Amphora's English blend utilizes a mixture of Latakia, Oriental, and Virginia tobaccos for an spicy, earthy, and well-balanced smoke.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByPer Jensen
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsLatakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Packaging50 grams pouch
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Product Image
Mild to Medium
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Sort By
Please login to review this blend.
JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The earthy, woody, smoky, leathery sweet Cyprian Latakia is the lead component, but not by much. The spicy, woody, earthy, mildly floral, herbal, vegetative, dry and sour, moderately buttery sweet Orientals provide close competition, and at times, almost upstages the Latakia. The grassy, tart and tangy citrusy, lightly tangy dark fruity Virginias are just above being a condiment in terms of effect, and not by its percentage in the blend. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium, while the taste just misses the medium mark. The nic-hit is almost as potent as the strength. Won’t bite or get harsh, and has only a light rough edge at times. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a mostly consistent, mildly sweet and smoky, savory flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a lightly lingering pleasant campfire after taste and room note. By design, it’s an all day smoke with a little complexity and depth.


20 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a medium ribbon in a variety of colors. The pouch note is all campfire. It came at a great state of hydration for me.

This was a good smoke, and it is a better than average English blend for my preferences. It is heavier in Orientals than some, and it is not a latakia powerhouse. There is a little fruit and sweet from the Virginia, and some spice from the Orientals. It is a pleasant combination.

It packed and burned without quirkiness or drama. Either it has "enough there" that I am not prone to puff, or it burns a little slow. It is pleasantly complex without being challenging.

This is a nice English blend. It is available and comes in a pouch. What is not to like?

12 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Mac Baren - Amphora English Blend.

Having finished my tin of Chieftain Blacksmiths Blend I wanted another English on the go. My tobacco tray always has one of each genre opened! So, a few weeks ago I got this out of my stash.

It isn't too fine a ribbon, slightly coarse compared to some, it arrives a little damp in the pouch, and has an emphatic English aroma. Although a touch moist it needed no airing to fire up.

On to the smoke: lovely! The overall feeling is quite heavy, although not too caustic with Latakia. The Lat' leads, without question, but is smoothed by the Oriental leaf. This, rather than being too floral or perfume-like, has a more creamy, glutinous feel to it. The Virginia is definitely in last place. But, this is the usual, honest, case with my English smoking; I find the Va gets smothered! The smoke's cool and comes from a mid-speed, reliable, burn.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: full but I quite like it.

Amphora English Blend? Great. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: 3 months

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

10 people found this review helpful.

Lager Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lager (53)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I respectfully disagree with oldermanpipe as Mac Baren has done an exceptional job with the Amphora lines and their H&H series line. This one is a very good, rich English and Per has hit it spot on. The cut is a fine ribbon with good quality leaf. The blend dosen't fight itself like some do. This would be a good entry level blend for some wishing to explore English blends. For a more detailed review see JimInks. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Pete's, Savs, Stanwells

Age When Smoked: New to 2 months

Purchased From: Smoking.pipes

9 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (321)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The colour of the pouch is rather tacky, but what counts is what's in the inside. In my opinion MacBaren has done more than a decorous job in reinstating the name of Amphora in the pipe tobacco world. And in my view this one is a very good example.

Contrary to the pouch the contents is sober, well balanced and I would even say elegant: a very simple, classic (and classy) blend of matured Virginias and Cyprus Latakia. And that's it! No Turkish or other Orientals!

Very English indeed, but with that Danish twist which tends to downplay the proportion and the strength of the Latakia leaf employed, making it less potent and, above all, less pungent. I'm honestly surprised at some of my esteemed colleagues in the sense of them noting the flavour of the Orientals. I know it also says so in this page description, but if you read the pouch's description, in this mixture there are only matured Virginias and just a touch of Latakia.

If anything this tobacco reminds me of another English style mixture with that Danish touch: Larsen's Selected Blend N°20. Latakia fans may find these tobaccos bland and lacking in character. I find them quite agreeable: tasty, harmonious, not at all overwhelming, and an excellent choice if you want to enjoy in public a good Virginia with that Latakia undertone, whilst avoiding the risk of being lynched.

Recommended for those wanting to experiment English style blends for the first time, or as a change of pace from the stronger an fuller versions of Balkans and English mixtures in order to enjoy a simple, uncomplicated yet surprisingly good smoke.

Pipe Used: Brebbia

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Joshua's Pipe Tobaccos

Similar Blends: Larsen's Selected Blend N°20.

4 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (25)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When a friend told me that Amphora now has an English blend, I was intrigued and bought a pouch. It was an experience.

This is not an English blend. It is a Danish blend, with some Cyprian Latakia added. Amphora is made by Mac Baren, and this has a typical Mac Baren taste. It doesn't bite at all, but from first light to somewhere below mid-bowl, the dominant flavor is dark-fired Kentucky, even though that is not a listed ingredient. As Charles Barkley says, "I might be wrong, but I don't think so." If Amphora English is reminiscent of any other blend, it would be HH Vintage Syrian, but with very good quality Cyprian Latakia. DFK is better subsumed by the Syrian; Cyprian seems to fight a losing battle with it.

