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 1 - 10 of 90 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
The lead component is the very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly sugary burleys. The Virginia cavendish chips in with a little grass, tart citrus, light sugar and a few drops of honey in the background. The bourbon and cocoa toppings mildly tone down the tobaccos, and have a lightly distracting chemical note. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are mild. There is an inconsistency in the flavor because the topping will flash off a bit by the last quarter of the experience, and you may get a mild harshness and a few cigarette notes if you are a fast puffer. Won’t bite, and has a few small rough edges. Doesn't need to be relit much, packs very easily, and leaves little dampness in the bowl. Easily an all day smoke. One of the few tobaccos I have smoked that m'lady commented favorably on when she smelled it. I give it two and half stars because of aforementioned drawbacks.

UPDATE 6-28-2022. There are some changes in the new Dominican Republic production. The mildly applied bourbon is more dominant now, and the now weaker chocolate less so. Both are less sweet, and sport a very slight sourness not present in the American version. The toppings tone down the tobaccos approximately twenty percent more than before at first, but moderately flash off after the half way point. They don’t last as long as before, but you’ll still taste the toppings. The distracting chemical note in the older manufacture is barely obvious. The nuttiness from the burleys is three slots lower than before even when the toppings weaken. The burleys have a little more roughness, and I detect a hint of smoke from them as well. The latter characteristic was not there in the past. The Virginia cavendish mostly has the same effect as always with a touch less sugar and honey, and a lightly deeper citrus. Both varietals are just a little darker in color. The strength and nic-hit are a step and a half past the mild mark. The taste is a half notch more potent due to the smoke note. Won’t bite, and the chances of experiencing light harshness or cigarette notes for a fast puffer are much slimmer. Burns cool, slightly warm, and a tad fast. Overall, it’s not as sweet, less nutty, and even with the rougher burleys, is mildly smoother with a weaker flavor. Has a lightly lingering weaker after taste. The room note is a touch stronger now. Barely leaves any dampness in the bowl, and doesn’t require many relights. An all day smoke. My rating at TR is still two stars though I deduct the extra half star that I gave the original due to the lack of flavor depth.

63 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2002 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Appearance: Random smallish pieces, uniform medium brown

Aroma: Smells like just a plain burley, possibly a trace of top dressing. I can?t identify it, nor am I positive it?s even here.

Packing: Can be packed into any size bowl just by putting the pipe into the pouch and feeding with one finger. It is possible to pack a pipe in your car, with one hand on the wheel and your eyes on the road. However, see warning below

Lighting: Classic one-match light is the rule.

Initial flavor: Just Burley, nothing else. Nutty, and just a little bitter.

Mid-bowl: Nice cool dry smoke. You have to like Burley to enjoy this. There is a fairly good jolt of nicotine in it, so it MAY NOT be the best thing to smoke while driving.

Finish: A bit more harsh at the bottom, but not a problem.

Summary: An excellent choice in a cob. A good change of pace if you get tired of blends, or matured Virginias
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 29, 2004 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Unnoticeable
"Cheap, sour burley" was my initial reaction to this old drugstore blend. Then it occurred to me that people who like bitter Dutch beer or black, unsugared coffee might enjoy the initial astringency of this otherwise mild burley cavendish. It is just the taste of Burley tobacco. And after I tried it in a small-bowled pipe and got it to smolder smooth and quiet, the cashew-nut gentleness kind of appealed to me. Nice, smokey after-taste. I managed the whole pipe with just one match. Considering that the pouch cost a couple of bucks (1 ½ ounce) members of the brotherhood on a fixed income might enjoy Prince Albert quite a bit, especially if they are slow-puffers. Overheat this and it will get sour and bite like hell.

I am not sure what "crimp cut" means, as it refers to some older American description. In the pouch, this looks, smells and is cut like a typical Cavendish burley blend. I don't quite see how one could roll it into a cigarette. Too thick.

Mind you, I am talking about the straight PA in the red-coloured pouch or can. AVOID the cased versions, they are AWFUL.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
At the time that I tried this I was bit skeptical since most of the inexpensive readily available tobaccos I've found had lived up to their price point. This one was billed as a good classic mainstay and so I was intrigued.

Upon opening the very tiny (and kind of a pain to use) pouch I was happy to find the leaves felt fresh with some moisture and springiness. Packed and burned well and would be a great first time tobacco to try.

The flavor was full, but not overwhelming. It was rich for what it was. Many of the more expensive brands I now use have a fuller complexity, but Prince Albert does fill a good niche.

Does a great job for the cost.

