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Golden Ambrosia is made from an almost equal mix of golden brown Burley tobaccos and the Modern Cavendish made from ripe Virginia tobaccos.

The tobaccos are pressed together and then stored for numerous days in which the tobaccos marry into a uniform taste. Then the tobacco is cut into big slices and partly rubbed up, so Golden Ambrosia contains larger pieces of pressed tobacco. You can choose to fill your pipe like it is or you can rub it up a little more. In any case the pressed tobacco secures a slow and cool burn. The taste is light fruit notes in perfect combination with the sweet Cavendish and the more bold Burley taste.

Notes: Introduced in 1985.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMac Baren
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Cavendish
FlavoringFruit / Citrus
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams pouch, 100 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Mild, Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable
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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (321)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

In a visit to the Albayzin, the old Arab quarters in the magical Spanish city of Granada, I suddenly found this most picturesque ?estanco?, lost in the middle of one of those narrow, cobbled-stone streets, that offered some pipes and pipe tobacco. Why not? I had left mine at the hotel, so in I went and I bought a very interesting straight billiard, part of the bowl and the shank covered in leather. But when I looked for something to put inside, I only saw Borkum Riff, Amphora red and a couple of Mac Barens'. I though this tobacconist may have some French Caporal hidden somewhere, or a Spanish version of the old Napoleonic troops' pipe tobacco, but nothing doing.

As I was not planning to go back to the hotel anytime soon, I decided to try the Mac Baren tobaccos, and bought some Mixture Aromatic and Golden Ambrosia.One must hand it to them: as far as merchandising and distribution go, Borkum Riff and Mac Baren can be really found ANYWHERE (if only Dunhill or Rattray had the same market oriented strategy!).

I then found a small café, with a magnificent view to the Alhambra on the hills in front and, down below, to the rest of the city. Lamenting my lack of prevision (what an excellent time this would have been to smoke an Oriental mixture! I thought to myself), I asked for a ?cortado?, took a seat and proceeded to fill in and light up, as I took in the wonderful views that so inspired Washington Irving and Lord Byron.

Mid morning, balmy weather, blue skies above, almost no other tourists in sight, I sipped my coffee and then lit up the pipe. I had chosen Golden Ambrosia. In the pouch it had a fruity aroma, but nothing to really put me off. It was more of a topping than a casing. Not at all moist, the tobacco was supple enough to be rubbed up a little more, making the loading process rather simple. I followed the suggestions from other Mac Baren reviewers and packed it in a little loosely, to help in the cumbstion process.

Expecting the traditional incendiary experience from Mac Baren, I was surprised to try instead a gentle, mellow, yet very well structured tobacco taste! Slightly sweet, yes, but nothing compared, say, to Borkum Riff or Captain Black. This is in fact a medium strength tobacco, cool, with excellent burning characteristics. It is a mixture in almost equal proportions of aged Burley-the predominant flavour-and Golden Virginias, with some Black Cavendished Virginia leaf. The tobacco is of a dark brown hue with some black strands, partly rubbed, partly in broken flakes, very similar in texture to Mixture or Virginia No 1.

I don't know what the topping in Golden Ambrosia is. It has a winy, fruity undertone, very gentle and discreet, that, in my opinion, does not really interfere with the tobacco flavour. As I was sitting in an open terrace, the aroma quickly dissipated, but I was complimented on its smell by some of the locals (huele bien, señor, huele bien). Tasty, rich, slow burning, the agreeable sweetness of Golden Ambrosia complemented perfectly the dark, roasted coffee (I drink mine with no sugar). The flavour is rich and nutty, and surprisingly gentle on the palate, provided you puff in slowly and calmly.So I just sat back, enjoyed the flavours and let my self be carried away by the views and the whole experience.

If you like slightly aromatic tobaccos, and are willing to puff in gently and slowly, you may find Golden Ambrosia is a very nice change of pace. I plan to buy some more in the future. Not at all a bad choice.

