Mac Baren Solent Mixture

(3.15)
A fine composition of choice Virginias with a fully ripe cavendish and Syrian latakia, giving this classical mixture its satisfying taste. Solent is specially manufactured from quality selected tobaccos.
Notes: Aka "English Mixture". As of 04/16/2018, Syrian latakia is still used as a blending component. According to Nick Shane at SmokingPipes.com, the label indicates Syrian latakia is used in this blend, and that Mac Baren's does have some stores of Syrian latakia, but it is unknown for how long. Update: As of 01/30/2019, according to Per Georg Jensen of Mac Baren it has "Latakia from Cyprus, it is many years since the Latakia from Syria were used.". From the tin: Solent Mixture was first produced in 1950, making it the oldest brand in the Mac Baren range today. The actual mixture is particularly interesting. Essentially the tobacco consists of sweet Virginia tobaccos mixed with a full bodied burley, to which is added the original Mac Baren cavendish and making this mixture very special, Syrian latakia tobacco. Solent Mixture is a full bodied tobacco with highly distinctive spicy flavour and aroma. A tobacco that harks back to the age of full-rigged ships with the air on board pungent with the smell of salt water, wharfs and tar. An authentic English mixture.

Details

Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Per Jensen
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Latakia, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate, Rum, Vanilla
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 100 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

3.15 / 4
21

24

7

3

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 55 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 28, 2015 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Solent mixture seems to be an aromatic with multiple flavors, according to Mac Baren's description, but it is actually an atypical English blend. I don't taste much of the flavoring when I smoke it besides the lingering campfire latakia and unsweetened cavendish. No tongue bite at all and suitable for all day smoke.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2014 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable
There's a taste of rum from a topping, and a cocoa note or two from the toasted, lightly nutty burley. Overall, the Virginias are earthy and modestly citrus and dark fruit sweet. The black cavendish adds enough of a vanilla hit that well enjoins the other sweet flavors without controlling them. The mild addition of Syrian latakia pushes a dry, smokey and slightly woodsy flavor, adding complimentary strength to the other ingredients. The multiplicity of flavors are lightly amplified by a mild spice that I've tasted in other MacBaren blends, mostly provided by one of the Virginias. Has a slightly more than mild nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh. A well blended aromatic/English blend that burns at a moderate pace, cool, clean and even with a consistent flavor. leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. Best smoked in a wide bowl for full effect, and while it may not be an all day smoke for some, it's certainly a mixture you can reach for more than once a day. Has enough strength to satisfy non-lat bomb aficionados without disappointing those who crave a stronger latakia presence.

-JimInks
40 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2009 Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant
I had been staying away from Mac Baren tobaccos for no other reason than they were, paradoxically, easily available and, also paradoxically, cheaper than the competition. Equating availability and non-expensiveness with reduced quality, I was stocking up and smoking the more expensive and rarer blends (I had tried some Mac Barens before, but never for long).

This is quite silly, of course, and I realised my mistake very recently, when I ran out of my "favourite" tobaccos, and had to look into the local Mac Baren offerings. What a pleasant surprise!

In the Solent I found a buried treasure. On opening the tin, I was transported to another world, a world of rich, heavy, almost velvety textures. Like some of the reviewers before me, it is difficult to actually define whether this is an English or an aromatic, or both, or neither. I would personally favour the English label, though, since the Solent reminded me of Esoterica's Penzance in the way an English can be "cooked" in a way to bring out its more sugary contents. It also reminded me of Davidoff's English Mixture but in a stronger incarnation, and also of a crossing between Dunhill's Nightcap and 965.

The aroma and taste are surprisingly the same as what you expect after sniffing the tin's contents, and remain consistent almost to the very end of the bowl; the tobacco is easy to pack, easy to smoke, needing very few relights; the notorious Mac Baren tongue bite was totally absent, even on strong puffing, and the room aroma was very acceptable. No goo, and the ashes were, in English fashion, dry-white with little sticking content.

