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





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 103 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 14, 2012 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
The burleys are fairly earthy, woody and nutty with some cocoa and molasses, and a very small spice note. The anise and molasses toppings are light, and while they tone down the burleys a little, they also work well together to create a synergistic, very consistent flavor from start to finish. The strength, taste and nic-hit levels are mild. It burns at a moderate pace, cool, clean and even. Requires few relights and barely leaves any moisture in the bowl. Packs very easily, with a pleasing, short lived after taste and room note. Won't bite or get harsh. It goes well with any drink you choose. An easy going, all day smoke that doesn't wear out its welcome.

Edit: Recently, I had the opportunity to smoke SWR made in the 1940s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s as well as several pouches in the 2000s. I was struck by the fact that only in the 1940s version was there a difference in taste. Even then, the difference was only that the '40s sample was just a tad deeper in flavor. I find it amazing how consistent the taste is from World War Two until now.

121 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2013 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
After smoking SWR for almost 50 years it's time for a review. It's a solid old time burley with some flavorings added probably some chocolate and some other secrets. It was the first pipe tobacco that I ever smoked. At age 14 I snuck out behind the shed with my dad's cob pipe and an old dried out pouch of SWR. I fell in love. I got bold enough a couple of times to fill the pipe and puff and read a book. Nirvana! Eventually got caught and had to return the goods and few years later in college seriously got pipe tobacco happy. Funny, always had a pouch or can of this and burned a few bowls every week. Even when I was smoking some of those other effete blends from North Carolina, Chicago and Denmark. Always had some this each week. Why? It's just a smooth straight burley with that nuttiness that is just right and unique. One of my favorite SWR stories (and there are many) is when I walked into David Barnes shop puffing on my pipe when a couple were shopping for pipes and tobacco. The lady looked over at me and asked what delightful blend I was smoking. I told her and David frowned cause he didn't carry SWR. Anyway, throw some of this in your cob, briar or meerschaum. It's just good smokin'.
46 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 23, 2014 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Presentation is crimped cut - what I refer to as "OTC cut": somewhere between a true cube-cut and a ribbon. Pouch note is nearly imperceptible with a very slight hint of aniseed. 

Like all OTCs, Sir Walter takes a light well. There's barely a need for charring followed by a "true" light: just strike a match, light, and smoke.  Sir Walter, like most OTCs, burns fast. But it doesn't burn hot. 

The initial draws reveal more aniseed flavor along with a slightly tangy, sour taste reminiscent of Carter Hall but milder. The initial spike up in flavor dissipates quickly however, and the first third of the bowl is a very mild smoke. 

I don't get the soft cocoa burley flavors that one might expect from something like Mac Baren's Burley London Blend. But by mid-bowl there's a hint of dark chocolate that becomes more prominent by the final third. There's a typical OTC topping here, but it's applied with a very gentle hand. The aniseed flavoring is similar to that of Half and Half in some slight regard, but far less intense and without the candied Christmas fruit flavors. The aniseed is always there, but it's a background player. Sir Walter has an ashiness to it but, interestingly, that aspect is not altogether unpleasant. By the bottom of the bowl, there is a distinct salted nuttiness (rather than the sweet nuttiness typically associated with burley) that may be the result of most of the flavoring agent had burned off.

Overall this is a very uncomplicated blend, though not entirely one-dimensional. While not one I would stockpile, I certainly enjoyed it and wouldn't hesitate to pick it up at the drugstore in a pinch. 

I appreciated the burning characteristics of this blend: it was relatively light on propylene glycol and fairly dry in the pouch. It took a match well and burned all the way through with only one relight. The flavorings are very mild, and the room note is the stereotype of "Grandpa's pipe". I would recommend this blend for a new pipesmoker looking for an easy-to-smoke, non-aromatic blend, and for an experienced pipesmoker looking for an easy, daytime, yard-work type of blend. This also might be a good choice for cigarette smokers looking to quit (based on burn rate, lack of bite, and ashiness). If I had to choose an OTC, Sir Walter would probably be my top choice, one step ahead of Carter Hall. Those seeking tobacco nirvana will be disappointed. 
30 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2013 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Having tried several "classic" dime-store blends over the years, SWR is one of the best, middle-of-the-road Burley blends available. You can never go wrong picking up a pouch of this. SWR is a great all-day smoke with no bite, and pleasing room note. Slightly nutty and sweet, the actual tobacco flavor really shines through, which explains the longevity of this blend. SWR is basically the comfortable old slippers of pipe tobacco.
28 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2014 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
This is one of those tobaccos I have smoked and have open. I am not sure why I never reviewed it. It is an unassuming basic burley and does not get a lot of love on TR. I find it satisfying and a solid blend. In an OTC, I like this more than PA. Locally, SWR is more expensive than CH, and if they are both in stock and I am picking up a pouch for the truck, I am more likely to get the CH.

