Mac Baren Three Nuns

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.


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


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

Average Rating

3.09 / 4





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Displaying 31 - 40 of 237 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2007 Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable
Have a few tins from trips and gifts. I dedicated a Savinelli to this blend as it is sooooo mild I couldn't taste anything. In trying to get some flavour I was stung by the virginias - save your money and try something else. If the old version was something, ( I never tried the old version), this is not what it was. Tin aroma is nice if nothing else.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 14, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
If you’re scouring the reviews to see if Three Nuns is worth trying, rest assured, it is. I dont know what it used to be, but the stuff now is unbelievable. The Dark fired kentucky is sharp and smokey. Mixed with the burley and virginia it creates a hearty, rich, no frills smoke. Its woody, nutty, smokey, spicey, has a taste of hickory, slight note of vinegar, and theres a sweetness, like honey, in the background. I don't know much about brazilian lights, except that they tend to go out if you plug the radio and toaster into the same outlet. The tobaccos are top drawer. The bowl never gets bitter. The smoke has that creamy chewy quality. The flavours are consistent. It packs well. It burns great. The room note is sublime, I assume. Good nic-hit. Just unbelievable stuff. Im gonna go out on a limb here and say, (everyone hold onto your tampers), I think this tobacco has potential to be addictive. I love it, 4 stars. No, 5 stars. No, wait, 6 stars. No, 7 sta...
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend is reviewed after two and a half years of aging.

What immediately jumps out in the tin note is the sweetness from the Virginia and a slightly smoky, BBQ-tomato from the Kentucky. It's a great balance between the two notes.

The tin notes translate fairly well to the initial part of the smoke. It's a really nice sweet-smoky-BBQ, a bit woody with just a hint of a spice. I find that the flavor gets slightly bolder after the first few puffs, just to mellow out around the half-point.

Medium-bodied, mild-medium in strength. In terms of complexity, it's exactly in the middle. It's not one-dimensional boring, but isn't too complex that you need to stop and think about it. It's a balanced game of leadership between sweet and smoky, Virginia and Kentucky. Little did they know, they were perfect together all along.

Coin-cut, comes fairly dry but not so much that you need to rehydrate. It's easy to rub-out the coins, pack them in the pipe, and smoke it. Can be an all-day smoke.

I don't remember liking this when I first smoked it as much as I do now. It might've been the aging, it might've been a bit of palate maturation, it might've been that I didn't smoke much Dark Fired Kentucky lately and simply missed it. But I sure like it much more now than I did when I first tried it.

Great blend for this genre-lovers. I absolutely love Virginia-Kentucky blends and would've loved to smoke more of this. However, due to the price, I'll have to settle on getting one more tin and let it age for a bit until getting more. While it tastes great now, I feel like the lack of Kentucky on my tongue lately has made me like this just a bit more than I should. Since this is one of my last bowls of this tin, I have to consider everything up to now. So instead of a perfect score, I'll give it three stars for now.
Pipe Used: Brewster billiard
Age When Smoked: 2.5 years
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 21, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Just finishing up my first tin so I thought I'd add some comments. This is for the current version, I have never had the chance to try any previous incarnation. I will say, however, that I think the substitution of Dark Fired mimics the taste of Perique fairly well, per my limited experience with the Louisiana leaf.

I found this to be a very enjoyable blend. It has a bold, no frills taste-- not for beginners. The moisture was perfect out of the tin and it smoked dry, burning well and never leaving a dottle. No bite, but it required an average number of relights. I will definitely be revisiting in the future.

A good old-fashioned, traditional mixture : 3.5
Pipe Used: Briars, corncob
PurchasedFrom: Smoking
Age When Smoked: 6 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
An absolute all day gentle puffing tobacco. I remember well the old Three Nuns. It was good, very good. I’ll move on and not dwell on the past. My therapist says to do that ( lol ). This new tin of The Three Nuns is just right for me. Mild to medium and good nicotine hit. The blend is naturally sweet without any additives. Excellent Virginia tobacco and.. Kentucky? Kentucky? Ok, they say Kentucky is in there and I guess it is. It must be only a very small amount, because it takes any edges off the sour Virginia. I’m actually glad the perique is absent, though I enjoy perique in small amounts in many other blends.Three Nuns is scrumptious, delicious and I’ve been smoking one bowl after another! A very mellow, type of Virginia with hay,and sourness. This tobacco is best when dried out till almost crunchy. Smokes cool and leaves little mess.
Pipe Used: Ashton Canadian old church.
PurchasedFrom: I’m over 50: I can’t remember.
Age When Smoked: 2 years.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 06, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I was given a great sample of this. Nearly a whole tin minus a few bowls as my friend who gave it to me just did not like it. This was my first experience with three nuns in any form, so I was free of any bias.

