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 271 - 280 of 304 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 15, 2005 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable
I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with Prez mixture (and I was so eager to like it, too!). It has a medium latakia aroma upon opening - ditto on the taste. As one other reviewer mentioned and I agree, it reminded me of Squadron Leader, though I say it was not quite as good as SL. I will say it was a consistent smoke - neither getting better nor worse from top to bottom. Had to re-light more than a few times. To me, it seemed one-dimensional; no bite but a slightly bitter taste at the back sides of my tongue. I have had other English blends that were better - more complex, richer. This was rather flat. I will smoke it again ONLY if I a happen to be out of my regular English blend (which is my own concoction of equal amounts of Margate, And So To Bed, Squadron Leader, Frog Morton, and a Lane bulk English from my local shop).
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 30, 2005 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong
As someone who's only been smoking pipes for about a year, I was a bit intimidated at first by this blend (my usual staple up until now has been Petersons Sherlock and Sunset Breeze), fearing that it would be very overpowering and a bit too strong - this fear was further compounded when I first opened the tin - having been accoustomed to the fruity smells of the other tobaccos mentioned I found Presbyterian to be very strong on the nose.

The tobacco packs well, burns well and tastes very good. A real satisfying smoke and a change of pace from the more aromatic blends I am used to. My study now has two staple tobaccos - light and airy Sherlock and dour and serious Presbyterian. Thouroughly enjoyable.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
When I first read about this some time ago I assumed it was your run of the mill English, 100 year old formula or not. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is the best English blend I have ever smoked. And I like Pease, some Dunhill, Fox, etc. It has the richness and depth of a blend that is much heavier, yet I dare say it is more in the light to medium category, though some will put it a shade past medium.

It is smooth and tasty. It's a shag cut that packs easy, burns steady, tastes uniform bowl after bowl, is cool, and is not a wet smoke by any means. It is rich but not as heavy as a full balkan blend. The P&T reviews were more mixed but I think it is better.

It has quality virginia with no bite, unusual turkish varietals, and a smooth (heat treated?) yet discrete helping of latakia. The latakia is not as dominant as in other English blends with this much richness, so you can enjoy the oriental and virginia flirting. But the coolness, body and depth of that Cyprian leaf is there for sure.

This blend rivals even the inveitable Mr. Pease's offerings but with no need for more aging in my opinion. I can give no higher a compliment.

Sometimes I tire of smoking English blends due to their weight or redundancy, but this one is so tasty that you want another bowl soon after finishing one. I went though a tin in a small Garfinkle of old and in a new bent Ascorti in 10 days (quick for me). I ordered four tins immediately and will help myself to more. Highly Recommended.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 04, 2004 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
Presbyterian Pipe Tobacco Mixture, supposedly formulated before WWI, is blended in Germany for William P. Solomon of London.

The tin aroma of Presbyterian Mixture is unique. The aroma is slightly musty with smells of leather, hay, and undertones of plum. Initially, no substantial Latakia aroma was noticed. The contents of Presbyterian Mixture include U.S. grown Virginia and Macedonian tobaccos. Again, Latakia may be present but in minute amounts only. The color of this blend is composed mostly of lighter yellows, tans, and browns with amounts of dark black to a lesser extent.

The cut of Presbyterian Mixture is a long, thin, and stringy ribbon cut. Several stems were noticed. The blend packs well without any difficulties. The initial moisture is on the high side but the blend tends to dehydrate readily.

The initial light occurs quickly and evenly. The burn progresses at a medium-fast rate. Although Presbyterian Mixture tends to burn completely, the burn does not tend to overheat the pipe bowl. A smooth dark gray ash remains behind the steady burn of the tobacco. The room note is similar to other mild English blends and is tolerable.

The flavor of Presbyterian Mixture is nutty, dusty, and leather-like. The flavor seems to be a good balance between the sweet and the sour. The flavor does have the slightest touch of smokiness. A slight amount of topping may be present. Presbyterian Mixture burns cool and lacks any substantial tongue bite regardless of its higher moisture content. A consistent medium smoke is produced. No nicotine kick was noticed.

Presbyterian Mixture, although not overly characteristic, is a smooth and relaxing smoke that qualifies as an all day mild English smoke. Presbyterian Mixture is a satisfying alternative to the other more heady English blends on the market.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2004 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Packaging and Presentation:

PM comes in a "coin twist," printed tin and not the Pringles chips pop-top variety, with the paper label. Tobacco comes in short ribbons (not a shag-cut) of mostly dark browns and black. Moisture was above normal, but airing the mix a few minutes is adequate.

