Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) Sir Walter Raleigh

An aromatic burley blend with hints of cocoa and Oriental spice, the Sir Walter Raleigh regular mixture has been a popular favorite of countless smokers for generations. A traditional blend of burley tobaccos made in Kentucky.
Notes: This blend is currently produced by Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane, LTD. Formerly made by Brown and Williamson.


Brand Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)
Blended By Scandinavian Tobacco Group)
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley
Flavoring Anisette, Sweet / Sugar
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 1.5 ounce pouch, 7 ounce can
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.80 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 53 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 07, 2014 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
The pouch proclaims that Sir Walter Raleigh is "a classic burley smoking tobacco savored by pipe tobacco smokers for 75 years." It has said that for years. SWR has been around since 1927. The heading still identifies this as a product of Brown & Williamson, but it has been produced by Lane Ltd. for a long time, Lane Ltd. now being a subsidiary of the Scandinavian Tobacco Group.

This indeed is a classic burley blend, an over the counter offering that is comparatively cheap and, aside from those pipe smokers who just don't like burley, a pleasant but not complex smoke. SWR is one of those tobaccos that has a good many fans who smoke it exclusively. I knew one multimillionaire in that category.

The cut is a sort of chopped ribbon, fairly fine. It lights easily and stays lit. The taste is burley plus some licorice or anise and has a notable sweetness, probably from sugar water. Lurking somewhere in there is a faint fruity note (apple?). The Lane pouch identifies SWR as a "mildly aromatic blend." I would rate it as semi-aromatic myself. The taste is mild. Unless you puff with extreme vigor there is no bite.

The room note is more natural tobacco than aromatic. Unlike the taste, which is mild, the room note is fairly strong, although not unpleasant.

SWR when smoked in a large pipe can exhibit the burley curse, tending to go bitter toward the bottom of the bowl. What I do is break out one of my small bowled Dr. Grabow pipes, and with the small bowl I do not experience a bitter ending. (I do not use a filter with a Dr. Grabow.)

I am giving SWR the two star "somewhat recommended" rating, but for those who smoke burley or burley forward blends exclusively or primarily I would add another star.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2013 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable
I have smoked it as part of my tobacco rotation for the last six months, but I'm going to look for something different. It's not bad, but it's not great either.

Basics: Sir Walter Raleigh is a burley blend of pipe tobacco. It's an OTC (over the counter) blend which is widely available in the US. It has been around for a long time. Also, it's inexpensive. A 1.5 ounce sack costs about $3.50 - $5. A 14 ounce tub costs about $25-$30. The cut is a mix of cube cut and coarse cut, that resembles granola. It loads easily into a pipe by scooping it with the bowl. It sometimes needs a relight, but not often. The nicotine content is mild to medium.

Good: The taste. The basic flavor is tobacco. There is also a light nuttiness, a light sweetness, and a light toasted flavor. The casing is light and sometimes undetectable. The taste is consistent throughout the bowl.

Better: It makes a good mixer. Because it's burley, it has a mild flavor and it can take on the flavor of whatever else that it's mixed with. I have used it to stretch some of my more expensive tobaccos. I have also used it to give body to cheaper tobaccos (like Smoker's Pride blends, when my sweet tooth craves an aromatic). I have blended it in 1:1 or 1:2 and 1:3 ratios.

Bad: The humectant in it sometimes leaves a soapy or slimy aftertaste in my mouth. Also, it is a simple blend; and I find that I'm getting bored with it.

Conclusion: I give Sir Walter Raleigh 2 stars out 4. Again, it's not bad, and it can be useful as a mixer, but it's not great either.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2006 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I must confess that this review is written from and with a healthy dose of nostalgia.

Former President Gerald Ford has just died. I remember precisely where I was when he took Smokers' Haven in Columbus, Ohio...for the first time.

A few years ago, I remember reading that President Ford smoked Field and Stream. Right after he took office, I remember reading in "Newsweek" that he smoked Sir Walter Raleigh. Frankly, I believe both.

When I first started pipesmoking in 1971, the popular blends among college freshmen were Borkum Riff and Flying Dutchman. Both of these burned my tongue like a heaping of flaming coals. Sir Walter was the first tobacco I smoked that gave me any real tobacco satisfaction.

Not long afterward, I was introduced to Balkan Sobranie...and found my "groove." But Sir Walter is still a satisfying a smoke.

There is a lot of mollases included...pure sugar. When you cut the cake out of your pipe, you are advised to use an oyster shucker!

Recommended because it is a classic...and an acceptable smoke.


This world seems to get, as Lewis Carroll wrote, "curiouser and curiouser." SWR has changed manufacturers and manifestations so many times during the past 40 years, it is hard to keep track.

Whilst waiting for my next order of bespoke blend to arrive, I bought a pouch of this venerable blend the other night at Kroger. The package now declares that it is made by "Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane Ltd, Tucker, GA." Who knows who or what that is?

But, really, who cares? The smoke is the important thing. And the smoke ain't bad; it ain't great, either. But that is, to me, at least, how SWR has always been.

For Burley fanciers, this old favorite will always make-do in a pinch.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2016 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I recently finished a pouch of this and I found it enjoyable but in a watchful kind of way. It’s easy to mess this one up. The first few times I smoked it, I made the mistake of chasing the phantom, puffing too hard trying to find flavor that was never really going to materialize.

