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

2.79 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 267 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 18, 2016 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
Certainly an American classic. This is an easy smoking, no fuss tobacco, akin to the few other burley OTCs that have survived over time. Semi-sweet with definite hints of anise and some very, very light cocoa which is more evident in the pouch. Not as sweet, cased, or anise-flavored as Carter Hall, and less nutty and cocoay than Prince Albert. Otherwise, just a mild burley with only a hint of roasted nuts and traces of both bitterness and sourness. The cut is conducive to packing pipes of all sizes and a simple scoop without much tamping is perfect to load it up. Like many of these blends it lights quick and burns fairly quickly.

Overall, not a bad blend and one I would buy again without reservation. Ultimately just a little light weight to earn a full recommendation. I also found it to develop some off flavors at times. If asked blindly to recommend a tobacco, even a drugstore blend, it wouldn't be this one. On the other hand, if I was specifically asked if is SWR worth a try I would say yes. So I would say this is a very strong 2 star blend.
1 person found this review helpful.
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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.

123 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 03, 2013 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Sir Walter Raleigh (SWR) is my go to tobacco, and I guess I smoke at least three bowls of it per day in my trusty Falcon or a cob. Why? Cuz I prefer burley blends, I can walk right down the road to my local grocery store an pick up a pouch or about $5USD, and it is pleasantly simple smoke.

It's been around since 1927 for good reason - it's a good burley blend. If you're a Latakia or Lakelands fiend then you're probably not gonna like it cuz it will be way too tame for you. If you fancy yourself a discriminating pipe smoker and only go for expensive tinned blends, then you won't like it cuz it's not pedigreed enough. But if all you want is an honest bowl of tobacco, then I think you might just like it.

When you open the pouch, you'll be greeted by a kind of funky cut of tobacco. It's oft described as looking like granola, and I think that is an apt enough description. Your nose will be greeted with a hint of chocolate, but that's just the burley tobaccos used in the blend. When you light up, you'll be greeted with a nutty, chocolate flavor - again, that's just the burley. There is a slight sour note to it, and also anise and molasis well, that's what I get)... that's the flavoring, which is applied with a very light hand. The room note is, well, pipe-like.

Sir Walter Raleigh is an old school American burley blend, or OTC. It is not complicated. Just scoop your pipe in the pouch, fill, tamp, char, tamp again, and then light. Do not puff on it light a freight train when lighting, because that will cause it to taste acrid for a few seconds. Just softly puff when lighting, then sip on it the rest of the time. Also, don't strain to find the flavor - let it come to you. OTC's were blended to just casually enjoy without embarking on a nuance trek. If you just let the flavor come on it's own, you will be rewarded with the flavor previously described.

To me, a pipe is meant to be savored and enjoyed. I want nothing more than just a relaxing bowl of tobacco. No nuance, no explosion of flavors, and no epiphany causing journey - just a nice smoke. For me, SWR delivers the goods. If all you want is just an honest bowl of burley, then there are few blends that can beat it.
94 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 01, 2013 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
My father-in-law is 101 years old, lives by himself and is on local bank and hospital boards. He has smoked Sir Walter Raleigh since 1933. He smokes a 14 oz. tin every two weeks, and attributes his long life and independence to the brand.
67 people found this review helpful.
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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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Very Pleasant
I was stuck in the bayous of southern Louisiana last year for 5 months. The availability of pipe tobacco was meager to say the least. I did run into a canister of SWR and although I smoke mainly Va/Pers and straight Virginias, I went with it. I'm glad that I did. Tasty, no bite, soothing and satisfying. I smoked this exclusively for many weeks and never tired of it. I'm home now with access to any blend that I may want but when others aren't doing it for me, Sir Walter Raleigh never lets me down. I often run into problems with consistency with other blends but not with SWR. It's not just a great old codger OTC blend but just a great tobacco PERIOD!
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: Fresh out of the can
36 people found this review helpful.
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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.
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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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2016 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Sir Walter Raleigh.

The blend is presented as a medium brown, fairly fine, cube cut, mixture. Something that nonplusses me a touch is the aroma from the pouch: this makes me think the smoke's going to be quite formidable with the added flavour, but when the pipe's burning I can only get a very slight extra taste of aniseed, with an equally slight sweetness. The Burley tastes like it's of a very high quality: it doesn't have that cheap cigarette flavour, but a more eminent one. I enjoy the character of the flavour from Sir Walt', and the pleasure's increased by zero tongue-bite.

To round things up, I'd summarise the flavour as being fairly uncomplicated, the nicotine's mild, and the room-note's pleasant!

I was unsure whether to award this three or four stars, but I only wanted a bowl of this the morning after reviewing it! That answers my question:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Milverton
PurchasedFrom: Smoking
Age When Smoked: New
22 people found this review helpful.
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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.
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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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