Tin aroma is sweet and floral with Orientals and Virginia tobaccos. Latakia is barely noticeable. This reminds me of Esoterica?s ?And So To Bed,? but less Latakia and without the headache I get just sniffing ASTB. PM is very inviting all the way around.

Packing Qualities:

Packed easily into a variety of group 4 and 5 sized pipes.

Lighting Properties:

One charring light, tamper and relight is usually all that is necessary to finish the bowl.

Burn Aroma:

Burn aroma is spicier and heavier than tin aroma would have me anticipate. The Orientals predominate, but subtle sweetness comes through, as does a touch of smokiness. Very pleasant.

Flavor Notes:

Oriental sweetness and spiciness come through and stay consistent throughout. Certainly not a monochromatic blend, PM is complex and acceptably rounded in flavor. There is a touch of bitterness, but I like it. Not heavy or thin. I smoke this throughout the day. I did not notice much in the way of changes from first to last third of the smoke.

Miscellaneous Smoking Sensations: Smoke volume: (Moderate) Moisture: (Somewhat wet; a one-pipe cleaner smoke) Mouth feel: (You have to work at tongue bite) Burn rate: (Fairly slow)

Overall Impressions:

PM had me at ?Hello.? It was what I was looking for in an all-day, before dinner smoke. Substantial flavor and rich aroma demanded that I keep puffing and reloading the empty bowl. PM burned to fine ash and no dottle. If you like Orientals blends with a touch of natural, sweetness and spice (and subtle smokiness), here you go. Like many old blends, it has survived for good reason. Try it and give your aromatic-bound pipesters a bowlful. They just might like it.

Update September 2004: While I remain a Presbyterian by affiliation, PM and I have drifted apart. Perhaps we will once again fraternize.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 07, 2004 Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
If I were an English mixture regular, this would be one of my favorites. It is a very tasty English but not so different from some of Dunhills' offerings.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2004 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Presbyterian Mixture is highly overlooked when it comes to masterful, tasty and full English blends. The Virginia here is top rate and while some may believe that this concoction contains latakia, my taste buds tell me that there is some stoved tobaccos, not latakia in the mixture. Perhaps it is the Macedonian leaf? Whatever it is, it works in spades.

Full, round and consistent throughout the bowl. Presbyterian reminds me of the Original Balkan Sobranie White more than any blend that I've smoked. Do yourself a favor and try this one.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 29, 2004 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable
There is nothing extraordinary about this blend, but nonetheless I find myself drawn to it frequently. Given the name, perhaps it?s an ?effectual calling.? Whatever it is, I highly recommend that both English and Virginia lovers try this light- to mid-weight English/oriental blend. After opening my first tin, I tried a few bowls then set it aside for about two months. When I came back to it I found both the aroma and taste much richer and captivating than it had been initially. If, like me, you enjoy old-style English blends that have withstood the test of time, you really must give Presbyterian a try.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 15, 2003 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I have waded through a few tins of Presbyterian, and have become quite comfortable with its singularity and strength. I do not detect latakia in here, just alot of oriental, cut with a smattering of virginias. Pres packs a solid punch, perhaps in an attempt on the blenders part to compensate for a perceived lack of depth or character. It smokes cool and has an interesting plum nose upon opening the tin. A good, steady middle of the road english pipe tobacco and likely the most oft recommended blend by myself to those looking for a portal into the somewhat mysterious and looming world of non-cased leaf. 08/03-I have taken to adding some latakia Flake to my jar of Pres--now the smoke is complete.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 12, 2003 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
Having usually smoked cavendish and other sweet stuff, the first time I opened a can of Presbyterian I nearly fell over. It has a strong, almost musty aroma that is not unpleasant but is an aquired taste. Smoking it was a chore at first, as the nicotine kick would bother me if I hadn't smoked at all for the previous three or four days. I mostly kept smoking it just to use it up and, well, I had paid for it. Having said that, I'm glad I kept trying it, because after awhile one can appreciate the full tobacco flavor, with a hearty tang, devoid of added flavors and processing agents. I have never experienced tongue bite, even when puffing rapidly, and the full taste is a good counterpart to fine coffee or strong ale. All in all a satisfying smoke.
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