It is slightly sweet and delivers a mild burley smoke. It has a granola cut and always seems a little dry in the pouch. I have never tried hydrating it, and have just smoked it as delivered. It is slightly nutty and tastes slightly toasted. The sweet is more of a molasses and not honey.

It is easy for me to recommend. If you like burley, you will like this.
19 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 16, 2004 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
Sir Walter is a dark brown, cubed burley that packs as easily as any pouch of "drug store" tobacco on the market today. It has a very typical burley flavor, but unfortunately, it starts to get bitter as you work your way through a bowlful. It does not bite, and if you smoked just the upper half of each load, then it probably would be an all-day type of smoke. And finally, you can't beat the price!

Now then, if interested in a true story about this tobacco, read on. There was a head football coach at Texas A&M by the name of Emory Bellard back in the 1970's (he's the guy who invented the wishbone formation while an assistant coach under Darrell Royal at The University of Texas in the 60's) who smoked the same pipe everyday for 15 years, and puffed on nothing but Sir Walter. He says he finally gave up smoking because the tobacco just stopped tasting good to him. Hey, if I smoked the same pipe everyday - and all day long - for 15 years loaded with Sir Walter, I'd quit too!!!
16 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2022 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
45 years ago when I ventured into smoking a pipe I found that most drugstore tobacco burned my tongue. I settled for Middleton cherry as it had the most complimentary aroma. I gave up pipes for a long while. 20 years later I revived my interest in pipes. I was persuaded into being a tobacco snob. Specialty store tobacco only. Then, hoity toity no smoking laws erupted thus making it difficult to take the time to enjoy a pipe away from home. I once again gave up my pipes, choosing cigarettes instead. (Never fear I'm getting to my point. Slowly, I know, but I am getting there.) I am now back to my favorite use of tobacco, yeh, my pipes. I have, previously, steadfastly avoided drugstore tobacco but have since delved into this "forbidden trove of tobacco trash". I have tried Prince Albert, Half and Half, Carter Hall, Velvet and Sir Walter Raleigh. I really enjoy the SWR and Velvet. I am not dissatisfied with Carter Hall and while P.A. was a good smoke it was a little heavy on my palette. The more SWR I smoke the more I enjoy it (same with Velvet). They are both pleasing to my palette. No undesirable aftertaste. They burn very well for me. I still have some tobacco shop tobacco left, which I will smoke, eventually. I have access to SWR without having to wait for it to be shipped to me. (Odd how society waited for years to get away from mail order just to end up returning to that format). For me it will be SWR, Velvet or a certain tobacco shop in Billings, Mo. that has the cherry tobacco that I like so very much. I have not hoped to persuade or dissuade anyone for or against any type or brand of tobacco. I like SWR and will continue to smoke it. Everyone's palette is different otherwise there would be no need for different types or blends of tobacco. Smoke what you enjoy because I will. Have a nice day while you have a nice smoke.
Pipe Used: Cob, briar, meersham
PurchasedFrom: Convenience store
Age When Smoked: Fresh from store
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2021 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
As a young boy I remember the ever-present tub of Sir Walter Raleigh pipe tobacco sitting beside my grandfather’s favorite armchair. Along with a simple 1940’s style Dr. Grabow briar, the recognizable orange and blue can was always nicely positioned for comfortable access on his treasured Sears Silvertone Depression era wooden cabinet radio.

The chair, the radio, the pipe, and the pen and ink rendering of Sir Walter looking pleasantly satisfied with clay pipe smartly clenched, and all are images of Old Joe that I will forever cherish and remember. Here it is some 40 plus years later and the tradition of partaking this darn near century old blend continues.

Sir Walter Raleigh Burley has stood the test of time as one of the classic OTC blends that has delighted generations of enthusiast pipers world around. Rightly so, as if it were not for Walter Raleigh and his foundational efforts to bring tobacco smoking to the civilized world in the late 1500’s, who knows what you and I would be doing to amuse ourselves at the present.