8 people found this review helpful.

Connaisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connaisseur (2)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Due to the fact, that this tobacco is cut into ready rubbed, he belongs (without any exception) in pipes with significant large capacities. Who takes this fact into account will have perhaps one of the most good-natured and good-tasting pipe experience ever.

Once this noticeably flavored tobacco is placed in a suitable pipe, the smoking characteristics change into a cold, good-natured and easy to control burning. This tobacco tends to extinguish quickly and because you have to pull demanding to keep the glow up, he is very suitable for beginners (the Mac Baren Goden Ambrosia reacts very generous and gentle to hungry, greedy and hasty pulling).

Taste is debatable. For me this cool aromatic tastes of powdery bergamot and fruity freshness. This delicate and exquisite tobacco is rounded off with a vanilla finish of the high-quality Virginia. The tobacco is a revelation and my most significant discovery of the year 2013.

Serve with a good Earl Gray tea and life is a paradise.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

6 people found this review helpful.

Falcon Fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Falcon Fan (22)
Medium Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

MacBaren tobaccos were the ones I remembered smoking from my first relatively brief foray into pipe smoking back in 2005, (thats if I exclude the real true first foray back in around 1982 when at the age of 9, my grandad gave me a puff on his pipe - no doubt after relentless pestering from me. Lots of people say they have the best grandad in the world but they couldn't because I did - best grandad ever!!!!) Anyway, back to MacBaren, this blend was my No. 1 favorite back in 2005 with Vanilla Cream a close second. So i sought it out in 2013 when I restarted pipe smoking and struggled to source a pack and was eventually pleased to be able to order some in from overseas. It duly arrived, and on opening, the aromatic smell was great, as remembered, but the tobacco was very dry - not as remembered. The smoke was hot yet kept going out, and very harsh with bite but not with any of the lovely pouch aromas coming through. I think my pack was maybe old and the tobacco stale and this may partially account for lack of enjoyment i got from the smoke. Or maybe I have just been spoilt with superior blends since restarting in 2013. Either way, it is rather like going back to the school reunion to find the girl you always fancied has turned out fat and ugly - bit of a disappointment and a shame to tarnish warm memories, but no big deal - move on.

Pipe Used: Vesz Bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: Newly opened pouch

Purchased From: JN Barber, UK

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2076)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Mac Baren Golden Ambrosia.

it’s good in the moisture department, gives off a vivacious aroma which contains a fusion of both sweet and almost floral attributes and the pieces are brilliant to look at as they really vary in size from tiny to some about an inch long. This also gains points in the igniting sector, it takes to the flame first time and delivers a VERY even burn which does not require a re-light often, at all. The smoke is fabulous, a fairly cool smoke that doesn't bite and it is also thick in build. Vitamin N? ... Great, not strong and not weak but just right (for me, think Rattray Highland Targe strength) and if you inhale it then it's a joy to do so. Flavour now , I know there is some added flavour but all I get is a full taste of Burley and Virginia with a vanilla/floral touch in there too. Due to the fact the additives are delicate it only leaves a small ghost unless heavily smoked with very little cleaning. Don't get me wrong, the aromatic side is noticeable, all I mean is that it is more gentle and gives a little space for you to enjoy the tobacco flavours, for this reason it would make a great entry into the aromatic world. Final area to mention is room note: fairly light with a sensual floral touch.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (345)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In the past months I have learned to appreciate many Mac Baren tobaccos, and some have entered in my regular rotation. So, it's weird that I am not particularly enjoying what is considered one of their finest achievements.

My impressions are based on a 100g tin: some people complain that the pouch version is often on the dry side, but the tin verson does a much better job in preserving the moisture and aroma of the tobacco. I would even dare to say that my tin could actually improved after a few days due to a slight drying of the content.

