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 41 - 50 of 238 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
After two tins of this tobacco, I still havent understood what it is about. There will be not a third attempt, I give up. Two solid stars, and that's all about it, for me it is not a memorable experience, despite the good reviews.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 18, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
I have always wanted to review this blend as i have heard so much about it! Imagine my pleasure to acquire two tins of this wonderful mixture, one I bought from a pipe store and one I found in an antique store. I have now smoked theentire tin from the antique store. It was somewhat dry of course but still very smokable with a slight crumbling but still with the little disks mostly intact. I rehumidified this tin over the course of one month with distilled water so as not to change the taste and to bring it back like it was years ago when made. This tin is marked as made in Wcotland with US distributor James B Russel, Inc in Englewood New jersey. I see no date code but the tin is marked as selling for $2.45 so it obviously is quite old.

After bring this fine blend back to life the tin aroma is a little like shoe polish in aroma, very much like some of the black ropes made today. It is a dark broiwn mixture composed of mostly little round cut disks and one rehydrated they are full and fluffy in appearance. This blend loads easily into the pipe, and once lit, it emmits a very pleasant aroma and a soft full taste on the plate, very much like a dark fired VA with some spicyness, most likely the perique in it. It just tastes so wonderful that my taste buds watered and I savored the smoke all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. It burned well and clean leaving just a fine ash in the bottom of my bowl. I could smoke nothing else until I fisnished this entire tin. It is just a wonderful smoke, has a rich full spicy flavor that just works! Why this blend is no longer made is a real shame as it is one of the best i have ever smoked and I would most likely make this my blend of choice if that was an option. For sure it would be in my top five list. The brown tin with the golden lettering along with white says "None Nicer" and I have to agree. if someone could come even close to reproducing this blend, I would be a devout smoker of it and I am sure many others would agree! If you ever get a chance to try it, do so! No matter the price, it is worth every penney of it!
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2011 Extremely Strong Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Strong
What is this? I can see why this tobacco was popular in the UK; it smells like malt loaf and taste like malt vinegar! Maybe the massive dose of nicotine it delivers has something to do with its popularity as well? Enough to tranquilize a donkey. Anyway, the nuns come in really pretty small curly discs. Works well both to stack or rub; I find it smokes a bit better rubbed out, slightly more flavour comes out. And about the flavour, surprisingly little sweetness for a Virginia blend. It reminds me a bit of ketchup. I found it rather thin and harsh. Room note is smoky, sour and harsh as well. Such a shame on such a pretty tobacco.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 06, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Now here's to a blend with a lot of nostalgia to a lot of folks. This isn't my first bowl, or tin for that matter, and it certainly won't be my last. Like many, "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" was an excellent introduction into children's literature. I would be lying if I said I didn't first pick up a tin of this stuff with C.S. Lewis in mind, especially while working on my English/Medieval studies in college. I would also be lying if I didn't admit to musing on talking to the man who held the Chair of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Magdalen College of Cambridge while smoking this blend in my pipe.

Now times change and so do tobacco blends, their blenders, and so on. This is indeed alas a different version of the smoke, notably without the Perique because from what I gather Mac Baren does not have the rights to the original recipe. I have also read that the original blend may have had a slight topping but since I've never tasted it I will refrain from commenting. As it is Mac Baren has decided to keep a fairly original tin design with the original Bell's logo.

Opening the tin there is a very nice medium brown loose coin cut. It is very easy to rub out and stuff in your pipe. Picking up the tin for the aroma I smell hay, just like when I was young on a hayride around this time of year. It's a delightful smell. BBQ spice, fall leaves, and earth. This blend is made of Virginias and Dark Fired Burley so it's right up my alley. In my experience it lights well and keeps a consistent light from start to finish.

From the first light there is such a pure tobacco flavor. It reminds me of the simplicity of the MB HH blends: no topping, pure taste. The taste is a mix of fermented hay, wood, and spice. Like the Three Nuns Green, the slower you puff the more rewarded you will be. As the smoke fills your mouth it doesn't coat your pallet but it's present in a medium bodied kind of way. It's fine enough to sip on without thought and respectfully balanced. I give this blend five stars. I think that regardless of whether or not you have tried the original this is a good smoke in its own right.
Pipe Used: Peterson Irish Harp 150
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 1 year
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 05, 2021 Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant
So I will start this out like many have here: I have never had the original Three Nuns blend. I think, however, that's a good thing. Because I really like this blend.

I think the way to determine what your favorite tobacco might be is to look at what you keep going back to. For me this blend seems to be the one that works best. One of the flavors I pull out of this mixture is that taste you find at the end of a sugary bowl of Cheerios. That sugar, creamy, cereal, grain, flavor. The taste of sugar is not the sweet of sugar but the flavor of sugar and or molasses itself.

I love to try all the different blends out there! But this Three Nuns blend is the smoke for my comfort zone.

I think CS Lewis and Tolkien had pretty good taste when it came to tobacco. I know that this is not the exact same blend. However, when I put it in my William Faulkner great big billiard pipe I feel like I'm in the club! Now if I only had a great story to write.....
Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo Great Big Billiard
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
A hearty smoke: more solid and deep than some of my other English blends. The Virginia offers a soft, sweet, grassy flavor initially that hold the smoke together. Occasionally it combines well with the Kentucky and has a molasses flavor. The Kentucky offers depth and strength, with a good woody taste, and the Brazilian adds a spicy and sour note. The coins fall apart too easily, and that means the bowl is inconsistent. The advantage there is I often get a strong taste of whatever tobacco is burning at the time, but I'd like it better if the flavors blended, rather than burst over your tongue. The tin smell is wonderful: wood and molasses. The smoke is light gray and strong smelling. Three Nuns burns to fine ash in the small bowl I use to smoke this. This is a great smoke if you want good solid smoke and some underlying flavor. This is not an all day smoke for me, rather I enjoy it after a hard day of work.
Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal 999
PurchasedFrom: Old Fireside Smokehouse
Age When Smoked: 1 year
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I never had a chance to try the Perique version, but I'm rather happy it's because of my relative youth, which I wouldn't trade for any Perique. This one, the Burley version, I loved first but now I find shallow. Between love and indifference, along the way came Perique. An old friend used to say that you just can't love these two - Perique and Burley - at the same time. He was an older and wiser gentleman, and now I see what he meant. In french, all the words above translate into : Bof.
PurchasedFrom: Berlin
Age When Smoked: 9 Years
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the greatest mac barens, you wont regret buying this one. No way... Alas, perique replaced with dark fired kentucky, If you want to taste the original tolkien favorite, I recommend Cabbie's Mixture.
Pipe Used: Stanwell, Royal Dutch
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: 4 years
3 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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