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
99

76

46

16

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 46 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
I hate to post a real downer of a review, but this is the worst tobacco I've had in ages. I mean, every hint that it's going to get sweeter, or spicier, or fuller, or... or anything at all.... just disappears as soon as you think "Ahh, here we go..." It doesn't go. It tastes flat, comparable to a cheap burley like Carter Hall but tastes worse. Expected good things from a good blender and a hallowed blend. Yuck. Flat and bitter. Cardboard would be as good.

EDIT: For the first time ever... I think I can say I had a "bad tin". I was gifted another tin of 3N last year and it bore no resemblance at all to the rotten-sock burley I had before. I find this tasty, pleasant and tobacco-y, like a diluted Scottish Cake maybe I'll give it another star.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2015 Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
The following review is based on a recently produced tin (a round tin. Purchased in 2014). I know the younger set dislikes us old farts reviewing blends we once loved; and how we complain about how different the new blends are from the old blends, but, you know, it can't be helped (wait until your favorite blends fall by the wayside and then reappear; you'll see).

The original Three Nuns was a blend I'd smoke from time to time back in the eighties—this current incarnation is not that blend. However, for me, all the attributes of the missing Perique remain; the tingling on my tongue (that real peppery smack), the strength of the blend; it all measures up to Perique. So, if there's no Perique in this, what's giving me all these signals? The Kentucky? The Virginia? It sure couldn't be the Burley. And, speaking of Burley, that's what I remember from the older blend—the Burley, then Perique. It was never a Perique bomb, like this new blend (or faux Perique, whichever might be the case). The nuttiness and body of the Burley used to come out more, not so with this new one.

Really, all this reminds me of the arguments running over Presbyterian Mixture; as to whether or not it really has Latakia in it. I guess the bottom line for me, is the new mixture is okay, but it's nothing to write home about. It certainly isn't in the same class the old blend was in. What a pity.

I'll give this current incarnation a high two stars (the old blend, a solid three). It so happens I own a much older tin of Three Nuns, and I'll pop it sometime in the future, when? I don't know. Check back for an update sometime.

Keep Piping!
Pipe Used: Boswell freehand
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 02, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
I´ve read and heard so much about this tobacco so i had to try it. This isn´t the original one but still i had to try it. I will make this review in two halfs, first off is "the good side".

In the tin the tobacco is cut in very very nice little "coins" and it gives a very nice first meeting with it. And when you pack and lit it up,the cut of the tobacco gives you always a cool smoke. I like to puff hard and it never ever bites. It´s perfect. The taste is mild until you reach down half the bowl. That was the good side.

Here is "the bader side".

When you have reached down half the bowl the kentucky comes kicking in. And i don´t seem to get a long with the kentucky so well. It turns the mild virginia into a "dry-harsh-smoke-thing" with irregular nicotin kicks. And the pipe tends to get hot (but it´s probably just me for puffing like a train).

I have tried this in different pipes and i discovered that in a longer pipe (14-15cm)it tasted best.

After a the first three bowls i had plans to let this one go. But i tried a little more and now with the tin almost empty i can master it.

Pack it loose in a longer pipe and it might work for you. The best of this tobacco is the nice "coins" and always a cool smoke.

For me this were the first and last time i dated Three nuns.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 08, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Sadly, I have no idea on what this famed blend used to be in the glory days of old. I've sampled just the current sans-Perique version. Reading ecstatic reviews left by those who knew the Original Three Nuns, I feel I missed a lot. Even without sampling both versions, it's understandable that the recipe change was crucial as Perique and Kentucky are very different tobaccos, and replacing one with another must have been essentially an introduction of a brand new blend, not an updating of the original one.

Well, the Three Nuns is a nice blend anyway. Sourish Virginia well balanced with mild Kentucky. Slices are kinda cute. Tin art is tastefully simple. No complains. And no magic, so often mentioned by those who'd sampled the Original Three Nuns.

If it was a blend in its own right marketed under its own name, I would see no reasons to rate it lower than 3.7. Cause it's nice. But since it's just a knock-off of a seemingly far superior (or, in any case, very different) discontinued product, I subtract two stars for the unfair use of the old trade mark.

Anyway, worth to try. Not outstanding, but still nice.
6 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
4 people found this review helpful.
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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
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
Jun 13, 2015 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Never have the previous famous version. Although wonderful cute little coin cuts as everybody says, it tastes musty and hot and it bites. I don't know if it could get better with some aging, but I definitely move the tin to the back of my cabinet. Maybe it's just not for me.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 24, 2013 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Seeing that the new formulation had replaced the perique with dark- fired, I expected to hate this. After all, Three Nuns and Escudo were the two standard Va-pers in the good old days. But I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. It's a decent tobacco, but not great, smooth and even-burning. I'll probably buy it again, but it won't go in my regular rotation. These days, my favorite Va-per is Samuel Gawith's St.James Flake.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I haven't added a review in years, but my recent experience with the 'reformulated' 3 Nuns seems worth sharing.

Opening the tin, I was greeted with rough looking roundels, smallish in diameter, and ranging in colour from blonde to dark brown. The note from the tin is sharp and woody: the first waft is of a light viriginia, immediately followed by the much heavier, peaty presence of the dark Kentucky leaf. It smells delicious, to my nose, and the moisture level at opening was on the dry side.

I smoked three bowls in three different pipes over a few days, and then wrote down a few impressions. Words such as 'dark' and 'consistent' occur frequently, as does the phrase 'burley-dominated'. I smoked 4 more bowls over the next ten days or so, words and phrases similar to the above followed.

The flavour is the much the same as the tin note - dark, slightly rich, and musky, without much detectable change throughout the bowl - very 'tobacco-y'. There is some strength there, and the blend has a tendency to bite, so slow sipping is needed. This is not a tobacco that will change much with aging - it will taste practically the same 5 years from now, likely owing to the tentative virginia proportions.

My overall impression is one of a quality, but undimensional offering. I haven't much experience with 3 Nuns of yore, when it was THE va/perique blend of choice, but the current formula does little to excite my senses. A less judicious application of Kentucky could have served well here, or even the inclusion of a bit of perique to offset the dominating presence of the burley; either of these would hold my attention longer. As it is, I am about half-way through my tin, and will finish it, but with no plans to replenish or cellar. There are simply too many superior blends available currently to warrant struggling with this one.

To finish, I have tried mixing this with a few favourites, such as Dunhill Navy Rolls, in a 1:1 proportion, and Squadron Leader at 2:1. Neither of the aforementioned blends survived the experiment, such is the tenacity of the dark Kentucky. If you love the stuff, you will be in heaven here. I'm a bit ambivalent, thinking it better utilised as a condimental addition than relied on as a base, so bear that in mind as you consider whether it is a tobacco for you.
2 people found this review helpful.
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