The tin aroma (and also the taste of the smoke) has something familiar to me. It's a similar smell to the one that I have experienced with other flavored Virginias/Burleys: it has the same earthy fruitiness of Dunhill's Three Years matured Virginia (though less sweet), and it also reminds me a bit of Peterson's University Flake, Erinmore Flake, or St. Bruno. Luckily, Golden Ambrosia will prove to be actually better, to my taste, than each of these tobaccos (not that Erinmore Flake or St. Bruno are bad tobaccos: simply they are a bit overwhelming in flavoring and nicotine content for my personal taste). If I had to say what the flavoring is... well, it's hard to tell, but to me it smells like bergamot, like an intense Earl Grey tea. Sure, one can detect other fruits too (berries?) and a hint of vanila.

My tin was not particularly "golden" in color. The tobacco was more on a brown reddish tone, with a good appearence consisting of broken flakes partially rubbed out. Definitely a coarser cut than other aromatic mixtures, and the tobacco seems of high quality. No cavendish, as far as my eyes can tell.

At the test of fire, it burns fine like most Mac Barens do. Quite slow, thanks to the cut, and producing little moisture. No tonguebite at all. The smoke is thick, very rich, and (surprisingly for a Mac Baren) with a stout body and intensity. Even nicotine content seems higher than other tobaccos from this brand, although this certainly isn't a heavy smoke. Anyway, it's exactly the opposite of Black Ambrosia's light and breezy character: here you can distinctly feel the raw tobaccos used. The taste is intense, and the flavoring does quite well to enhance the tobacco (nice mature Virginia sweetness, earthy Burley)... if you like this kind of flavoring. Personally I am not crazy about this kind of taste: mind you, it's not bad, or nauseating, or irritating. It simply doesn't make me want to have another bowl of it soon. A minor complaint is that there is a slight fermented/astringent taste in the second half of the bowl, with some of the same "dirty" feeling that I got with the Dunhill Three Years Matured or the Peterson University Flake. Nothing really bad, anyway.

So, I won't rush to buy another tin, but if you are looking for an aromatic with a fruity/citrusy flavoring and still having an intense toabccos backbone... give it a try!

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

If this were a little more powerful in the taste department, I would have given it four stars. As it is, this is a very fine Virginia/Burley blend with a somewhat fermented fruit topping that was pleasant without interfering with the true taste of the tobacco.

I submit that those of my briar brothers and sisters who enjoy lighter fare with added flavoring will find this particular Mac Baren offering to be tasty.

All Mac Baren blends seem to burn evenly right down to the bottom of the bowl and this one is no exception.

2 people found this review helpful.

Paganelius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paganelius (11)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant

Tobacco itself and smoke both smell nice like dry fruits and raisins. And that's it. No taste, it is very wet in a pouch, so needs to be dried, and extremely tongue bites. I will not buy it again.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: fresh from pouch

Purchased From: local tobacco store

1 person found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (186)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Mild Unnoticeable

A very generic sweet mild burly blend. Not much character, really, but nicely done in its way. Its mild mild mild mild mild. Dont know what else to say.

Purchased From: tax free at the airport.

1 person found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (203)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I bought this years ago during a Holiday in Ibiza and Formentera... and forgot it in my cabinet.

The tobacco is dry but still pliable. The colour is some medium brown with some lighter and darker specs. The cut is unmistakably a ready rubbed.

I guess time has worked (very nicely, for me...) to mild the flavouring in some way. What I got is some fruity (would say: mainly peaches and pineapple) pouch note. That is detected in the flavour too, but in the far distance. Tobacco flavour, primarily of Burley, is the main player.

Smoked in Castello's with large bore, it offers a very pleasant and mellow smoking experience, and an unexpected rate of strenght. I've experienced no bite and no insanely hot pipe.

