Mac Baren Presbyterian Mixture

Mellow blend of US Virginia tobaccos and high quality Macedonian grades-exclusive, aristocratic pipe mixture.
Notes: This fine tobacco originally had no name. It was blended before the first World War especially for the Very Rev. Dr. John White, sometime minister of the Barony Kirk in Glasgow and Moderator of the General Assembly in Scotland in 1929. He introduced it to Stanley Baldwin, later Earl Baldwin, Prime Minister in 1923, 1924 and 1935. He liked it so much that regular supplies were sent down to him and it was he who suggested that it be called "Presbyterian Mixture". As there continues to be controversy over the question of whether Presbyterian Mixture contains latakia, the following quote from page six of the blender's 2008 catalogue should leave the matter settled: "Extraordinarily soft blend of finest US Virginia grades and a number of selected latakia leaf tips. Ideal mixture also for beginners with English tobaccos." Originally blended for mass market by William P. Solomon, whose recipe it still follows. The "International" version is called "Melange". Currently made by Mac Baren.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Planta
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Re-release


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

Average Rating

3.20 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 304 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 06, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
As a Catholic, I know that I will burn in the fiery pits of hell for all eternity for smoking this heretical weed, but, hey, you only die once.

On the can it says it's Virginias and Macedonians. George Washington was from Virginia and Alexander the Great was from Macedonia, so it has that going for it. I can't tell if it has Latakia in it or not. Some people say it does and some people say it doesn't. You know, I bet they're both wrong somehow.

The wife says the room note is nice, which means she can stay indoors while I smoke it. Togetherness, as everyone knows, is so important in a marriage.

The smell from the can is delightful, a sour, manure-y, farm-y-ness you city slickers wouldn't understand. I love it. If it was a deodorant, I'd be rubbing it into my armpits right now.

Smoking it is a subtle, nuanced, fragrant, somewhat spicy adventure. It's an adult tobacco and not for the Captain Black kids--easy going enough to smoke all day, but complex enough to make it well worth it. If I could say anything bad about it, it would be that I wish, perhaps, that it was a hair spicier.

The three main tobaccos in my current rotation are Presbyterian Mixture, Frog Morton's Cellar, and Balkan Sasieni. Presby is my favorite of the three and I reach for it most often.

Now, about handing out stars (this, by the way, is my first review)...

Do I give it four stars because I really, really like it, and, yes, I do highly recommend it? Or do I keep the four star rating for something really face-melting, really off-your-meds good? No idea, but I sure can't see myself sitting down and writing a review for a crappy tobacco--and believe you me I have smoked my share of those over the years.

So I guess expect a lot of glowing reviews. That is, until I get bored with reviewing pipe tobacco and vanish into the mists of the internet.
146 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The major component is the grassy, tart and tangy citrus sweet Virginia which forms the base of this blend that the other tobaccos play off. The Orientals are mildly woody with a little earth, spice, herbalness, vegetation, and a hint of floral and sourness. They underscore every puff at their least noticeable and at its peak, offers an interesting contrast to the Virginias. The smokey, woody, earthy, musty, sweet Cyprian Latakia is condimental at best, and is occasionally a little elusive in the back ground. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Not much complexity, but this thin ribbon cut blend burns cool, and clean at a slightly fast pace with a mildly sweet, spicy savory flavor. Requires few relights. No harsh spots to be found, and it won’t bite. Leaves just a little dampness in the bottom of the bowl, which won’t interfere with your experience. Has a mildly sweet, lightly spice after taste, and a light campfire room note. Close to being an all day smoke, and may well be one for those who are used to heavier English blends.