Sometimes you don't always want that top end espresso and just want a cup of joe from the diner. Enter Prince Albert.
PurchasedFrom: Grocery Store
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2004 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Prince Albert is a non-aromatic all Burley tobacco. I bought some of it on a whim, both to try something different from my usual rotation of English and Balkan blends and because I have pleasant childhood memories of my grandfather smoking it in his pipes as well as using it to roll his own cigarettes. While Prince Albert packs easily, burns well, and brought back the same tobacco smell I remember from being around my grandfather years ago, it's only okay as far as pipe tobacco is concerned. The flavor isn't bad, there's just not much of it, which isn't really a surprise from an all-Burley tobacco. As an inexpensive "drugstore" type tobacco, it's better than average, but with so many better pipe tobaccos readily available both online and from tobacco shops, life's too short to settle for this stuff.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 06, 2018 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
There are nightmares lurking just beneath the seemingly refined and nostalgic surface of the pipe tobacco world. Not everyone arrives here prepared to face them. As a smoker who enjoys the taste of the leaf as much as its soothing effect on the mind, one should take note before venturing blindly into the field.

Let me start by saying that apart from buying a cheap bag of dry RYO and just smoking “cigarettes in a cob”, Prince Albert is the best way to transition to a pipe. It’s inexpensive, easy to get, stays lit, burns evenly, and tastes great. All cavendish burns a little wet - PA is no different in the stem, but it burns down to a fine powder in the bowl. There is a light flavoring in the casing, and it tastes a bit like the bourbon in Carter Hall to me. Some have said it tastes like anise, but it has a pleasant flavor and aroma that compliments the leaf nicely. Nevermind that, this is a Burley-flavored smoke, and the casing will all but burn off by mid-bowl - leaving only the nutty and tangy taste of the tobacco in its wake. It’s smooth, never bites, and for years I smoked Prince Albert every day.

But the truth of the matter is, I’ve also smoke those dry RYO tobaccos in cobs for years and still find many of them satisfying. I’m smoking one right now called Wild Horse - there’s some raw Burley flavor. It tastes like nutty raisins and cocoa, although I can taste some sweet Virginia hay in there. Nice, mild pepper on the retro. No chemicals that didn’t come out of the seed itself. It has a hearty nicotine kick, too; it’s half the price of PA, and it’s not even listed on this website. Sure, it also smells like cheap cigarettes, and the last half or third of the bowl can get really nasty, but I always keep a bag of it on hand. And not that it would deserve anything more than a “somewhat recommended” rating by any standard, really palatable only to cigarette smokers, but RYO is Prince Albert’s street-level competition after all.

Here is the singular problem with all of the OTC blends: additives. I went out and bought a pouch of PA recently and thoroughly enjoyed the bowl I packed sitting in the grocery store parking lot. I’ve smoked it on and off for the past two days, but today I’ve started to notice the strange and lingering sensation it leaves on my tongue. Now I’m sitting here an hour after having finished a bowl of PA and my tongue still feels coated. I’ve tried smoking it off with bowls of strong Perique and Kentucky blends, RYO, tried to wash it down with hot coffee and iced tea, but it persists! Carter Hall produces a similar effect on my tongue. Is it the bourbon in the casings? Or is it something else? PG, some other humectant or preservative, antifreeze? Liquor-cased tobaccos don’t coat my tongue like this, not any of the good ones.

I don’t taste anything overly “chemically” in PA, but that could be partially due to my biased love of Burley. Compared to everything else I’ve smoke tonight I think that might ring true. It could also be due to the discretion Middleton uses in their mix. Early into my pursuit of this hobby I found a cheap bag of Super Value Cherry Cavendish at a liquor store that destroyed my first briar and almost ruined my love of smoking. That Christmas a pouch of Captain Black I bought to smoke around my family brought me even closer to the brink. Prince Albert does not even compare to the hellish concoction of chemical waste that comprises these two. At the very least, “Uncle Albie” always gives a consistent Burley taste and a relaxing smoke without breaking the budget, and without an overtly nauseating malaise of chemical goop. It’s just that now it seems to leave my tongue feeling lacquered and numb.

Here’s the bottom line - anything you buy from the grocery, liquor store, or gas station that isn’t as dry as Bill W’s medicine cabinet is going to have some chemical additive mingled in with the leaf. I love the taste of PA but it leaves my tongue feeling like I’ve sucked on a 9volt battery. If OTCs are the only thing available to you, and you love the Burley leaf as much as I do, consider this a highly recommended tobacco choice. If you’re used to puffing on Lane or Sutliff aros, how have you not tried this? Otherwise, it doesn’t deserve the three stars I’m giving it. If you want a valid alternative, I highly recommend Newminster No. 702 - that’s what PA would taste like without the chemical bath.
Pipe Used: All of them
PurchasedFrom: Anywhere That Sells Cigarettes
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Sometimes I think this is better than Carter Hall and sometimes not. It has some off notes to it, and the tobacco doesn't strike me as first tier. But, despite that PA just has something to it. There is more of an artificial cocoa/chocolate note here than in CH. The smoke doesn't develop, it's the same from start to finish.

