Tabac Manil La Volute

La Volute is the latest Belgian treat from Vincent Manil. With a similar profile to La Brumeuse, La Volute is cut in a much different crumble cake manner that gives a slower longer lasting burn that allows subtle nuances in the leaf to shine through!


Brand Tabac Manil
Series Pure Semois
Blended By Vincent Manil
Manufactured By Tabac Manil
Blend Type
Contents Burley
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 3.5oz Pouch
Country Belgium
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.33 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2021 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
Vincent Manil does one thing and one only. Yet, he does that one thing so well that I don't care when I discover that a "new" product from him is virtually that same thing he's known for.

The only difference between La Volute and La Brumeuse is the cut. That's it. La Volute is allegedly an "XXL cut" - but that's in semois speak, roughly equivalent to a coarser ribbon on this side of tobacco land. Does it burn slower? To a degree. The real difference is a slight (ever so slight) creaminess, a touch more than the finer cut(s), but this difference is negligible. I think the real advantage of this cut may be that it will keep the tobacco from turning to dust as quickly. We shall see.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2021 Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong
OK, so when you take the leap of faith and buy this stuff, first and foremost, you are going to think you have been duped. You have not. The packaging is different, in my opinion in a good way. I like the old school label, and underneath the gold foil. Its like Willy Wonka. Think, "I've got a golden ticket!" Next, you will notice that the packaging is not sealed tightly. You will then unwrap this brick and think, this shoddy packaging has led to this tobacco getting way too dried out. It has not. Then, as you pull out the stringy dry, strangely cut ribbon that somehow is cubic, "this Belgian Sammy Hagar on the package has led me astray!" He has not. You may take note of the aroma, and think to yourself, this is some really strange shit that I got coaxed into buying. Just enjoy it, its magic. Then, you may struggle to choose the right pipe to stuff this super dry, mangy looking weed into. It doesn't matter. Just load it up in your favorite pipe. Next, you will presumably believe that due to the overt dryness, this stuff will smoke like a blow torch. It doesn't. Then, you may overthink how to pack and tamp it. Don't overthink it. Pack it tight enough to get a good draw, then light it up. Doesn't need a charring light, just go for it and tamp it down after first light. Now the real magic begins. You will find that it smokes cool and steady. Needs a little bit of hand holding, but not excessive. The flavor is sublime. You will start to realize Belgian Sammy Hagar is for real. The taste is incredibly hard to verbalize. Like a strong cup of coffee, but tastes nothing like coffee. You may find yourself going to your favorite website to order more. Good choice. As you make your way through the bowl, you start to fantasize about how it will taste in the morning, after lunch, after dinner, with a single malt, with a deep Bordeaux. This is all normal, you are starting to experience this deep rich blend on a whole new level. You may start to hypothesize about your feelings toward Burley, and what exactly you have stumbled into. This is normal. Continue smoking and embracing this juggernaut. By now you may be part way through the bowl. You may question the power of the nic hit you are experiencing. Its not the strongest weed you have ever smoked, but its probably got the hairs on the back of your neck at attention. Continue to the bottom, and it leaves a beautiful gray dry dottle. No ghosting. No harshness. No bite. Its phenomenal. You will begin to build an alter to pay homage to Belgian Sammy Haggar. Your wife may check in on you and will most assuredly not be impressed with the aroma or crazed look in your eyes. Beg for forgiveness and plan to stock your cellar. If you have not taken a word that I have written at face value, just take a chance and throw $30 at this incredibly unique blend. I already have all three others on order. Ran it through several different bowl configurations, looking for its holy grail match. Doesn't matter, it smokes great in stacks, pots, billiards, it really does not care how you try to manipulate it, it performs spectacularly well in anything I have in my rotation. Meerschaum, calabash, who cares? This is an ephemeral, choice, tasty treat that I cannot bestow any more superlative to. And I am an avowed Burley hater. I am a renowned Lataka addict, but this has rewired my tastebuds. 25 plus year smoker here that has had an epiphany. This will exceed your expectations at every turn, and will go against every instinct you have learned or experienced in your lifetime as a pipe smoker. Truly special.
Pipe Used: All
Age When Smoked: new
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Is La Volute some rare bird monopol variant of Semois, or is it really just La Brumeuse with a different cut? In either case I’ve got to hand it to Vincent Manil; he sure knows how to grow and process this boutique varietal! LV is packaged just like La Brumuse and Le Petit Robin, a well formed brick of dry tobacco wrapped in paper foil, with a retro paper label over that. The brick note is musty barnyard and summer forest floor, a bowl of mixed, meaty nuts, white chocolate, and meadow flowers, with faint, mild, musty cigar spices. The cut is long, wide and thin ribbons that are pressed tightly together. They range from golden tan to mid and darker brown. LV handles, loads, lights and smokes down with ease. It smokes best for me with a somewhat looser pack than La Brumeuse. Combusting scents are a more floral iteration of the brick note, with exotic wood resins that come across very well with light snorks, and more distinct mild cigar spices. Tastes are a more solid and satisfying version of the scents, bitter-sweet through the course of the smoke. It’s consistently excellent, top to bottom. Strength is just shy of medium, with not much in the way of nicotine. Tastes build to just over medium. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is a much sweeter version of the best of the smoke that lasts and lasts.