For what it’s worth, I got the most out of Sir Walter Raleigh by setting it out to dry for at least 30 minutes and doing everything in my power to keep it from smoking hot. My best efforts were pleasurable smokes and my worst attempts, about three altogether, were not.

The granola cut is a mixture of course ribbon-like pieces and dense chunky bits. The flavor is quite subtle, a bit nutty and grassy, a touch of chocolate and a hint of booze. Altogether, I found this to be more earthy tasting than sweet.

Sir Walter Raleigh is mild and meant to be smoked slowly. Like others have mentioned, keep it burning on the cool side and a bit more flavor will appear. A decent enough mixture, it certainly has its charm.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 19, 2010 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm not exactly happy with a two star recommendation on this one but I also don't feel comfortable changing it. Perhaps this is one of those that needs a 2.5 star recom.

The top half of each bowl of this I smoked was wonderful. Nice, mild nutty burley, plain and simple, with a pleasant roasted almond flavor. Mild tasting but good flavor. A very relaxing tobacco. Excellent!

The bottom half is where things went south. That pleasing nut flavor turned bitter rather quickly. It never got harsh but it took on a sour, unfriendly taste. I found this to be consistent in every pipeful. I'm not sure if it needs more drying or what and it was most offputting.

I got the best results from this when I "parfaited" it by putting something like Sugar Barrel on the bottom and SWR on top. The nutlike sweetness then got a bit sweeter as the Sugar Barrel took over and the SWR burned away. That upgraded it to a solid 3 star recommendation. I plan to do more experimentation in this manner. Highly recommended for the top half bowl, not recommended for the bottom.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2015 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
A bit too mild in flavor for me. Also, it burns hot no matter what I do. I just cannot enjoy this tobacco. The flavor I can get seems pleasant enough, just not strong enough. If you like it mild, this one's for you.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain
Age When Smoked: fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2018 Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant
A chopped ribbon or crimp cut of mixed brown tobaccos. It has a top note of a berry type that is sweet and fresh. The flavouring does not intrude into the actual smoke to any significant degree. There is also a general sweetness, either a residual effect of the berry topping or an additional sugar additive.

Burns without attention and a tad quickly. There is a lot of snap, crackle and pop going on, suggestive of glycerol or PG.

This is a neutral tasting Burley. I don't get the nuts/cocoa/cherry/vanilla/anisette/cinnamon aromas others have found. All I get is straight tobacco with the previously mentioned berry and sugar. Not an aromatic in my book.

I like this stuff a lot. It is REALLY uncomplicated and very linear, but sometimes that is what I want in a pipe. Plus, it's inexpensive. It's a 3 for my own reckoning, but I wouldn't want to give a false impression of this baccy by failing to mention its shortcomings. It hasn't a lot of taste. It burns fast. It has chemical additives. Some might not like the fruity top note. On that basis I am giving it 2 stars for TR.
Pipe Used: Cobs
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2009 Mild Mild Mild Tolerable
The general consensus around here seems to be that this is not such a bad tobacco, but it is perhaps not quite up to the standard of its historic competitor in the Anglo-named American Burley department--the venerable Prince Albert. I concur.

I've been smoking the Prince and the Sir for the last few days and find the Prince's flavors brighter, the burn cleaner, the tobacco less apt to bite and get bitter. SWR has a top-dressing from the roasted or charred spectrum--coffee, chocolate, rum, something like that. Whatever it is, it makes a gentle companion to the essentially nutty Burley that forms the backbone of the blend.

Don't get me wrong...I think SWR is a decent blend, especially for the price. Then again, I'm more than willing to pay the premiums needed to acquire better Burleys from the likes of Wessex, Solani, or C&D. So smoke it if ya' gotta.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 05, 2021 Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Smoking now:

Making my way though some OTC blends and next one my list is SWR. Pouch note smells like what I expect burley tobacco to smell like with added chocolate and anise. It’s pleasant. Not wet, perfect to go right from the pouch.

Like all these blends it packs and lights perfectly. The taste however mild it is is there. It’s chocolate and anise. Very easy and pleasant to smoke. No mouth tingle, no bite, even for a burley which usually does not agree with my tongue. Retrohale doesn’t tingle but you won’t pick up any more flavor. A very mild, all day smoke. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. I have no complaints other than a not so ok aftertaste when I smoked without a filter. It’s a four dollar pouch. With morning coffee it was fine. Room note is “old man tobacco”. People will tell you stories of their grandfathers as you smoke it. So for that it’s worth it.
Pipe Used: Cob
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 17, 2017 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Bought a pouch in a pinch, good bang for your buck. Never saw tobacco with this appearance. It is hard and granola like. Package smells quite mild with a note of anice and a hint of maybe apple or pear. Load it up and don't be surprised you can't tamp it, yes it is that hard/ dry. Smokes cool, mild , but it's decent drug store burley. Has a very classic grandpas pipe room note. Not bad. Nothing too satisfying but it makes for good baccy to light up for a short ride in the truck or something to puff on with time constraints. Probably a good one for mowing the lawn or something along those lines. I'll give it a solid 2.
2 people found this review helpful.
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