Sometimes that simplicity is just the thing. I used to always keep CH and PA on hand. I've gotten away from them just because there are tastier alternatives from C&D and H&H that are priced similarly and are much better smokes.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 11, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Summary: a good Burley blend with light vanilla, cocoa, and rum flavoring

The experience of Prince Albert consists of worry-free smoking with casual convenience. Pick up a packet -- or the "Prince Albert in a can" of telephone prank lore -- and stuff some in a pipe, light and go. It smolders for almost an hour in the average pipe, delivering consistently flavorful Burley smoke with overtones of cocoa and vanilla. The flavors complement each other, and unlike with an aromatic, the user tastes mostly tobacco and the added tastes fade in after that. It is mild in every sense, both smoke and nicotine, and leaves behind a pipe smoke smell that is inoffensive and sometimes pleasurable. If you are a tobacco snob, content yourself with the knowledge that this over-the-counter (OTC) blend has satisfied many for whom the candied aromatics further down the counter proved unworkable, and that the majority of its appeal is a seasoned Burley which delivers the warm nutty flavor typical of that variety. While I may not be a snob, but prefer the term "elitist" or one who favors quality over novelty or popularity, I hope that I never fail to recognize a quality tobacco like this one, which joins "Five Brothers" on my OTC shelf as a good all-day smoke for casual social events and solitary work.

2019 update: the "new" version of this blend has more of a traditional aromatic topping, giving it that Propylene glycol "cotton candy" flavor and soaking the leaf with flavoring. Gone is the subtle tang of Orientals and Virginias; this blend now feels like a typical white Burley aromatic with a small dose of dark Burley to give it some body and power. I would not bother smoking the newer version.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2009 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
It's taken me six months to finish a 2 oz or so sample that was gifted to me. I first smoked it in a briar but I kept tasting it when I was smoking other blends in that briar so I dedicated a cob to this blend. The tobacco was kept in a mason jar - not to age it but to keep it fresh and out of the plastic baggie it came to me in.

Ok, the quality of the tobacco is suspect, the room note made my kids think I had switched to cigarettes, and it pales in comparison to top-notch burleys but, you know what? This stuff tastes pretty decent! On top of that, it's fun to smoke! I enjoy nostalgic things and still own a slew of 78 RPM records. As the 78 is the ONLY way to listen to old Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington tunes, so too is PA the only pipe tobacco for the corncob pipe. Or is it, the corncob pipe is the only pipe for PA? Whatever - each brings out the best in the other.

This stuff is a half-step up from Carter Hall, a full step up from my memory of Granger and 10,000 light years ahead of Half & Half. No, it's not the best burley blend but will I buy it again? Well... I just might! I enjoyed this on rare occasions when I was feeling nostalgic, and that's a good feeling! The other test for a tobacco is the question of would I continue to smoke the pipe if this was all that was available? Unlike my impressions of Half & Half and Erinmore Mixture, with PA, the answer is yes I would. I'd be a little crankier but still puffing!
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2017 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I tried it ages ago and wasn't a fan. Trying it again, and I'm still not a fan. This was an older pouch I had laying around and thought I'd give it a shot. I tend to be a Va, VaBur, VaPer, and higher end aro piper. I also like aged burley flake tobaccos. This is just a cheap smoking experience. It will get the job done if you want to Puff mindlessly and need to get some nic to fight off the beast. It burns a little hot in the bowl, but won't burn your tongue unless you freight train this stuff. I need to watch my pace as I keep trying to get it to taste like something with some depth, and it just doesn't. It reminds me of a cheap cigarette with a bit of scent added to it. It will get ashy and taste like pencils as you get down towards the bottom of the bowl. On the plus side, it doesn't get as bitter as some burleys can.

All that said, it isn't BAD tobacco, just not something I'd seek out. If I HAD to choose between one of those giant bags of drugstore goo, Carter Hall, this stuff, or god forbid, Borkum Riff.....Carter Hall, then the Prince, the goo...I'll walk away from the BR all together. Two stars even.
Pipe Used: Big Ben fantasia billiard
PurchasedFrom: Unknown
Age When Smoked: Unknown
4 people found this review helpful.
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