In an age when so many things are tossed together to make money, Tabac Manil continue to buck this trend with their lovingly crafted Semois pipe tobacco. Four Stars, just like the other two Tabac Manil offerings I’ve tried (and reviewed) to date.
Pipe Used: Burley briars
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 04, 2021 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
This is a ribbon cut, quite unlike any other cut of tobacco I can think of. I believe all of the Manil straight semois tobaccos are the same basic leaf, they are just differentiated by the cut. Pure straight dry cured and uncased tobacco... the three currently available cuts, from finest to most coarse, are Reserve du Patron, La Bremeuse, and now this, La Volute. La Volute is the strongest flavored, and longest burning of the three. Absolutely have to pack all three as tight as humanly possible, or the tobacco will rise right out of the pipe and burn like tinder. Nicotine-wise La Volute is quite satisfying without being overwhelming, probably just a notch under America's Five Brothers in terms of potency, and certainly less than the legendary Cotton Boll or the brown Irish ropes... I tried a large pipe full of straight St James Perique one time, and had to put that one down and take a rest one third of the way through the bowl; for the first time in my life I had to admit defeat regards vitamin N. None of the Manil tobacs are quite that strong but they definitely have a noticeable amount of nicotine. What's interesting about the different cuts are the fact that they have the same basic flavor profile, with the coarsest cut starting out with the most potent flavor, that indescribable "cigar like without being like a cigar" flavor. Where the finer cut of the Reserve mellows down to a green vegetal taste in the last third of the bowl, La Volute comes out of the gate strong and never really fades down to that sweet last third. La Bremeuse sits right in the middle, and may be the one to try first. All of the Manil tobaccos are a bit like Islay single malts, either it's a flavor profile you're going to absolutely love and want to keep around, or you're going to run screaming from the room, looking for some Scope or a tic tac or something... I don't think there's any middle ground regarding semois tobacco. I grew up around horses and barns, and for some reason these tobaccos remind me of the tack room, old dusty wood, hay drying in the loft, very natural and very agricultural. They all burn very well, right down to fine white ash in the bottom of the bowl, no gurgle, no moisture, no bite. The French used to have Scaferlati Caporal, which also had a rather agricultural feel, coming equally dry, in those little gray cardboard cubes, a walloping, potent, working class smoke. This Belgian semois is a good deal lighter all around than the old Caporal, it must have something to do with the misty Ardennes valley they grow this stuff in... UPDATE 10/15/2021 I really have come to the conclusion here that this one is the most potent cut of semois available in terms of flavor... unlike La Bremeuse or Reserve du Patron, La Volute stays rather potent all through the bowl, whereas the finer cuts evolve into a soft vegetal character, like steamed English peas... there's nothing wrong with this, but I think if I'm going to smoke the straight stuff I'll stick with the other two varieties. I'd like to try to come up with a blend with this as a base, maybe with a good quality plain black Cavendish, some good oriental, and even a little bit of perique. I'd love to get a hold of some of those African virginias that HU tobacco blends with and makes their blends so interesting. Anyway.... I can certainly recommend this for people who like strongly flavored tobacco.
Pipe Used: Peterson 408 Spigot, Nording Bent Bulldog
Age When Smoked: fresh!!!!
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 24, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Strong
Tabac Manil- La Volute This Belgium grown Burley is very different than anything I have smoked in a pipe . It has a lot of flavor for sure . Floral and vegative and nutty with an underlying sweetness . It smells a lot like a cigar even though I am on the front porch . The aftertaste lingers quite a bit . I would dedicate a briar or corncob as I suspect it will ghost . I would smoke it as the last bowl of the evening also . Remarkable for an all natural tobacco . The burn is great and will last a long time . There are a lot of weird round stems to pick out but you get a lot of tobacco . I have enjoyed It at times and sometimes not so much .nic is not too much , shy of medium . This is one I think you would have to try if you like cigars . Two stars for me . I was expecting something closer to Burley than cigar .
