Mac Baren Three Nuns

(3.09)
Notes: The Three Nuns coin tobacco was originally a creation of J & F Bell, dating back to the 19th century. A favorite of British authors (and friends) C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien. In the formula from Imperial Tobacco, Three Nuns was a VaPer mixture. Pipe Tobacco Hall of Fame Inductee. Later this tobacco was made at the Orlik factory for BAT and Kentucky was substituted for Perique. The latest version, blended and manufactured by Mac Baren, follows the latter formula.

Details

Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Brazilian Leaf, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Rum
Cut Curly Cut
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Re-release

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium to Full
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.09 / 4
100

76

46

16

Reviews

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Displaying 11 - 20 of 76 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 29, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This review is about the new "Three Nuns", not the old one.

Since I've been hearing a lot about how Three Nuns used to be, I decided to try the new version of it. And I wasn't disappointed. It's a decent smoke, out of the tin comes in perfect moisture, no need for additional drying. There is some resemblance with good quality vapers, but it's different in a special way. Has some "cigarettish" note however. I usually smoke it in the morning with the coffee. If you want subtle yet complex smoke, probably this wouldn't be the number one choice, but if you are after a decent hit of nicotine, decent flavour all the way down and no nonsense to distract you this may be the perfect choice. VA is dark and plays with Kentucky nicely. Actually I have no idea what the distinctive flavour of Kentucky is like, I'm just guessing by comparing this with vapers.
There were some highly negative feedbacks for the new version, as mediocre smoke, nothing special, e.t.c. and I wouldn't agree with that. I don't know how the previous Three Nuns was like, but this one is good. I will buy some more of it, and being predominantly latakia smoker, this brings a good change of pace every now and then. Clean, nice, lovely smoke. Doesn't astonish, but it doesn't disappoint either.
Pipe Used: briars, meers, cobs and clay
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 1 month
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Take Escudo and substitute dark fired for the perique and kick up the power 1 notch and you have 3 Nuns. Seriously, it’s not that simple but that’s what I think about when I smoke this blend. My sample is from 2014. The virginia has the same personality as Escudo in my opinion. Bread like and mild/med taste. More savory than sweet. The Kentucky is mild, at least for a Kentucky, and at first light could be mistaken for perique. This is a nice medium blend, especially when most blends with Kentucky are on the full side. Don’t expect a sweet red Virginia experience here, it’s definitely savory. The only downside was it burns a bit hot from the beginning. Definitely watch your cadence with this one.
Pipe Used: Briar
Age When Smoked: 4 years
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 10, 2018 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Revision--Downgrading this finally for good.

Good body, lack of bite, good nicotine. Just not remarkable flavor or aroma.

Can't stop smoking this.. A superb, mid strength blend with a creamy smoothness and a musty, "aged," quality that is not unlike a more refined, toned down version of Irish Flake. Maybe like Irish Flake would be with 10 years of age and less overt strength.

It has a very subtle topping which must be anise like. It comes fairly dry in the tin and could be moistened a bit, but has the quality of creating moisture when burned, even out of dryish tobacco.

I am old enough to remember the original 3 Nuns, but at that time I did not have the appreciation for those kinds of pure tobaccos so I never liked it (the original), and I can't wax poetic about it.

I think the main reasons this is not rated 4 stars are 1) It is not the same as the original and 2) The premium price (possibly due, like St. Bruno, to a license fee for the name). Because I can't imagine anyone not liking this. I mean, if you don't like this, you don't like the taste of (relatively) unflavored tobacco. Pack, burn, strength, smoothness, aroma, it's all here with nothing sticking out.

This is a fairly subtle blend, actually, and like the classic Mac Barens it responds to slow smoking and relaxed technique. In the highest class of Va/Bur blends.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Not bad tobacco, interesting full taste, but burning to fast and leaving moisture inside the pipe. It's a good tobacco, but for that price you can find better alternatives around in the market. Anyway is really worth to try it. Happy smoking for everybody;)
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Local store
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2020 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Recently cracked a 2 year old tin, and have smoked this quite a bit, especially before retiring for the night. From the time I heard that WHOOSH from opening the tin, until the tin was void of all product, I was always puzzled as to what this blend was about.

The initial aroma is a terrific sour Virginia, not too dissimilar to the tin note of Davidoff Flake Medallions. Same sour note. Thin, spun coins with no rhyme or reason to the dispersion of the tobacco leaves. Seems totally random. The one thing that did pique my curiosity was how dry the coins seemed to be, even though the tin had a proper seal. Not an issue with the burn, taste or preparation. The coins rubbed out with ease!

Initial lighting has an weird "cologne" type note. Not soapy like a Lakeland blend, but almost a Polo Green oak moss flavor. Also, for a blend that contains zero Perique, Three Nuns does have quite a bit of spice when exhaled through the nose. The Virginias offer some grassy-hay like notes, and the Kentucky melds nicely. No harshness, even if puffed at a faster cadence. Most Mac B blends give me horrendous tongue bite, but this is quite subdued. It does tingle a bit, but not near as bad as most. Burns very clean and even to the bottom of the bowl, leaving a dark gray ash. No moisture. I have yet to smoke this blend in the morning, and I probably won't. Just doesn't suit my preferences for a morning smoke. Offers decent nicotine, it will leave you satisfied and fulfilled.
Pipe Used: several
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 2 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 12, 2019 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Three Nuns: None the nicer? Actually, yes...there are many similar but better dark-fired blends.