The stewardship of the blend has changed hands multiple times over the past century and now is continued by the Scandinavian Tobacco Company. History has it, up to very end, when he was tragically put before the guillotine at Westminster, Raleigh was an avid promoter of the benefit of pipe smoking. A lonely pouch of his last tobacco was found on the jail cell floor upon his execution. It was inscribed with the words “It was my companion at the most miserable of times”, how befitting.

Sir Walter Raleigh, generally speaking, is pretty much a straight Burley concoction, although the packaging advertises it has an aromatic. As opposed to Sir Walter Raleigh Aromatic proper, which is another tasty mix, the original is characteristically mild in the added flavoring profile. Principally, the base tobacco is laced with spicy anisette and gentle sugars. The registration on these agents is extremely gentle at best.

Visually Sir Walter Raleigh carries the common distinction of being a unique cut of tobaccos. Comprised by a hoary russet textured mass of cube-cut, rough jagged chards, larger strips of ribbon and dainty flecks, one is presented with an enticing invitation for the partaking of a classic mixture. Straight from the pouch, one is easily able to pinch a pillow or two of white and dark Kentucky Burley for the immediate smoking as the moisture levels are ideal for pleasurable consumption.

As the pouch note is generally unassuming and subdued, one must really sniff deep and long to form a meaningful sense of the blend’s essence. Sir Walter conveys predominately a subtle perfume of sweet base woodiness with light whiffs of fleeting sugar, cocoa, and licorice-like spice. Very discreet compared to other codger type blends.

With respect to the taste of this time-aged recipe, the main flavoring is characterized by a toasty-nuttiness and earthly dark wood spirit. Soft chocolate and spicy anise accents are embedded in the sweet-tart base surrounded by brown sugar/molasses support. The native and superbly poignant sour notes of the Kentucky burley surface periodically adding a nice, tasty twist to the overall charm of this blend. I feel the true lure of Sir Walter comes to live about half-way down the burning bowl.

For a codger blend, Sir Walter is essentially smooth and somewhat creamy in texture. It burns cool, slowly, and dry. Smoking this mix, one experiences neither harshness nor bite. By no means complex, this aromatic Burley offers the smoker a consistently mellow and appeasing piping experience. Having smoked it many times myself, I get why my grandfather loved this creation. Furthermore, it can also be mixed straight in with some other varietals for an added Burley boost treat.

The room note upon its burning is very delicate and transient as compared to typical Burley based blends. Sir Walter leaves its mark as a warm toasty sweet wood fragrance. The nic kick in minimal and this blend pairs with any type of beverage, especially morning coffees.

Easily an all-day favorite to countless Burley enthusiast. One cannot honestly state that they are a standard Burley-smoker if in fact Sir Walter Raleigh as never graced the inners of their pipe. Notwithstanding, one should give this blend a try if nothing else because of its historic significance. Many of our luxury blends sold today found their genus in this and other existing codger mixture; respect it!

Forty years from the present, I will be long gone and just a memory to those left to carry on the family namesake. Perhaps one of my own grandsons will have a similar recollection of Pappa Jim. Assuming that this blend is still in circulation, I would like to think that they themselves follow the family tradition and light a bowl in my memory.

Sir Walter Raleigh Burley a classic for generations to come hopefully.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman
PurchasedFrom: CR Butts
Age When Smoked: Fresh & 1 month
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 20, 2019 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Sir Walter Raleigh: Surprisingly Good

Upon opening my pouch of Sir Walter Raleigh, I found the desiccated remains of small course-cut tobacco, which did not bode well towards my anticipation. However, after first light, I was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed this blend. It burned perfectly with no bite. The burley tobaccos are incredibly earthy with a rich tobacco taste. Some reviewers call it nutty, but I do not know how to classify it. The added sugar casing helps to add body to the smoke but not in a cloying manner. The other casing/toppings lurk behind the tobaccos in term of flavor, but that might have to do with my pouch being bone dry.

I have not smoked many straight or slightly cased burleys, so I am not well acquainted with the flavor profile. I need to try more OTC burley blends.

7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 13, 2013 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
SWR gravity fed into a cob is one of life's simple pleasures. Starts off slightly sweet kind of chocolaty. The sweetness burns off pretty quick and it turns into a pretty good mild straight burley smoke.
7 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.