I would see myself choosing this when on the sweet tooth, if only were available in my Country,


Pipe Used: mainly CASTELLO's

Age When Smoked: 5 years

Purchased From: tobacconist in Ibiza Spain

Similar Blends: Erinmore Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Haebar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Haebar (52)
Very Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I came across three little 5 gram sample packs of Golden Ambrosia, just enough for 3 medium-sized bowls. It states on the package that it is a light aromatic pipe tobacco and that it is... moderately light and pleasantly aromatic. It has a delightful flavoring in proper proportion to the normal tobacco flavor; the flavoring agents allow some natural tobacco flavor to shine through. It just gets better as you get deeper into the bowl. It smokes cool and stays lit fairly easily. Close inspection of the tobacco reveals high quality leaf, no stems, veins or midribs.

Pipe Used: Orlik billiard, Missouri Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: >10 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Telling it how it is. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Telling it how it is. (73)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I always liked this blend because everything about it is nice and uncomplicated.

Its readily available, cheap in price, has a nice tin aroma, packs easy, burns bite free with no care needed, tastes great and leaves a nice room note everyone seems to like.

The tin aroma is nice and smells like some undefined, sweet alcoholic but you also can make out all the tobaccos used which is always a good thing with aromatics.

I always found that Golden Ambrosias flavouring tastes like sherry and only very delicately accompanies the taste that the used tobaccos deliver. The flavour lasts down through the bowl but gets less and less after the first third, whereas the tobaccos come more and more to the front. So, overall there is a nice progression going on but not that complex that it would require all your attention. And that's a good thing. Because this is a good property for a true all day smoke. And together with its hassle free burning properties it fills that job profile perfectly.

Aftertaste is nice and sweet to the tongue.

I clearly and with a clean conscience can recommend this blend to anyone that is into only slightly flavoured blends or just feels like trying something new. I especially recommend this to the beginner, the flavouring does not kill the tobaccos used and in that it is a very good reference for tobaccos of its kind. All in all you can't really go wrong with this blend and it only barely misses the four star mark - just a tinsy bit more and it would be a clear four star blend.

Pipe Used: It went trough rotation.

Age When Smoked: They don't print production dates on it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

I have to say that I am not a great fan of MacBaren, it has indeed a certain constant style and taste, but it seems to me it resembles cigarettes too much, so I recommend it to those that want to quit cigarettes for pipe smoking, or smoking both things. Quality tobacco no doubt, but not for me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is a bit similar to Mac Baren "Burley London Blend", the difference here is that they added some golden Cavendish with some fruity topping, the smoke is mild, the taste is semi sweet and fruity. however I find BLB tastes much better

Straight to the point, Mac Baren has created one of the finest blends on the planet, which is "Scottish Mixture".

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I find this a rather mediocre blend, with a pleasant pouch aroma and intriguing sensory feeling of the actual tobacco cut itself.

No grand surprises, little tongue bite. At times one receives during smoking hints of creaminess and other vanillic scents. Certainly decent as an aromatic, though I cannot see myself pursuing it again.

1 person found this review helpful.

PipePaladin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipePaladin (78)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As with my review for Rattray Sweet Fragrant I think this is one belongs to the few aromatics I tried and I really liked! I have to admit that I could go with that stuff all day long. It has a very enjoyable sugar/sweet taste that goes perfectly with some coffee! Although a broken flake it packs well and it has very good burning properties. I believe its good for breaking in new pipes too and I am sure it could win any pipe smoker experienced or not! Finally, it is not as sweet as Black Ambrosia and If you are like me and you like Virginia, Burley or Virginia/Burley blends with light toping and aroma go and buy the 100g. tin now!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm not sure if my pouch was open or something, but my package was way too dry and the tobacco was almost tasteless, still you couls still taste the fruity tones, i want to see if thistobacco is really this boring or my batch was too dry. So far I found it only OK.

