Mac Baren Amphora English Blend

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


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Per Jensen
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams pouch
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.08 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 13 of 13 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2021 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
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2023 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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 31, 2022 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.
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