This is a tobacco which is very multi-dimensional, with intriguingly-rich undertones. Very satiating but at the same time so "tasty" you find yourself disappointed when it is over and run screaming for more!
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I consider myself a bit of a MacBarens fancier, having trod through the world of tongue bite and learned how to deal with the strict method and discipline that one needs to maintain if one is to enjoy these excellent tobaccos. Peering over at my "tobacco nook", at this moment I can spy a can of Club B;end, One of Dark Twist,Symphony, Roll Cake, Latakia blend and, of course, Plumcake. If I dig around I'm sure I have a couple of there sweeter aromatics laying around which arent a part of my rotation, as are all of the rest.

So I picked up my father the other day and took the old man for a ride to a newly opened tobacco shop a few towns over which I had spied, closed, on a nightime search for an elusive Sushi Buffet which my girlfriend had heard about. We arrived at the storefront and walked in, and were immediately impressed; large store, quite a few nice pipes in glass cases, a couple of baskets and a nice selection of Kaywoodie and Medico pipes on cards (I know, I know...but I like smoking cheap pipes- Yes I have a couple of "good" pipes including a massive antique meershaum that I couldn't replace for under $300, and I tend not to smoke them). They had a decent selection of tinned tobacco, but all were horribly overpriced (like almost $20 for a 100g tin of Virginia No.1) Their other offerings were similarly priced, and honestly, although they had the usual Gawith and Hoggard, Mcclelland, Petersen and Dunhill stuff, that was about it. Not even a can of Dark Twist, which is what I was hoping to pick up, having gotten slightly low over the past few weeks. My father ruminated through the tobaccos, later making his way to the humidor, I perused through the cheap pipes, eventually finding a nice natural finish Medico Varsity in a Prince shape. I bought it for less than $20, he picked up a fistful of Romeo and Julieta Reserva Reals and we departed...off to our favorite tobacconist which was only about ten miles fown the road.

These guys do it right. They have a modest collection of cigars ensconsed in wall mounted humidors, but the whole back of the narrow shop is dedicated to pipe tobacco. They don't even have a great selection of pipes, and thats fine by me, but their tobacco stock is amazing. Amazing for the fact that they have almost everything that anyone would want to smoke from all of the respective "good brands" and their inventory is constantly ecpanding. I never leave there without at least finding two tind of stuff that I have heard/read about but have never seen before.

So, I walked over to find my Dark Twist and was confronted with a MacBarens tin that caught my eye- "The Solent Mixture". Hmmm...haven't I seen this name on tobaccoreviews.com? Possibly, but I can't quite remember what it is supposed to be like. "English Mixture", Interesting...Cavendish, Virginia and Latakia...sounds a little like Plumkcake (which I love). Ok then...

So I brought it home...along with a packet of "Brindleys Mixture" (which I haven't tried). Had to work overnight the next day and wound up letting the tin sit unopened on my dining room table. Returned from an rough overnight and popped the tin open while sitting at the table.

Wow! What an aroma! Similar to the wonderful aroma one gets from a tin of plumcake but better...citrus and spice mixed with the assertive yet mellow smokiness of latakia. Yellow flaked of tobacco mixed with farker flecks in a compacted ribbon cut lay compressed in the can. I take another a deep draught of the aroma. It smells great, and I am tempted to pack up a bowl and smoke some of it right then and there, but I tink twice about it, and I trundle off to bed to sleep off my previous 30 hour shift. Awakening later in the evening that day, I eat my meal and sit down and ponder the can.

Surely I would have bought this if I had seen it, indeed, I have plowed through most of the macbarens lineup over the years and have honestly enjoyed them al (except for the disgusting ones). The can opens again, once again, that fantastic aroma. The yellow tobacco that was so noticable when I first broke the seal had oxidized slightly during the preceeding twelve hours, and was now more of an ochre color. I loaded up a nicely broken in Half bent and lit up.