I'll give it two stars for the quality of the ingredients and for its smoking properties, but it's simply not my dish of tea.

Pipe Used: GBD Prehistoric Zulu, Baraccini pot.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

4 people found this review helpful.

James C. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
James C. (17)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Mildly delicious blend. Tantric's review is about the consent of mine. Easy smoking, simply elegant blend of Virgina and Latakia. As a whole it has a polished mouthfeel to it. It smokes very mild, but, a notch or two above that in terms of flavor. It has that underlying Amphora taste and is an easy smoking all day blend. Mild sweetness, yeasty bread, occasional subtle spice and nut/wood, and smokey presence throughout.

Pipe Used: Bebbria Puccini

Age When Smoked: New

Similar Blends: Latakia+Virginia.

3 people found this review helpful.

Olaf the Traveller Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Olaf the Traveller (7)
Mild None Detected Mild Unnoticeable

Not very good choice for Latakia mix, poor aroma and taste of wet carton. Fire looses very often, tobacco melts in whole carbonized mass (tobacco was drying on paperlist before smoking too). Waste of time and money for me.

Pipe Used: Lorenzo Spitfire Pavia

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Similar Blends: Peterson "Wild Athlantic".

2 people found this review helpful.

Ildefonso Cárdenes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ildefonso Cárdenes (1)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Unnoticeable

I think Mac Baren has a really good mix. It doesn't burn the tongue, it doesn't go out in all the smoke and the Latakia adds a perfect touch to the Virginia. I smoked this many times and I like it more each time.

Pipe Used: Stanwell, Big Ben, Dr. Boston

1 person found this review helpful.

Robby the Belgian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Robby the Belgian (24)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A pleasant blend of latakia and floral notes, that is very consistent throughout the smoke. It might not be the best floral English blend out there, but it excels in its price range.

Burns fine, not too many relights necessary.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 139

Age When Smoked: 3 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Ocelot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ocelot (33)
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Tasty english mixture blend. It´s mild and flavourful, but it burns hot and gives me a tongue bite. I´d give it 3 stars, but these cons drowned it in only 2 out of 4. That´s a pity.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brunello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brunello (166)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Although the entire Amphora line is extremely competitive at this price point, I’ve been less enthused about this English blend than I have been about the Burley, Kentucky, and Virginia blends. There is no question about the quality here; it’s simply a matter of style and my personal preferences. There are so many types of blends with Latakia that when I say English, everybody will have their own idea of what that means, and likely a certain favorite will come to mind. It is a challenge to be ‘objective’ about this.

I do recognize a style here that many pipers seem to like: a creamy, muted Cyprian-style Latakia smokiness that is mid-palate dominant, with Virginias that are more on the vegetal and earthy side than on the sweet and bready side, and without much in the way of spicy overtones. As I was jarring I noticed a very prominent ripe black plum aroma, but this never showed up on any of my tastings. What I do pick up on is a slight coffee note. Oftentimes Latakia is not cased at all, but sometimes a light casing is used, or even just a little sugar in the water as the leaves are hydrated before hanging up for the smoke cure. I once did a light casing of some raw Latakia using coffee and brown sugar (that was some good stuff!) So, in Amphora English I get a persistent undertone of what reminds me of a medium roast minerally-rich volcanic coffee (San Sebastian), with a dash of cream, but no sugar. Also a little baker’s chocolate. The common thread being flavors that are pleasing but not sweet. Otherwise I’d say this is a minimally cased blend, with very little in the way of non-tobacco nuances. Smokes like a medium-full English with notable creaminess of texture, coffee and earthy notes punctuated by the occasional bitter herbal note that I would guess to be small leaf Macedonian.

I had particularly pleasing synergy with one pipe, a Savinelli 677 using the new 6mm charcoal filters, and in that pipe I got more savory meats and roasted chestnuts, and none of the bitter herbal notes. It is based on that experience that this blend earns its three stars.

The chief competition for this would be other pouch blends and/or value-priced bulk blends. Among pouches I found this slightly better (fuller, creamier) than John Bull, but falling below the complexity of Peterson Wild Atlantic (no longer available?). I’d give John Bull 2.5 stars, Amphora 3 stars, and Wild Atlantic 3.5 stars.

Bulk options are numerous, and I believe I’ve tried them all (I have tasting notes on over 600 commercial tobaccos, so I’ve got a long way to go in posting reviews!). The really cheap bulks by Stokkebye and Sutliff don’t offer much competition, though I do always keep on hand a few which undergo minor tweaks to bring them more in line with my preferences. Those include: Count Pulaski, Voodoo Queen, and Lancer’s Slices. The only one I smoke the way it comes is Arango Balkan Supreme, a kind of 4-star reference for a Balkan style. Of course, for a tiny increase in price I would recommend trying Wilke. They have many Latakia blends I’ve enjoyed, a favorite being Wilke 400.

Verdict: Best as an after-dinner style for somebody who values a smooth mid-palate over nuance. Quality of ingredients and processing earn this 3 stars; the lack of a fourth star is simply a matter of stylistic preference. As they say: Your Mileage May Vary.

Nobody has rated this review yet.