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2021 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Strong
There´s something magic in it. This pure tobacco has so many different nuances, it's unique in many many aspects that's hard to write a good review.
Who is really dedicated to this should probably smoke it with paper and pen in hand.
People always told me this is the best tobacco in the world so i bought it around 3 months ago and have been smoking since then and every time it shows me a different face.
I quickly understood why is so estimated and appreciated but I have to say this is not my cup of tea even after many good words about. it just didn't get me. Way closer to cigar than I thought. I can feel is everything there, earthy, wood, smell like old farm, sometimes reminds me straw hat, hay, RUSTIC is a good word to describe. Smokes hot but lower than i was expecting considering it moisture (zero moisture). Its cut makes the action of fill the chamber properly a hard mission by itself. i had better experiences with shallow and large bowls than deep narrow pipes.
This is the kind of tobacco that teaches you something, in my case, it showed i'm not a pure Burley fan and also that a generic burley is good only when it get close to Semois taste profile.
Pipe Used: many including briar and cob
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 17, 2023 Mild to Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Comes very dry almost crispy. Packed right in my cob i proceeded with the charring light, this was all that was required. I simply tamped with the unburnt end of my match and the flavour of a mild cigar (a la cafe creme or Henri Wintermans small cigar) was immediately apparent. Burns fast but stays lit. Not a bad experience definitely worth trying.
Pipe Used: MM Southport Ferryman
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: 12 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Package note of mildly sweet, earthy, and mild licorice. Tobacco is brown fat ribbon cut, a little on the dry side but soft, no prep needed. Burns fast with few relights. The strength is medium and nic is medium. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium to full and very consistent, with complex notes of a moderately spicy cigar, very earthy, herbal tangy vegetative, bitter wood, mild sweet cocoa, very bready, floral, dry hay, sweet nutty background note, and a peppery retro. Burley is leading with the "secrete leaf" (maybe Virginias?) supporting. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is great.
Pipe Used: Peterson Bard Rusticated 221 Fishtail
Age When Smoked: fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2022 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Strong
Smoking now:

Bag aroma was almost non existent. Had to take a handful of fully dried tobacco out to smell it. Hay. Dried leaves. This is fully dried and crunchy. Packed tight into a clay pipe.

The Semois is there and falls short of La Brumeuse and Petite Robin. Which is fine IMHO because the more semois I smoke the more I know how much I don’t like it. Now that’s just me so take it with a grain of salt. This has a sharp pepper almost chili spice to it. Retrohale is non advisable. Spicy mushrooms.

The woody mineral earthy mushroom umami flavor of Semois is there but it’s surrounded by a spiciness. The overall flavor of this is far more mild which is nice. Nicotine is there and is still beyond medium for me. As the bowl progresses the spicy aspect does die down but is still present making retohaling this not pleasant. There’s a woody, tree bark, old dried grass field flavor to this. Plenty of mineral mushroom umami flavor and chili spice.

This isn’t my cup o tea but if you want a dry earthy spicy umami flavored rugged AF bowl of tobacco here you go. You’re either going to love or hate Semois. Give it a try though it’s an experience for sure.

See my take on La Brumeuse which has a stronger Semois flavor.
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