Mac Baren Presbyterian Mixture

(3.20)
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.

Details

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

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.20 / 4
143

95

47

18

Reviews

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Displaying 31 - 40 of 303 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 01, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Mostly medium orange and tan leaf with a few darker ribbons. The aroma is rich with Orientals, and sweet with Virginias, but little Latakia smokiness get up my chimney. Packs nicely int all size pipes, and take flame readily. The initial flavors are the Virginias first and the Orientals right after them. There is an immediate layering of tastes, quite charming, and totally British, right-o. As the smoke progresses, the Latakia reminds you that it's there. Burns well, right to the bottom of the bowl, exceptionally dry and usually cool (unless you overpuff). I will get more of this.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 22, 2021 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
Mellow, pleasant, silky smooth. Can be an all day smoke. Tin note is fresh mozzarella. Room note is tolerable. Nicotine is mild. Taste is sweet & spicy. Butter, clove, black pepper, violet notes. More fresh & less spicy than EMP, I would rather consider this as a Balkan blend. Autumn temperature & wide bowl fits well to this tobacco.
Pipe Used: Clay
Age When Smoked: 6 months
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Presbyterian is truly a great smoke. For me it became a favourite after the first taste – I can definitely see why it's such a classic.

Now, as I'm currently studying for ordination, some of my fellow High-Church Lutherans might turn up their noses at me smoking a mixture named after another denomination, and a Calvinistic one at that. I'm sure Luther himself would have understood, though. He knew the value of good beer and companionship in keeping your spirits up – pretty sure he'd have been a smoker had he lived just a little later.

And of course, the Greek word "presbyteros" (πρεσβύτερος) just means "elder", and it's the origin of the very word "priest". So all men of the cloth should give this a try, that's an etymological truth!

What I taste and smell mostly in Presbyterian is a very spicy mixture. The virginias are subtly flavoured by the orientals and just a hint of latakia. It actually reminds me a lot of church incense (so you're Catholic? Orthodox? Go for it!).

It's fairly mild, nicotine-wise, and smokes fast as it's a very fine ribbon cut. Doesn't really bite but I get a little tongue tingle. It's quite dry in the tin and smokes like it.

I'd give this three and half stars if I could - the only thing that knocks of that half-star is the cut; I'd really like it to be somewhat more of a coarse ribbon.
Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney 999 and no-name Churchwarden
PurchasedFrom: Esterval's Pipe House
Age When Smoked: Fresh tin, recently produced.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 08, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Well, I am all out of my tin of Presby mix. So I guess I'll just write about it. Its one of my favorites. I want some now, but I don't have any and I'm desperately hoping my local shop has some when I walk through that door chiefing down a bowlful of one of my other blends tomorrow after work. weather ill be smoking king Charles mix, margate, sobranie, squadron leader, nightcap, artisans blend, empire English 536, or maybe even some ten to midnight tomorrow it doesn't matter .... either way they better have some Presbyterian mixture. I need it now that I'm out. I love English blends. That's all I'll smoke. I love Latakia. And weather or not presby has Latakia in it or not, I don't know , I don't care, I just really enjoy it. I remember my first bowl of it. I thought it was horrible straight outta the tin with no dry time. It was hot, it was spicy, it was cigarette like. However I put it in a jar leaving some space at the top for some air to settle it and allow it to do its thing. It's tasty after that. It's kind of nutty sweet flavor, creamy smoke, good spice level makes it one of my favorites. I guess when you have a blend that you hate to be out of , even if you don't smoke it all day or every day for that matter , it makes you suddenly realize, " hey this is indeed one of the best, and one of my favorites ." If your on the fence I say go for it ! - Happy smokes now!
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
From the sample I was given, Presbyterian came at the good moisture that did t require any drying time. From the tin I notice the the fragment orientals, very little smokiness from the Latakia though it is there, and a nice sweet aroma that is from the Virginias and possibly even a topping.

Upon lighting I am greeted by the orientals. They are fragrant and floral with a touch of an incense note. The Virginias are about as upfront as the orientals. They are a little bright and citrusy, with a lot of grass, some bright notes, and a good amount of sweetness. The Latakia is about as noticeable in the smoke as it is the tin aroma and serves only as a condiment. It is very woody and a little smokey. It is more noticeable some times then others. I can’t tell if there is a topping on this. If there is it is lightly applied and only enhances the sweetness of the VAs. This blend is musty and fairly tangy, which contrasts well with the sweetness. It is also mildly complex.

Presbyterian Mixture smokes cool without any bite or rough edge, though it can get a little warm if puffed too fast. It didn’t require a few relights. I’m the nicotine content isn’t too strong but it satisfies. Overall it is very well behaved. 3.25 out of 4 stars.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is one of those blends that I've heard a lot of talk about. Presbyterian is a staple for lots of folks and so after hearing so much about it I decided to get it. There seems to be some confusion as to whether this is an English blend or not. According to the manufacturers website, and the back of the tin, this blend does contain a small amount of Cyprian Latakia.