75 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 27, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I have heard about Presbyterian for some time and have wanted to try it. I finally found a tin, picked it up and placed into my rotation. When it came up I approached it carefully and tried not to get too worked up over it as I have been disappointed, over anticipated blends, before. Upon opening the tin I noted a pleasant, earthy aroma of Virginia tobacco. The color was very bright, contrasted by the dark Latakia tips. Very pleasing to the eye and nose. The tobacco seemed very moist and I had trouble keeping my first bowl lit. I also did not get a very good taste from it. I found that first bowl to be rather bland. Based on past experience, I tried pre-packing a bowl for the next day and let it sit overnight. I smoked it on my way to work the next morning and, to be honest, was stunned by the difference! After my first false, or charring, light, the bowl stayed lit and burned all the way through. I found the taste to have the sweetness of a good Virginia yet a sort of butter-creaminess also. I did not get, and have not gotten, the "saltiness" nor the "sourness" which others speak of. It is a unique flavor, all of its own. The Latakia lends a earthy, smokey touch but is not overpowering by anymeans. The flavors continue to develope the more I smoke Presbyterian and this has earned a regular spot in my rotation. I am a Frog Morton lover but I think this has now ranked alongside my favorite FM blends.
55 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I got two tins of this in a firesale from someone reducing inventory in the cellar. This tobacco had been recommended to me by several people.

I enjoyed this a lot. It is a tasty Virginia-forward blend with orientals that raise the bar but do not dominate. It is sweet and savory. It is a great smoke and has a lot of balanced flavor. Like others I taste a little latakia, but it is a condiment and not the point of the blend. The smoking experience is subtle and not a sledge hammer.

Pipe Used: Peterson African meer, several briars
Age When Smoked: tins bought from someone divesting
44 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2008 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I noticed that one of the reviewers wondered why the reviews of this blend are so varied and contradictory. Maxim Engel of pipes2smoke (and quite an authority on tobacco types), cleared that up by telling me that Presbyterian Mixture has had three blenders since its inception many moons ago. It was first produced in England, then Denmark and now Germany. My review below is from the German made variety:

Here's my Reader's Digest version of impressions regarding Prez Mixture (which obviously has fooled a lot of taste buds into believing there is Latakia in the mix.) Still, there are many examples of Virginia leaf, in particular, cured in a manner that will fool the taste buds into believing it is Latakia (Condor, McClelland's Black Shag and the English version of Walnut are prime examples). It is a blend that is unique and unwavering as you work your way down the bowl. It smells like Latakia in the tin--although there isn't any. It has somewhat of a Latakia taste when puffing--although there isn't any. It packs more wallop (i.e. nicotine) than most Latakia blends though, and that is probably because there is no Latakia in Presbyterian Mixture.

It smokes cool, burns evenly and even has an okay scent when whiffed by those you love.
43 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 25, 2013 Mild to Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant
This may have latakia in it, but I don't think so. I think some are tasting the nuances of the Orientals. Who knows, blenders don't always reveal all their secrets. The tin description does not mention latakia, yet it does the Macedonian. If there is latakia then there is not much. The aroma from the tin is delightfully sweet and sour with a touch of smokiness.

After 10 minutes or so of dry time, this packed quite well and took to the flame nicely. Good volume of smoke and greatly appreciated.

I taste a wonderful interplay of Virginia and the Orientals, this is approaching heavenly. The smoke is dense and heady. Not a strong nicotine hit, but there doesn't have to be. Not stout and strong, but gently assertive and definitely very full. This is just what I have been looking for. Highest recommendation!!

Smoke in peace, all.
36 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a superb classic blend. The tobacco is an amalgamation of thinly cut, brightly colored ribbons, mixed with chunky bits of brown and black leaf. Fresh from the tin, the moisture content is perfect and it requires little dry time. The tin note smells of rotting/fermenting fruit, laced with a touch of spice and a trace of wood smoke.

When lit, I get a hint of sweet clove and a subtle sensation of pepper on the tongue. Light in body, smooth in texture with flavors that are far from bold, the smoke is still somehow delicious and extraordinarily fragrant. That said, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the highlight of this blend is the rousing perfume of Presbyterian’s Macedonian leaf. When put to flame, it reveals a musty, slightly sour and almost medicinal scent that is delicately offset by the sweet ambrosial trail of latakia. The Virginia provides good structure but the interplay between the Oriental and Latakia leaf, (the aromatic facets of Presbyterian if you will), is what makes this product so exquisite. Not since Margate have I come across a more intoxicating tobacco aroma. Presbyterian stays nicely lit and has a delightful mid to end bowl flavor that is very well balanced. It is best enjoyed in still air and it would be a waste to smoke this outdoors on a breezy day.