The Virginia varietals are quite sweet, grassy with some bright notes, and tangy (in that order). I taste some added sugar but it is not obtrusive. The dark-fired leaf is at the core of this blend in terms of flavors. It tastes of smoked oak and has an umami character to it. There is quite a bit of it in this blend—pushing the taste to a tick above medium—but there is nowhere near as much as in Mac Baren's other dark-fired offerings. Overall, Three Nuns is a good blend, but it is not quite perfection. I found my tin lasting me a half year as I kept reaching for other blends such as Savinelli Doblone d'Oro or lighter dark-fired blends.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Can’t speak for the older versions, I’ve only smoked the latest. The presentation is a somewhat broken coin, spirals of tobacco combined with curly ribbons. Moisture was pretty decent out of the tin. This is one of the best VaBur’s I’ve smoked. The red Virginia’s are the star of this blend, providing a yeast and sweet compost flavor. The burly adds volume to the smoke, and provides a lingering nutty finish. Not much else to say about this tobacco. It’s a solid smoke that always hits the spot. I just wish it was a little less expensive.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: 1-2 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
CTS
Dec 29, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is a tobacco that seems to smoke harsh, unless you slow down and sip it. Not because of the nicotine, but because the flavors when sipped are some of the nicest I've tasted in a bowl. Pure tobacco goodness when sipped, where the distinctions between the tobaccos can be enjoyed. Leaves an enjoyable spicy tang on the tongue and palate in between gentle draws. If you are more prone to puffing without thinking, you'll have to concentrate on slowing down your cadence to truly enjoy what this has to offer. Burns all the way down on one light, leaving a clean bowl. 3+ stars.
Pipe Used: Kriswill, MM
PurchasedFrom: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI
Age When Smoked: Tin date MAR-2013
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2023 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Before I begin my notes on this blend, let me get the elephant in the room out of the way. I never had the privilege of smoking the Bells or Orlick iteration of this tobacco, and as such cannot compare this Mac Baren version to the blends of yore. This can be a good thing however, as many reviews are so focused on the comparison aspect, you barely get to hear about the merits of this tobacco, and mostly hear about how it measures up to blends most people cannot get their hands on anyway. Here is what I think of the currently available offering from Mac Baren:

I was excited to try this tobacco. Although it is not the blend it used to be, for me, the tin represents one of the most iconic tins in the pipe tobacco pantheon. This tin was slightly pricey compared to other blends in this category. Whether this is due to the quality of the leaf, or the heraldry of its namesake I am unsure.

Upon opening the tin I was greeted by a smattering of sloppy coins in various states of unravel. It is not as pretty as say escudo in the tin, but does that really matter in the end? Some coins are complete, some broken up and various other smatterings of tobacco here and there. The coins also appear to be uneven in their makeup. Some mostly dark colored, some mostly light colored. The tin note has a wonderfully familiar sour, not sweet VA smell, with a slight barbecue like background that the dark Kentucky brings to the table.

The moisture seemed acceptable, maybe a little wet on the first open of the tin, but I smoked this both dried and fresh from the jar and it performed equally well for me. I also smoked this both rubbed out and with stacked coins, and found while it burned a little easier rubbed out (as expected) I did not find much difference in the flavor when done so in the same pipe. I will say I enjoy this blend more in a larger wide chamber. It performed especially well in my Savinelli Trevi 320KS.

I expected this blend to be a little stout, as dark fired Kentucky can carry a broad set of shoulders, but this did not come to pass. In fact, while the Kentucky is noticeable, it was nowhere near as much so as I expected.

In the end, this proved to be a very nice Virginia and then some blend. It did not blow my socks off, but it did not bore me. It is very well balanced, and the Virginias are leaning more toward the light sweeter side, but not as much as my beloved OGS. This is a blend I could smoke bowl after bowl of, and while not mind blowing, a very nice VA type blend. I highly recommend it. If it wasn't for the price point, this could be an all day smoker for me. A very nice blend. Worth the money and time. I will finish this tin, and even though there are so many tobaccos to try and so little time, I will purchase again. An excellent companion to coffee.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Trevi 320KS
Age When Smoked: 2021 Tin
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2021 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
This is a good to great blend.

Is it anything like the myriad of previous incarnations? I’ve no idea; this wasn’t one of my grandads favourite tobaccos. I don’t recall him ever smoking it to be fair.

The UK blend (orange? Original?) burns cool and flavoursome.

The pouch note smells of plums, figs and all that jazz.

It smokes very well - lots of smoke from the bowl and it doesn’t smell like a battalion of Sappers have been smoking in your front room the next morning either.

If there is perique involved then the lack of coin cut (UK version) let’s it down - Cabbies mix, Deluxe Rolls will scratch that perique itch better than 3 Nuns possibly but, all in all, a well rounded baccy.

I’ve added it to my tobaccos of choice, even if it’s not a (UK) OTC blend these days.
Pipe Used: Some
PurchasedFrom: B&M in Notts
Age When Smoked: 2-3months on the pouch
1 person found this review helpful.
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