'seasoning', but isn't too headstrong. On the whole, the tobaccos are really well rounded. There's rich Virginias (not too grassy, but quite fruity), piquant Orientals, and sweet Cavendish. I note, with Four Leaf, the first part of a bowl has a light sweetness from the Cavendish, but as the bowl progresses it seems more reminiscent of a light casing; honey, perhaps. It isn't the coolest burn; not 'hot', but above medium if pushed. However, it doesn't bite.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: nice.

Four Leaf? Even though it can become slightly above medium in temperature, it's still fermionic enough to deserve four stars:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: A few. Altinok Lee Van Cleef whilst typing
PurchasedFrom: GQ Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 12, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
The tin note is underwhelming, with little aroma at all, and no Latakia smokiness.

The mixture is pale brown, dark brown and almost black, with no golden virginias apparent.

Moisture level is good straight from the tin, no need to dry at all.

It lights easily and smokes well to the end, with only the char and true light needed. A cool smoke with no suggestion of tongue bite.

So here I am with my copy of Roget's Thesaurus next to me, but the only three adjectives I need are 'bland', 'uninteresting' and 'disappointing'. I am no Lat hound (my favourite Scottish mixture being Red Rapparee should tell you that) but the almost complete lack of Lat taste was a shock.

I will press the rest of the tin, using my £15 eBay pasta press, put it in a mason jar and revisit it in 6-9 months. If that improves it, I will update this review accordingly.

I have never smoked the Dunhill Aperitif, I bought this 50g tin to tick off another Scottish mixture. The next one in my sights is Robert McConnell's St James Park, also touted as an Aperitif clone. I have a tin on it's way from Germany courtesy of a good friend in Augsburg. SJP is not available in the UK.

Update 16/02/21 - after 5 days in the pasta press (turning the screw morning and night as the tobacco compresses further) I now have a hard disc which smells much more strongly of latakia than it did out of the tin. The effect of the leaf structures breaking down under pressure, who knows. This is encouraging though and I will give it six months in the jar before smoking some and reporting back.

Pipe Used: Vauen 4415 bent briar
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop, Preston, England
Age When Smoked: 50g tin arrived this morning.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 07, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Next in my tour of Charatans Dunhill substitutes, to my taste the rhyming "Four Leaf" is a dull understudy to that fantastic blend, although I can't find any particular defects besides excessive moisture content. Maybe I would have felt differently if it had not associated itself with that splendid, complex tobacco, and it does fit the same place of a richer blend for late in the day.

The tin aroma is the first sign: there isn't much of one. It's a very mild, smokey, hint of orientals aroma, and certainly doesn't leap from the tin to greet you. The tobacco is an uneven ribbon with some big chunks, and is supplied very moist indeed.

The flavour from the light is unremarkable, middle of the road English, the sweetness from the Cavendish is not so great as in the Dunhill blend (strange, as several of the Charatan blends have been much sweeter than their predecessors). There's a salty tang to the latakia. In its moist state as supplied there is a tendency to harshness not quite reaching "bite" but not at all what I expected in a blend with Cavendish. It tends to gurgle a little. These defects are reduced now the tobacco has dried a bit, but it's not velvety smooth. I have to say, the flavour is better now its been open a while and dried out a bit.

There isn't much development through the bowl, and that's the main thing setting the original apart. When I smoked Aperitif, almost every bowl would catch my attention at some point because the flavour was just so good, so rich, sweet and delicious and it varied from start to finish. This tobacco, while inoffensive, just doesn't capture my attention like that.

It burns to a minimal wad of dottle, without much need for relights. It has perhaps a smidgen more nicotine than Dunhills Aperitif.

All in all, not bad, but not a great substitute for Aperitif. I'd rather enjoy my recollection of that splendid stuff than risk dulling those happy memories convincing myself that this is similar. Thankfully I have a tin of Aperitif left for when I need to remind myself just how damn good it was...
Pipe Used: Northern Briars Bulldog
PurchasedFrom: Turmeus Liverpool
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 11, 2023 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The more I tried blends from the Charatan series, designed to fill the niche of the Dunhill pipe tobacco, which has been suddenly departed from the market, the more skeptical I became of each next blend. Especially when you consider that the hero of the review, Four Leaf, apparently named for the number of components, was created in an attempt to replace Dunhill Aperitif (which, by the way, was never renewed when Dunhill blends were produced under the Peterson brand). This Scottish blend has a complex flavor and taste that is a non-trivial task to recreate.