In today’s world of powerfully complex & densely flavored tobacco mixtures, Presbyterian continues to be a refreshing reminder of how tasteful milder blends can be. A piper looking for a strong statement in Latakia will most likely pass this over, but if you’re seeking that special Oriental forward smoke with a just a touch of Latakia, Presbyterian might fit nicely in your rotation.

Simply elegant and highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum and Briar
Age When Smoked: fresh
26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 02, 2010 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable
I first bought a tin of Presbyterian yesterday afternoon. A day later, it's more than half gone. I haven't been this excited about a tobacco since I first sampled 965, which I devoured just as quickly. I've heard blends described as creamy, 965 was the only experience I'd describe as such, until I managed to get a hold of Presbyterian.

I opened the tin in the shop, and was greeted with such a wonderful scent, one that I have difficulty describing, and have only come so close as to compare it to that of cured olives. The scent is infectious, and I've been quick to close the lid for fear that it might drift away for good.

The thin, stringy tobacco comes tucked away in a plastic bag, nested inside the tin. Presbyterian is very moist as a consequence, and my first experiments with packing and lighting proved disastrous. One early attempt came in a cob, which I must have fired with my lighter for a good minute without any sort of draw. Confused, I gave the cob a thorough look, and realized I had cracked the shank with the heat! I've taken to filling the chamber of a pipe just after finishing a smoke with another pipe, and returning in an hour or two to a perfect match.

The taste is wonderful, sweet and rich, a strength that builds nicely throughout the smoke yet never overpowers. I crave rough smokes, and strangely not found myself wanting of more nicotine. My compulsive need to apply Perique has been derailed, for the short term. There is a bit of Latakia in this, yet it's subtle enough to confuse some into believing it's not there, very much like Early Morning Pipe, though stronger in body. In all the desire my cigarettes have found solitary company, oddly.

You find a tobacco you like, and it shortly disappears. For the first time, I've been thinking of building a cellar.

And here it is:
25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
Planta - Presbyterian Mixture.

Upon opening it one is greeted by a splendid earth-like aroma and the cut is fabulously even with a great amount of moisture (not too wet nor too dry). If you "dry draw" pre light you will get a really scintillating flavour of the tobaccos used: dominantly Virginia albeit you can detect with ease the Orientals and Latakia.

Once lit the tobaccos are balanced nicely, giving a truly auspicious smoke that does not bite. Like the un-lit aroma the smoke has a splendid earthy quality to it. A good level of nicotine also as its just the right strength, for me. Very pleasing indeed!

Brilliant. Four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Mr Brog
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 12, 2013 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Upon the opening of the tin, I was greeted by the aroma of rotting fruit, vinegar and figs or raisins perhaps, with a slight hay or straw smell present. It was quite unpleasant whilst placing my nose directly above the tin, but somehow seemed to meld together into a pleasant fermented tobacco, hay type smell if wafted toward the nose from a distance.

Oddly enough, the tobacco was packaged in plastic, covered by a piece of paper with some form of a description I'm guessing, which was written in German. I found this quite odd, as the sticker on the top of the tin was written in English and French. Perhaps they should have covered the gamut of major languages and placed a sticker on the bottom written in Spanish. At any rate, back to the task at hand...

The tobacco was a bit moist out of the tin and required a slight air drying of about 15 minutes prior to entering the pipe. It packed easily and took light nicely after a charring burn. I experienced no tongue bite, and the tobacco burned quite cool in the bowl. I detected no casing or topping, but picked up on some Latakia type smoky flavors mid bowl on down to the finish. It was very slight and quite pleasant! The rest of the flavors were somewhat of leathery sweetness and the raisins or figs detected in the tin note. None of the vinegar I first smelled in the tin came through in the smoke. She was mellow and smooth throughout the entire bowl, but I did get a slight nicotine hit at the bottom, which I found to be quite pleasing.

I have since smoked this Presbyterian delight alongside a spot of Earl Grey with cream in the morning, and a single malt Scotch whiskey in the evening. Both of which were quite blissful! The evening smoke allowing the contemplation of things more complicated, punctuating the important details by pointing my pipe as we pipers so often do.

A wonderful smoke, this. 5 out of 4 stars!
19 people found this review helpful.
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