John Middleton, Inc Prince Albert

Crimp-cut, mild smoking mixture. Made in the USA.
Notes: Tobacco Hall of Fame Inductee. Prince Albert was introduced by R.J Reynolds in 1907. R.J. Reynolds sold the brand to the John Middleton Tobacco Company, Limerick, PA, in 1987. As of 2021, the production moved from the USA to Dominican Republic.


Brand John Middleton, Inc
Blended By John Middleton, Inc
Manufactured By John Middleton, Inc.
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Cavendish
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 1.5 oz pouch; 14 oz plastic tub
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.95 / 4





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Displaying 21 - 30 of 504 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2007 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Prince Albert is another one of the classic American burley-based blends, largely unchanged since its original formulation. The crimp-cut was intended for either cigarettes or pipe smoking. There's nothing in this blend but burleys; that's it. Today, since the Middleton Company took over the blending and sales, there has been some variations with flavoring, including a vanilla overcase and a brief attempt at menthol, but if you get the red can or the red pouch, then it's pretty close to what I smoked in the mid-1960s. This is a hard tobacco to objectively review: you either like it or hate it. I like it, because the flavor is the flavor of real tobacco, w/o casing and condimental tobaccos. I'm sure there's propylene glycol as a humictant, but PG burns off quickly WITH NO AFTERTASTE. PA: Best when fresh. Better in a pocket tin than in the pouch. PA can grow on you, in a mid size billiard on a cold morning sipping coffee before fishing or hunting, there's little better to smoke. It packs easily, lights quickly and after the initial bitterness, can settle into a pleasant smoke. It always seems to burn to a fine gray ash for me, w/o a lot of moisture. The room aroma can be bitter if you were expecting something other than tobacco. I have dedicated pipes for PA and H&H only, to preserve the quality of the smoking. But, I wouldn't recommend it to relatively new smokers.

Update: Since my first review of this blend, I hope that getting older has made me wiser. I have had the opportunity to smoke more PA than any other "Over-The-Counter" (OTC) blend. The term, "OTC" is so much more evocative of the tobacco's true nature of its ready availability than calling it a "drug-store" blend. In any case, despite sometimes being a little too moist in the plastic tub, and I only buy the tub since the pop-top pocket tin seems no longer to be available, PA is a genuinely fine all-day smoke. I no longer smoke Half and Half, because I cannot abide the industrial chemical taste. So many of my other OTC favorites are either disappearing or have become transmuted by their current marketers (to call them blenders insults every real blender). PA has risen to the top of the list as a steady, dependable burley based blend, cool and fragrant, easy on the tongue and respectful when smoked through the day. This blend is not great art, nor was it intended to be. But, PA lends a constancy to pipesmoking, w/o pretension or posturing. PA may be the best OTC blend on the market today. I alter my review to four stars.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2003 Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable
I like all kinds of tobacco. English, Naturals, Aromatic, you name it, I like alot of them. So I am always willing to try something new. But when I ran out of my favorit tobacco, I stopped at a convienence store, in a small town, hoping they would have some pipe tobacco. Well they did, but only one, Prince Albert. Never tried it before, and since the selection was limited, I bought it, with my usual open mind towards a new tobacco. When I opened the pouch, I was expecting some form of aroma, but where was it? I placed the pouch right under my nose, and I did detect somewhat of an aroma of tobacco. Well, I filled my pipe, applied fire, and started to smoke. At least I thought I was smoking. Smoke was coming out of my pipe, I was puffing smoke from my mouth, but I could not detect any hint of flavor. I continued to smoke, wondering where the tobacco was. I still saw the smoke, puffed the smoke, but still nothing, except half way through, I was welcomed with a little bite. Soon after that, the tobacco was all burned. Didn't last long. There was not anything realy objectionable about this tobacco, there just was not anything at all to it. I've used some of it, to stretch some of my favorit blends, when I found myself running low, and for this it does fine. However, I still have the same pouch, and its been over three months since I bought it. I don't think I will be replacing it when it is gone. Maybe the Prince should think about abdicating.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 10, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I bought a tin at some sort of tobacco outlet in Kentucky - yeah, a burley in Kentucky. I had tried Sir Walter Raleigh and Half&Half. I was wanting to try another of the classic American burleys, and of course there's the joke. That sealed it. I gave it a try, and boy, am I glad I did.

