G. L. Pease Robusto

The chocolate brown wrapper leaf would make an overly bold statement if blended with a heavy hand, but if just the right amount is used, it provides an alluring spice, a suggestion of the richness of a great cigar, and a creamy texture to the smoke. A little Cyprian Latakia rounds out the flavors, and smooths the edges just enough. Ripe, red Virginia leaf provides a modest sweetness while giving a backbone to the body. A variety of Oriental tobaccos fill in the gaps. Robusto is complex, full flavored and spicy, yet very gentle on the tongue. It's perfect with the afternoon coffee, as a delicious finish to a wonderful meal, or as a stout companion throughout the day.
Notes: From GL Pease: For years, I've been intrigued by the idea of cigar leaf blends, but with one notable exception, nothing has really hit the mark for me, and the one that did, the celebrated Sobranie Virginia #10, has long been out of production. In mid-2000, I began flirting with different ideas, experimenting with different leaf, concocting prototypes, and quickly tiring of them, until, finally, I was shown samples of some exquisite maduro wrapper leaf that stimulated a new interest in finding my perfect cigar leaf blend. After months worth of experimental recipes, I zeroed in on the blend I'd been searching for, and Robusto was finally born. Robusto was introduced in November, 2002.


Brand G. L. Pease
Series Original Mixtures
Blended By Gregory Pease
Manufactured By Cornell & Diehl
Blend Type Cigar Leaf Based
Contents Cigar Leaf, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 2 ounce tin, 8 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.12 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 30 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 24, 2003 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
After reading about this new proposed addition on Mr. Pease's website last fall, I plead my case to him and he was kind enough to provide me with an ounce of his prototype which was close to the quality shipped out in December 2002. He gave me some insight into his new cigar leaf blend in our communications. I smoked it in a small bowl meerschaum and became immediately interested in this new cigar leaf blend. So I ordered several tins from C&D when it became commercially available late last year.

I've just smoked finished smoking a full two ounce tin in a medium Benton churchwarden (the "Big Ben" shape from Edward's I believe).

This blend is somewhat stout, as is described, but is not overwhelming or harsh at all. Nor is it hot, if you puff deliberately. It is completely natural in a stringy, shaggy cut. It is not a wet smoke. It has a base of virginia and some condimental leaf, and the cigar leaf is added in just the right proportion to let the cigar note stand out but still be balanced by the rest of the tobaccos.

Yes, you can taste the cigar leaf, and surprisingly the blend -- even given the mix of other tobaccos -- is suggestive of a medium cigar experience. (I smoke cigars only on occasion, but know what that's like.) It's just not as strong as a cigar can be. Nor would I imagine most would want it to be that full.

In comparison, it is fuller than Fox's Bankers, has more of a cigar note but less strength from the Latakia than Robert Lewis' 123 blend, it is slightly more balanced but not as full as Mogano (nor is the finish as strong), and is slightly more complex than Connoisseur's Special Reserve. All good blends too. I understand that this new blend is supposedly modeled somewhat from an old, extinct Sobranie virginia blend, which I have heard others rave about but have never personally experienced.

When I first opended the new tin, it had only a month or so of aging. It did leave my palate a bit dry at first, but after a few more weeks it was more balanced, and remained on the stout side as intended. I intend to age a number of tins, but even the newest of tins is very smokable, tasty, and kind to the tongue. Quite an achievement! I promised Mr. Pease a good review if I liked Robusto, and I do so this it it. Recommended to folks who want a definite cigar note in a natural blend, medium to full.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 28, 2013 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I really liked this blend, but I didn't love it. Nice Virginias in this. I wish Mr. Pease would have used a slightly "heavier hand" with the cigar leaf.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I was given a sample of this from a friend of mine and just recently got around to trying it out. I liked it. It is a fairly stout blend and unlike many other blends with cigar leaf, I found the cigar leaf to be the star of the show. The Virginias help with the sweetness and the light use of latakia and oriental given a slightly exotic twist.

I have tried Key Largo from Pease and prefer this one to that as that one is more of a standard lat blend with some cigar leaf thrown in. YMMV If I want to smoke a cigar blend, then I want something different as it is usually intended to be a change up smoke for me anyway. This one does fit that description, but Not as much as C&D's Purple Cow or Billy Budd. I would put this one below those two but not by much.