The tin art on this blend is actually quite attractive in an old timey sprt of way. When you open it up there is a pretty consistent ribbon cut with lots of shades of browns and yellows with a little black Latakia in there. The tin note to this is very alluring. I smell sweet bready, bright Virginias, herbal, tangy Orientals, and some very light Latakia smokiness. It packs well and lights well. The tobacco comes at a smokable dryness.

When lit, it is a very tasty blend. The first thing I notice is the sweetness. The Virginias are sweet, citrusy, earthy, and bready. The Orientals are well rounded, tangy, herbal, and floral. The creamy, smokey Latakia is in the background, it provides a bridge between the Virginias and Orientals. This is very well blended, and I have to say very easily smokable.

The taste is a medium. It fills the mouth with creamy sweetness. The strength is an average medium. The room note this one is a little more friendly than your average English mixture. I think this is one of my favorite English blends and one that is an easily repeatable all day sort of smoke. This gets 4 stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson Standard System XL315
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 6 months
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 19, 2020 Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
This is a top notch English tobacco; it’s earthy, smoky, spicy and just a little sour. I think it benefits from a hour or so of drying time, just to let it breathe a bit and shake off a little of that moisture. This is one of my go-to blends for a latakia and oriental English blend. It's one of those blends that come to mind when someone mentions a typical English tobacco, kind of like Squadron Leader, Skiff or London Mixture.
Pipe Used: Peterson 1/2 bent Donegal Rocky
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2019 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Presbyterian Mixture Melange: I was gifted this from a clergy colleague who is of the Presbyterian Church - as an Anglo Catholic I still find it enjoyable & highly recommend it... apologies to the Archbishop of Canterbury! Upon opening the tin you find the tobacco neatly ensconced in a plastic bag with s multi-language description ...it says that the contents are of Latakia, Oriental/Turkish & VA ... it is a splendid arrangement of course cut... it is a fragrant & spicy complex mixture that smokes as a mellow, earth-tone & bright blend. The Latakia plays a supporting role & does not dominate ... thus a great introduction to those pipsters wanting to try the English blends. It did not have a “bite” & smoked cool. I was smoking this whilst outdoors @ intermission @ the Symphony recently & drew favorable comments... from men & women. The smoke is consistent throughout & I would describe it as elegant. I recommend it! 3+ Stars.
Pipe Used: Briars: Dunhill & Ashton’s
PurchasedFrom: Gift, SmokingPipes.com
Age When Smoked: Recent
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2014 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
Presbyterian Mixture was the second blend I ever smoked. My first (purchased in complete ignorance of tobacco blends, of course) was a 2oz bag of black cavendish from a local tobacconist. Needless to say, I was impressionable and had nothing to which I could compare Presbyterian. I was impressed.

Since those early days, Presbyterian has become a favorite blend. It is complex, heady and balanced. Each smoke is consistent. I used to think that this blend smoked a little hot and bit, but I chalk that up to inexperience early on. You really cannot have a bad smoke when Presbyterian is in the bowl.

Presbyterian's tin note and smoking experience are very unique. There are a lot of "Balkan" blends (an ambiguous misnomer for a VA+Latakia+Orientals blend) out there, and it is a challenge to find any that diverge from the hackneyed formula. Presbyterian successfully breaks free, and is memorable and enjoyable every time. I highly recommend this classic blend!
Pipe Used: Savinellis: Duca Carlo & Trevi 114 KS
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: New
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 17, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I was completely blown away by this. Last time I was so excited about a blend was when I smelled Balkan Sobranie 🙂

Smell-wise it is like a basket of smokey figs and dates and plums and almonds plus some pepper and pine tree. A bit sweet but rather leathery (in a good way) and smokey.

Out of the tin it seemed OK but in the pipe proven to be just a bit to moist. It burned a bit hot and had a very-very-tiny tongue bite. It should not be a problem, it was me being so excited that I puffed the first bowl a bit too fast. I recommend giving it a little time to dry.

The smoke was just wonderful. It is rich and spicy. The tin suggests that it does not contain latakia but it tastes like it contains a very little. The Macedonian tobacco is a delight to taste and is complemented by a virginia that has more of the mature earthy notes than straight honey and vanilla notes.

The blend is Oriental forward. I would not call the taste sweet and the Orientals play the main role all the way but mostly in the first 1/3 is where the Virginia is prominent. Then it starts to recede giving more and more to the Orientals. Nevertheless the Virginia is still lingering there by the end of the bowl as well. The smell first is leathery which turns to increasingly spicy and fur-like by the end. The Latakia is noticeable but only as a nice condiment. The Orientals are exciting and spicy, mostly cinnamon, allspice and cardamom. As the different parts of the blend play together, different tastes surface and vanish like figs, peanut, hazelnut, dates.

If you close your eyes and let the spices carry you away it's easy to picture yourself in one of the historic cities of Lebanon, Turkey or Egypt.

Highly recommended.

UPDATE 29/10/14:

After a couple of months the tobacco dried a bit and now it has the perfect humidity. Smell and taste-wise I do not detect much difference. It is still a very nice blend and it still has plenty excitement in it.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Ecume Rusticata 626
PurchasedFrom: www.4noggins.com
Age When Smoked: freshly bought
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