1 person found this review helpful.

ringo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ringo (15)
Mild Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

i oppened the pouch i smoked five bowls in a new pipe ( not in the same day) and after 4 months i read the reviews and I packed the same pipe which I have not used since then.I smoke this tobacco in a small bowl and I pack the pipe loosely as many reviewers recomend with macbaren tobaccos. it burns hot but bear in mind that the pipe is new.It might needs respect and devotion. it enjoys my nose and the aroma reminds me that of sandalwood, it is sweet but not too much and it slightly (very very slighlty) reminds me the scotish mixture and the vanilla cream maybe it is a macbaren thing! This is a mild aromatic smoke with some natural attitudes. It really calms me this bakie maybe because I slow down my pace when im smoking it. 30 minutes later i crave for some nicoteen but i will go to sleep maybe the quantity of the tobacco was litle (new pipe, small bowl. I wll put it in my rewarding calmy smokes!!! Upgrading my review on 06/Aug/08 i give one more star...I like so much this taste, every single puff. This one suits every hour of the day, but since the taste is very light it should be better to devote one or two pipes in order to really appreciate it and taste it

Nobody has rated this review yet.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (66)
Mild to Medium Medium Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I've smoked quite a few pouches of this one through the years, and now most recently I bought a tin. I really want to like this tobacco, but I just can't, at least not for more than 30 minutes at a time. It gets quite boring after a while.

The tin aroma is really good, you almost want to eat the tobacco. Something raisiny with white wine somewhere in there. Room note is quite nice also, but leaves a stingy sensation in the nose.

Tastewise it is somewhat similar to that fruity stuff. It's quite mellow, due to the extensive use of cavendish. But as mentioned it doesn't last very long and goes from that to something usually too harsh to enjoy properly.

Tongue burning isn't an issue with this one, but it just gets too flat. Mac Baren has so many other great blends, unfortunately this isn't one of them, at least not in my book.

I suspect this tin will live on in my tobacco cabinet for quite a few years, but I keep it around for sentimental values, the pouch variant was the very first pipe tobacco I tried.

I rate this 2/4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

Mac Baren's answer to McConnell's Glen Piper (or vice versa). Very similar in appearance, smell and taste but I think this has the edge in being a slightly tastier smoke. Will bite if smoked hard.

Same as Glen Piper it is a bit boring after a while but good as a reliable quality smoke. As it is very light and neutral in flavour (for an aromatic anyway) it is probably good for breaking in a new pipe if you are an aromatic fan - that's probably what I'll be using the remainder of my pouch for.

As a moist, sticky tobacco this requires a few matches to get lit but does stay lit. Provides a nice long slow burning smoke. Better smoked in a larger bowl. Like other MacBaren tobaccos I smoke I find it does leave some gunk in your pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

(Update 2, 2007/03/30)

I am almost throught the third pouch and I tried some additional rubbing. It works perfectly. The result is very enjoyable. I am returning the star!!!

(UPDATE 1, 2007/03/15)

Just through the second 50g pouch. I am not as excited any more. Perhaps the pouch was not fresh? It burns hotter than before - it made one my "low end" pipes blister. Also, the taste is not as refined as I remembered it.

Actually, after a series of indifferent smokes, the last few are good to great again. Could it be that this is because the last pinches from the pouch are more rubbed?

It still is better than most of the other aromatics I have tried so I will experiment more with this, with one more pouch, rubbing it a bit more by myself.

Nevertheless, until I make up my mind, I am taking away a star!


My experiences with Mac Baren Blends have never been bad - but they have never been superb either.

However, Golden Ambrosia is very nice. I will keep it in my rotation - primarily as an afternoon blend.

This is half way between non-aromatic and aromatic. The pouch aroma is nice but not strong. The room note is pleasant and mostly discrete.

It does not scorch my tongue and it burns cool. My wife does not dislike it.

A comparable blend might be BREBIA No 4. Golden Ambrosia is better balanced however (stronger with less imposing room note).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'm not sure what topping is in Golden Ambrosia, but it has a subtle white wine aroma and fruity like notes that do not interfere with the tobacco flavor. Very smooth, creamy and nutty. This is a definate winner for an "semi" aromatic.

Nobody has rated this review yet.