Hmmm, a bit like plumcake but much more Latakia. A bit of citrus and a noticable lack of burleyish nuttiness.Some rummy,figgy, honeyish casing, again like Plumcake, but stonger and somehow deeper. Cavendish, but that nice discreet danish cavendish, almost like a Sail Green with its slight licorice and freshly cut oak notes.As the bowl gets goingm I start tasting the grassy, lemony virginias coming through and my tongue tingles slightly, but then again, I'm puffing away. I slow down (not much) and the whole bown shifts gears like clunking a car into fifth gear on the highway. The players come together like singers in a choir in shrieking harmony, like a great chord has been struck. The three tobaccos hit different parts of your mouth simultaneously and the casing wafts softly through the nose in a wonderful way. For about 20 minutes I;m in heaven, keeping up a good puffing cadence, almost completely ignoring the television program I was watching, instead concentrating on this hitherto neverbefore experienced sensation of experienceing an ultimate blend. Slowly, the cavendish and lataka burnt out, leaving only the virginia, now somewhat stoved and peculiarly winey in character for another ten minutes before it ended. I tapped the pipe out leaving a black flecked grey ash and the tiniest bit of blackened dottle in the ahstray. I pondered the can once again, marvelling.

This is by far the best of the MacBaren blends, in my opinion. I love their roll cake tobaccos, but this is better due to it's totality, this is what I always imagine Plumcake is when I haven't smoked it for a while. Hell, this is what Plumcake should be. I can't believe I haven't tried this sooner.

I happen to be one who doesn't believe in the concept of limiting ones self to having one tobacco as an "all day smoke', but over the past few days I have had no urge to smoke anything else.

This is wonderful...I just can't wait until the tine I just ordered arrive.

Highest recommendation.

UPDATE 1/15/09: Still real good, but to be honest, it loses quite a bit of it's charm after being opened for a few weeks once all of the flavor sublimates out into the air. I smoked through almost two tins of this almost exclusively and then switched over to something else...when I returned to the partial tin a month or so later it was a different thing altogether (or maybe I had changed?)

Still is more flavorful than plumcake even after the dry out. Probably best to open a tin and share generously to smoke quickly so that you will always have a fresh tin around. I wonder if the bulk stuff packed into small sealed jars would work to preserve it. Still enjoyable,and definately one of my top three or four MacBarens, but definately not a daily smoke for me at the moment. Probably will not downgrade based on the experience of the fresh tin, but subtract a star if older than 6-8 weeks.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 11, 2003 Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant
I am not sure whether The Solent Mixture is still being produced. I have not seen it on any websites that sell MacBaren's blends in quite some time.

I recently opened and smoked my only tin of this mixture. It was quite aged (at least 7 years), and had that wonderful mellowness that can only be brought about by Virginia weed that is a bit long in the tooth.

This is unique in that it has some sort of topping along with the Latakia, Virginia and Cavendish. Unlike many MacBaren's blends, this one did not smoke at all hot. It had no bite and the flavor, while tasty, was just too subdued for me.

If you like Latakia in small doses and want to experience a light Virginia as well, then punch this ticket.
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 17, 2010 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I could sum this one up in one word really...delicious! I think I have found my favorite English blend in this one. I recieved a tin of this in a trade as i had never smoked it and i tend to like Mac Baren tobaccos. When I got it and opened it, I knew this one was going to be special. It has a spicy sweet sour pungant but wonderful aroma. It is a ribbon cut with mostly a light VA base mottled with some medium colored cavendish and the dark flakes of Latakia. It seemed the perfect moisture content to go ahead and light up a bowl witout letting it sit and dry out, and I was right. Upon lighting my pipe, I was rewarded with a sweet, woodsy, toasty flavor unlike I have ever had before. The mixture of the three tobaccos is perfect and one can even smell the aroma and room note in the air. I find the room note to be fantastic. The Latakia is the main player but not an overwhelming one, the sweet Va comes through well and the cavendish gives it some body and it's own sweet flavor that compliments the Latakia very well. This blend also does not bite, much more gentle than a lot of MB blends. It produces a creamy, medium full tasting smoke and one lit, it practically smokes itself, my pipe never has gone out until the bottom of the pipe stops it. It produces a light grey ash that is powder like when dumped. No moisture in my pipe at all and almost no dottle. Once in awhile we get lucky in finding such a blend that becomes a regular smoke, this will for sure be one for me. I am on my seventh bowl in less than two days and Ican't get enough of it. I highly recommend this blend for both Engliah and aro crossovers.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Picked up 2 oz in trade with a pipe forum brother. This is one I'd never tried before, even back in the "good old days", so I was anxious to give it a spin.

