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 1 - 10 of 95 Reviews
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.

-JimInks
74 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
43 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:

https://imgur.com/gallery/4UJdNNl
25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
A pleasant smoking experience. A nice amount of spice from the Orientals and Virginias and a dose of sweetness as well. A touch of butter could be discerned as well as a light incense quality to the smoke. The smokiness of the Latakia is light but always present. Toward the end the sweetness fades replaced by the woody notes of the Latakia. All in all an enjoyable smoke.
Pipe Used: Savinelli bulldog, MM General
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Even halfway into my second tin of Presyberian, this blend remains something of an enigma to me. This tin aroma is rich, earthy, and sweet. Even though it smells _very_ faintly of Latakia, none of that unique smokiness can be detected in the actual smoke. It smokes quite cooly, burning to a fine grey-white ash at the bottom of the bowl.

I've really begun to enjoy the interplay of the fully mature Virginia and buttery Oriental flavors that this historic blend offers. This is an excellent hot weather blend and something I will most definately keep in my rotation.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Pip
Feb 09, 2019 Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
Classic light English. Tin note is sweet from the Virginians musty and tangy from the Orientals and slightly smoky due to the latakia content but, it is mostly in the background. This is an oriental forward blend that will not fatigue your taste buds. The smokes is sweet, tangy, earthy and smoky that keeps things interesting. This is an overall good choice in the rotation when you want a smooth lighter English that some nuance that is not over powered by that latakia. Tobacco moisture is good out of the tin. No bite.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Visually, a striking mixture of tobacco ranging from blonde through to almost black.

The tin note is sweet and savoury. Pine notes predominate but there is a full earthiness redolent of leather and stables. Latakia is obviously here.

Lights easily with a single match and burns without need for relights or tamping to the very bottom of the bowl. An absolute delight.

The latakia is centre stage for the first third or so and then settles down. The latakia is not particularly aggressive however. I did not feel that I had been sitting alongside a campfire all night. As the bowl progresses the flavours marry and settle. It is sweet, subtle and soft. I did however detect some ammonia, though not enough to cause concern.

I could not pick out orientals apart from the latakia specifically. I really do think some delicate virginias bring much of the magic here. Whatever, the blend is a delight however it is made.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 27, 2004 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
"A mellow blend of US Virginia tobaccos and high quality Macedonian grades."

That is how this old blend is usually described?a little more useful, I'd say, that all that piffle about Stanley Baldwin. Do even the oldest smokers remember who he was? [The original appeaser, he was British prime minister on three occasions, 1923-24, 1924-29, and 1935-37.]

This is a virginia-oriental blend, and there is no latakia here, although some of the stoved Virginia might fool you. It is subtle, smooth, slightly bland, not exactly memorable?just like the 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley.

Pease's CAIRO, for example, is really the better mixture. And, of course, Fox' CAMPANILE is my absolute favourite for a Virginia-Oriental.

Yet I kind of enjoy this, even if it really lacks colour and piquancy to my old Episcopalian palate.
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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