Appearance: the tin packaged early last year contained 50 grams of a blend of tobaccos in all shades of brown, from dark-wheat to the color of bitter chocolate. The cut is a fairly even ribbon of medium width, with occasional petioles and small flakes, though. I noticed few flakes with a greenish hue of unripe tobacco. I’ve been a little disappointed by this - in my memory, Dunhill did not allow this in its blends.

Flavor: initially well noticeable in the can "cheese" sourness covered the other notes, so I decided to let the tobacco to air out a little, pouring it into a glass jar. A few hours after opening, the sourness was almost gone and the tobacco revealed its true flavor. The smooth, slightly subdued bouquet had suede, a bit of tar, earthy and woody notes, a small amount of unsweetened spices and the lightest wine aroma of cavendish. The hay and fruity notes of Virginia were lost somewhere in the background. The overall bouquet was quite in the spirit of Dunhill blends... but had nothing in common with the Dunhill Aperitif.

Taste: A fairly harmonious overall bouquet that is, alas, sometimes, uneven for the Orientals. First of all, very light smokiness and a mixed with light oriental spice notes, which give a fair spice, but keep some hidden nuances; to catch them, you have to smoke tobacco very carefully - the taste clearly has coriander and cardamom notes, but some initial harshness and prevailing pepper taste makes them difficult to recognize. The faint wood and hay notes of Virginia have been kept carefully in the background. The Cavendish adds a slight plum-wine tone that almost disappears by the middle of the pipe, leaving only a subtle sweetness. Pipes with a short mouthpiece accentuate the initial harshness of the tobacco, relatively long and straight - somewhat softens it, but the tobacco smoked much softer in bents. The strength of the tobacco is medium, a large size pipe can deliver a slight nicotine kick. The tobacco is some sensitive to overheating, but smokes slowly, dry and cool, leaving almost no moisture and burning into a light-grey dusty ash. The aftertaste is woody, slightly sweet, almost absent, remaining on the tongue for only a few seconds.

The smoke is abundant, but quite light, with the smell of peat, smoldering wood and spicy herbs. However, the smell from it stays in the room for a long time.

What's the result? Harmonious smell, quite pleasant taste (apart from the harshness in the beginning, which I attribute to the freshness of the tobacco) - everything is very much in the style of the original Dunhill blends. But - no connection to Apetritif. St. James Park, made by Kohlhase & Kopp under Robert McConnell brand, came closer. This does not mean that Four Leaf is bad! It is quite worthy of attention even in its fresh form, and after being stored for a few years, it will be even better. So if you like it, smoke it and enjoy it. But just don't call this blend a copy of Dunhill Aperitif. These two blends are too different from each other. 3 of 4, but not much.
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, 106, D21, POTY 2007
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: 2022
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2023 Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable
I mentioned on one of my other reviews, that Latakia mixtures are quite similar to aromatics in the way that both are ten a penny, however, not all are equal.

Having never tried the dunhill mixture this is meant to be a replacement for I am judging this mixture on its own merits.

Charatan four leaf can be best summed up as a beautiful Victorian fronted architectural masterpiece, however you enter through the front door and then you realise it is just a facade and there is nothing behind the front.

Opening the tin, considering this is meant to contain Latakia there is no typical Dickensian squalor or campfire aroma, strange, however on lighting up it rears its head, thank god for that.....or so I thought. Very quickly the nice Latakia aroma just sort of disappears and you are left with....not very much. Yes there’s a good mouth feel to the smoke, it is smooth and no hint of bite but then after the initial nice aroma burns off you there isn’t much hint of anything else either.

Room note is none existent, strength is ok but a bit of taste goes nice with it as well.

All in all I was so disappointed with this blend, it just has nothing at all to warrant me making a repeat purchase and with each passing bowl I am finding it more and more of a chore to finish the tin, if tobacco wasn’t so fucking expensive in England it would of been trashed after the third bowl.

Four leaf is meant to contain Virginia, cavendish, orientals and Latakia. For me it contains four other things as well, bland, boring, underwhelming and totally forgettable.

I cannot in good faith even somewhat recommend this one.

1 star and even then I feel it’s too generous.
Pipe Used: Falcon
PurchasedFrom: The black swan shoppe.
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