Not sure if this comes in roll cake form in the tin but it was mostly rubbed out in my sample bag. The bag aroma was of latakia with a mild sweet scent. The flavor was one of superb balance, with each constituent tobacco contributing to the whole without calling attention to themselves. There was a smoky-sweet undertone, with the Syrian latakia lending its kind of winey flavor. The virginia tasted citrusy with the rum cavendish rounding everything out. This is a nice crossover blend and could be enjoyed by latakiaphiles as well as aromatic lovers, not to mention those who love a good virginia. Balanced and harmonious, this is a fine representation of Mac Barens art. In my opinion, Mac Baren produces one classic blend (symphony) and a few other good blends, with a lot of non-distinguished, so-so blends in between. This one definitely falls into the "good" category and is not far from classic. If you like some spicy smokiness with your sweetness, give this one a spin. Makes my occasional rotation for now and may make regular rotation once I spend more time with it.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Not really an English Mixture imo, but an interesting, mild crossover blend. Mostly mid to light brown tobaccos with the occasional dark leaf, it has a tin note that is sweet and spicy. It is a familiar smell but I wouldn't hazard a guess as to what the casings/toppings actually are. There is very little Latakia in evidence.

Takes a light well and burns easily straight from the tin. Can run hot, but is otherwise a mild smoke. Well worth a try given it is inexpensive and like nothing else I can think of. I would recommended this to newcomers to the pipe given its ease of use, price, and interesting flavour profile. In truth somewhere between a 2 and a three from me.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 18, 2016 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
This si such a great blend in many ways . I really think it's one of the most under rated or under mentioned as well . It has got to be the greatest latakia " introduction " blend to introduce a new smoker to latakia , especially if he's been smoking light and flavored blends . Basically , it has a soft mouth feel and the blend isnt off putting in any way and it has that touch of Latakia that makes itself know up front but not up front in teh flavor . The blend is exceptionally clean and the aroma is exquisite . Burns cool and dry and is mild enough to be smoked ll damn day . Mac Baren sells it in a tin and in 1 lb bags . Really , this is one to try
Pipe Used: It's great in any pipe
Age When Smoked: fresh and a little aged
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2019 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
How you wind up feeling about this pipe blend is linked to how you categorized it going into the smoke. If you are an English smoker, be prepared to be dissappointed. If you are a Mac Baren devotee, you will be amused at this particular variation of the Mac Baren formula. If you like a quite descent Virginia/Burley mixture, you will be happy. The reason for all this is simple. Mac Baren's Solent Mixture is a very light English; about as light as they come. The tin appearance is of a mostly medium brown blend with a few lighter and darker elements thrown in and a vaguely English aroma that tells of a lack of Latakia strength. When I first lit this blend, I had to search for the "Englishness" in it; it was that weak. However, the blend smokes rather normally and gives a full Mac Baren experience for the top third of the bowl. In the middle third things start to change until a blandness creeps in toward the bottom. But, don't stop there and smoke on into the bottom third. Here, with the smattering of Latakia gone, the Burley takes over and you get a rich toasty treat. Every bowl I have smoked has performed in this same pattern and that kind of enjoyment renders The Solent Mixture a solid three star smoke.
Pipe Used: Bonacquisti chubby Billiard-2010 NASPC yearpipe
PurchasedFrom: an Ebay seller
Age When Smoked: seven years old
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2014 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I don't taste the toppings and/or casings that are listed in its description but I do get a very rich and full flavor. It is sweet but not in the cloying way that obliterates the natural taste of the tobacco. It smokes dry and cool without bite or aftertaste. The more I smoke it the better I like it. It might even replace Plumcake and/or Latakia Mixture as my favorite MacBaren blend. Good stuff.
6 people found this review helpful.
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