On opening the tin, I got a whiff of burley. The aroma takes me back to the smell of a Kentucky tobacco barn in the late fall when the tobacco is curing. The cut is described as a crimp cut. It looks sort of like someone took a ribbon-cut and sliced the ribbons into shorter pieces. Maybe that's what other crimp cuts look like. I know of one or two B&M stores that do their own blending that offer crimp cut tobaccos, but I've never tried for comparison.

On lighting, I got the flavor of a mellow burley - nutty and tasty, not overwhelming. I don't taste a casing, but others have described one and have guessed at what it might be. As just about every tobacco - even English blends - have some sort of casing, I will buy that it's there, but it's so light that I didn't notice. What I get is a smooth, mellow burley without any bite. It's not overly strong, yet it still has enough nicotine to have it in a small-bowled pipe.

The tobacco in the tin was sufficiently dry, so I doubt it is treated with PG. If so, it is with a very light hand, not like some that are goopy and never dry out. That said, it has maintained its freshness in the tin and my fold-over pouch for quite some time.

My tastes run from a good English to straight VA and VAPER blends and even the occasional light aromatic. But, sometimes I just feel like an old-fashioned burley blend. PA has become my go-to for burley. While it is sufficiently strong enough to enjoy in a small pipe for a short smoke, I can go back to it over and over during the day without fear of tongue bite. I also agree with the reviewer who said it is a good palate cleanser. It has a great flavor, but it doesn't rob your ability to taste other tobaccos - or anything else for that matter.

To me, the room note smells of burley tobacco after I've left and come back with a little sweetness. That might be the casing others have detected. Whatever it is, the smell is burley to me.

Bottom line, if you like burley or want to try one out, then give this a try.
Pipe Used: Savinelli, GBD, Ben Wade, Peterson
PurchasedFrom: A B&M Tobacco outlet in eastern Kentucky
Age When Smoked: Recently purchased.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2015 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
PA in my opinion is the oatmeal of the tobacco world. There are no frills here, no subtle nuances, no changing a half, quarter or third of the way through the bowl. Maybe some cocoa, but very little, and good ole burley. In my experience, the best way to smoke the old drugstore blends is to not think about them very much. Its hard to pack it bad or wrong in any pipe and they stay lit exceptionally well. It doesn't bite or leave a nasty aftertaste. Good straightforward tobacco.
Pipe Used: many
Age When Smoked: aged and fresh
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2015 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I've heard so much about this blend and I'm glad I've finally had the opportunity to try it. Right out of the pouch the scent is quite enjoyable; I picked up a lot of the cocoa smell. Once lit, the smell is much more faint. PA has a great burley flavor and I can see now why it's so highly regarded, especially for an OTC blend. Tobacco burns nice and needs minimal tamping and relighting. I think that everyone should try this blend at least once; I'll certainly be smoking more of it myself!
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 16, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I got a call the other day asking if I had Prince albert In a box. "Not anymore" says I. Click. This stuff is Very good. I'll give this the best bang for the buck I've yet tried. Hesitant at first because of some other "tobaccos" at the gas station, I read a bunch of reviews and decided to give Old Al a shot. Excellent pouch note. Some Va/Bur with brownie backbone. Light and springy, perfect moisture, packs and burns very well. Consistent flavor through the bowl, nose and palate agree, mostly burley nut with hints of Va. and chocolate and vanilla. Smokes nice and cool down to the bottom. Light it and forget it if you choose to.

PA is light enough to puff after lunch or when involved in another preoccupation but still complex enough for a thorough examination when a more thought provoking smoke is needed. Well done Prince, yet somehow, not quite King's fare. I hereby bestow upon thee the honor of three and a half stars and a place in the rotation.

5.25.15 update--I'm upgrading the prince to 4 star status and a favorite. I have a couple dozen different tins under my belt now but keep going back to PA. If it had more nic it would be perfect, as is, damn near.

Pipe Used: old cob, grabow briar
PurchasedFrom: C-store
Age When Smoked: 0-4 months
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2008 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
10/22/2008 Can't complain a lot about this baccy but can't get excited either. It is near the top of the heap for a drug store blend but I have to say that I think Carter Hall has it beat hands down.