I liked it. It is a flavorful VaBur that is somewhat light in comparison to some of my favorite vaburs (irish Flake, Silver Flake, Stonehaven PH DSF). As with those favorite VaBurs, the primary Burley in three nuns is the Dark Fired Kentucky leaf. In addition to the standard nuttiness that burley tends to give off, DFK has more of a dark murky smoky molasses type taste to it. If this is what you are looking for in a vabur you should find this to be a pleasurable enough experience.

Made by Mac Baren, this one is substantially better than MB Navy Flake and BLB and pretty close to HH ODF to my tastes, so if you enjoy those blends this could be right up your alley. Yes, I liked it, but I did not love it. And this, perhaps, the reason the sample lasted more than two years in my cellar. In this time I was fortunate enough to have a sample of the original VaPer three nuns sent to me by a forum friend. Now that was out of this world. Perhaps the 20 years of aging had something to do with this, but it was miles ahead of the current production of three nuns.

So I will be another voice claiming that this blend has declined from its former self, but yet it does remain a good tasting blend. If a mild yet flavorful vabur is what you like in a blend, you may very well go 4 stars on this blend, but I will leave it with three.

UPDATE 8/28/2020

So a few years back I espied a rectangular tin for sale at the Chicagoland show for $40 with a sticker on it indicating the tin was from? 2007. This note was handwritten, so I was not completely convinced that this tin was actually produced in 2007 or if it had simply been acquired on that date by someone who purchased it from god knows where.

It looked similar to the old VaPer tins and would be bargain if it was, yet would be a bit more than I would pay for the new stuff. Hell, it was the Chicago show and I had money to burn, so I bought it.

I finally got around to opening it and it only took the puffs at light up to recognize the tell tale taste of dark Fired Kentucky and to realize that I overpaid. Shucks! But that aside, it was still a very nice experience. Not the dried fruit sweetness and spice of the VaPer version, but the dirty molasses type sweet you would get from this particular burley that was countered by very nicely aged Virginia.

This smoked very smooth and I enjoyed every bowl of it. The age did seem to knock some edges off the DFK, a form of burley that sometimes can cause me to have coughing fits when it is applied heavily. I have been losing my love for this leaf lately, which is a shame since I have cellared so deep with blends containing it. Smoking this gives me hope that all of that will be fine as I did enjoy this more with its age than I did the fresher sample I reviewed above.

4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 03, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
My backorder arrived after waiting months. It's good, but I won't be buying more unless there's an incredible sale. I noticed several reviews lamenting the absence of Perique. Those folks need to try GL Pease Triple Play. KY, VA & Perique. Cheaper & a vastly superior dose of Nicotine.
Pipe Used: MM Cob
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: New tin dated Feb 14
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 08, 2014 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
New tinned version by Mac Baren.

These tobaccos go very well together. Although the dominant flavors come from the very nice Virginias (by just a little), the DFK is the star of this show for me. What a great flavor it has. Together they create a rich, deep, sweet and spicy smoke that I really enjoy. Fresh from the tin I give it 3+ stars. I'm willing to bet that with some aging it will easily reach the 4 star level. Will stash several tins and find out in a few years. Medium to full in body and flavor.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh
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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
Age When Smoked: 1 month
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 10, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Lovely, adult tobacco. I was excited to try this out, since there was so much hype surrounding its resurgence - and I was not disappointed!! I thoroughly enjoyed this tobacco. Solid and spicy, but doesn't bite. Smoked evenly. Felt very mature to me, in a sense that this is probably something that is good to read or write to. Likely very good for college homework or any kind of studying or research. At the time I was smoking a couple of bowls, both great in two different meers, I was engaged in deep philosophical/religious discussions with some members of my pipe club - and Three Nuns was perfect for that. I don't want to say something like "This is a thinking man's tobacco," - but I kinda want to. It certainly seems very smart, that's for sure. I loved it. Nice and peppery without being too much so, spiritually arousing and rather timeless. I will definitely be buying some for those times I want to slip into that smoking-jacket-in-the-den-library-leather-chair type of mode. Very nice. Easy to see why this one is a Classic, and in the Hall of Fame. Of the Hall of Fame ones I've tried, I liked this best. Easily. A+++
Pipe Used: Laxey Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
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