PA comes in about as perfect a form as possible. Just the right amount of moisture and a perfect cut with no chunks or sticks. The pouch aroma is very pleasant. It packs easily, lights easily, stays lit well, puts out clouds of smoke without having to suck up and has an acceptable room aroma. One problem I experienced was that from a full bowl, at about 2/3 down in the bowl, it started to get stronger and stronger until I had to dump it because of the foul taste it was putting out. Cutting the bowl pack to about 2/3 or smoking it in a wide bowl alleviates this. The only other problem, which I consider the worst, is that it leaves a really bad after odor in the pipe that lingers a long, long time.

If this were just a so,so blend, I would give it three stars but because it has some shortcomings that I cannot live with for continued use, I give it 2 stars.

Update 1/26/2010 Have learned by experience that this baccy has to be dried a bit to keep it from becoming overpowering in smoking it and from leaving bad after taste and odors in the pipe while smoking a full bowl. Upgrading to 3 stars and will continue to work with it.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 03, 2020 Very Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Presentation: Nice, small ribbon and somewhat larger bits of rich brown and some darker black pieces. Moisture content is perfect and never had a problem with it drying out even when left alone to its device for weeks at a time. I have bought a 14oz tub as well but have not opened it. I assume the cut is the same given the uniformity of this blend for decades.

Palette: A lovely chocolate/molasses scent arises from the pouch. Flavor is of a very mild burley. Not as nutty or woodsy/dry as say a more expensive flake like MacBaren HH Burley. This blend is so smooth and mellow. Hints of prune as well from the bag. Flavor is somewhat nutty, buttery, cream and familiar. Something about this blend just says 'good'. Can get a little 'cigarettish' towards the bottom but I usually don't smoke all the way to the bottom on most days.

Performance: Burns effortlessly and rarely needs a second light. Has a short lived aftertaste. Can run a little hot if you are a hard puffer like me, but never found that it bites or it changes the flavor when that happens. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl and dottle. A nice ash. Little nicotine. I like to inhale this tobacco once in a while to get an extra dose.

Conclusion: It's been around for a long time and it's not hard to see why. I have put this blend up against SWR, SWR Armoatic, H&H, Velvet, Carter Hall and Edgeworth RR Match for the ultimate codger showdown. Prince Albert was a blend that I didn't initially like but after some time, I found myself reaching for it more and more and it is now my go to codger. Many people will hate on Prince Albert, and of course you can smoke a more boutique blend any day, but I suggest at least trying PA for the sake of reputation and its history in the pipe smoking community. There will be at least one codger blend you like. Some people prefer Half & Half and others Carter Hall. I prefer PA and that's just how it goes. I will always have some of this on hand and plan on buying multiple 14oz tubs for my cellar.
Pipe Used: Peterson Short 264
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 06, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
John Middleton - Prince Albert.

A simple, high quality, blend. Basic, but good.

The appearance isn't anything spectacular, mostly a medium size, brown, ribbon. There's a few leafier pieces, but not enough to warrant the term 'coarse'. This was supplied bulk, so I'm unaware of the dampness/dryness of a sealed pouch. This looked good though.

If you want a rich Burley blend try this! It seems a fairly basic taste whilst lighting and steadying a burn. But in short time a rich chocolate flavour appears, with a slight sweetness. It doesn't taste as rustic, or rugged, as a lot of Burley blends can, the addition of Cavendish abates this side. The temperature from P.A. is amenable, and it gives a splendid burn. The only fluctuation in flavour is depth: as the bowl burns it seems to develop a little more weight.

The nicotine: mild to medium. Room-note: pleasant.

Not my usual type of thing, but worth three stars:

Pipe Used: Dagner Poker
PurchasedFrom: Cup O' Joes
Age When Smoked: Three weeks
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2015 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I first smoked this in an MM Patriot, narrow bowl with medium depth, and noticed that although it began too mild in flavor for me to enjoy it increased in flavor the further down I smoked. About the half bowl mark it had reached mild to medium status and I found myself really liking it. Then it ended too soon. Nutty with a little cocoa-like flavor riding on top. Simple, uncomplicated, but pleasant and satisfying. Next bowl I used an MM General which has a narrow bowl and is much deeper than the Patriot. Got much more time in the sweet spot with that bowl. I like this blend. It's not a blend that knocks my socks off, but it is a blend that I can get a lot of enjoyment from.

Mild in body. Mild to medium in flavor with the right pipe. Burns well. Moisture is perfect for immediate smoking.
Pipe Used: MM Patriot, MM General
Age When Smoked: fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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