This one lies between two and three stars for me, but admittedly, I smoked through the sample pretty quickly. I do intend to order more of this one and will revisit this review once I have had a chance to smoke a full tin.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Rubusto greets the nose with a smoky, leathery scent. The appearance is mainly of tan ribbons with just a few darker ribbons. I prefer to rub the rough cut down a little bit so it packs with ease. The moisture content is just about right and dries quickly. Rubusto smokes very smoothly and the cigar notes really serve to enhance the blend. It isn't as sweet as my favorite cigar blend by Compton's of Galaschiel and is less “fruity” than Robert Lewis' 123 Mixture. The smoke is somewhat complex and quite smooth with a medium level of strength although some may find it stronger. Rubusto is a well done blend and lovers of cigar leaf blends will be pleased. I intend on updating this review after smoking a tin that I have with several years of age on it. Recommended.

Update 3/7/13: This blend ages very nicely! Well worth a spot in my cellar.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 16, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong
This blend comes in a kind of course cut. There seem to be some ribbons and flake bits, and some chunks. Has a Latakia smokey smell with some sweetness and a hit of cigar earthy, Woody smell.

This is a stout blend best smoked by sipping. The aroma is fantastic, if you like cigars. It has a hint of sweetness in there too. It burns well, and it's mostly a rich and earthy, soil like, woody taste. There is some sweetness and tangy fruit hints. The Latakia is well-blended, and doesn't overpower. There is some Oriental funk, sour and spice. This is a tasty blend for the person that likes some intrigue and strength.

The nicotine is medium. The taste is dense, but medium. Tobacco strength is medium to strong. It can be robust sometimes.

This is widely available, and fairly-priced. I would recommend it to anyone that likes cigar blends, and blends containing Orientals. I would not recommend any pipe blend to a cigar smoker. Cigar smoking is totally different, in my opinion.
Pipe Used: Bent brandy, bent pot
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: One year
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Not nearly as sweet and latakia heavy as Billy Budd, less burley harshness of Habana Daydream. It's growing on me; larger bowls packed looser seem to be key here. From the tin it looks like shredded up plug or cake; It's not what I'd call "ribbon cut" by a damn sight. It's chunky and I've been rubbing out the last pinch so it lights better.
Pipe Used: Savinelli 616C, Grabow yard pipes, Rossi 8320
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: straight from tin, aging as it goes...
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2013 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend is good enough, though I actually expected a more definite smoking experience. It could be that this blend needs drying out a bit more compared to what I did. I have tried it in a Briar pipe, tried it in a corncob. A barely perceptable difference in taste. I will have another try in an unsmoked Meerschaum.

Both Latakia and cigar leaf are noticebly present. This is a kind of okay combination, but again - I would not call it exceptional, as far as my taste goes. I did not notice much in terms of Orientals.

Something tells me that I will have a different opinion, once I have had a few more smokes, after drying this one out a bit more. At the moment I just can not fully savour the bouquet. With all my respect and even admiration for the G.L.Pease blends - for now this is three stars.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 14, 2010 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Where do I begin? I purchased a tin of Robusto today along with a large batch of various other tobacco blends and a couple of pipes - resulting in my local tobacconist closing up shop early to celebrate the rather large fortune he "stumbled upon..." but I digress...

Normally, I wouldn't write a review after only a couple of bowls, however this experience screamed to be described. So, here goes...

As one who thoroughly enjoys Burleys and Virginias, I decided to give this blend a try, even though I do not enjoy latikia at all - perique is my style. I confess that I was drawn in by the name (it sounds "manly!").

Truth be told, I was not expecting much as my luck with new blends has not been so "hot" lately. However, I was pleasantly surprised as Robusto reached out and knocked me off my feet!

I'm still trying to decipher the spice that has been lathered all over my pallet, but no complaints here as I'm enjoying it thoroughly!

I've smoked it in a fat bowl Savinelli and in a smaller Amadeus and noticed a slight difference in "bite quality." In the Amadeus, it didn't bite at all, however I had to be careful with the Savinelli as it did chomp down a couple times. Also, the smoke ran a tad bit hot in both. However, the room note reminds me of a southwestern campfire, and the flavoring is somewhat reminiscent of a good 'ol fashioned BBQ. Vitamin N is present in respectable quantities, yet not overpowering.

The tobacco came out of the tin with just the right amount of moisture, although it does burn rather fast.

In truth, I've never smoked a cigar and fully enjoyed the experience. I mainly smoke them occasionally due to some sort of perverted pleasure consisting of having a large bundle of rolled up tobacco smoldering in my mouth. However, I have become a fast fan of Robusto. If this is what a good cigar is supposed to taste like, I can see myself becoming a regular partaker!

I'm giving this 3 out of 4 stars simply because even though I love this blend, it's just too strong to be an all day staple. I'll have to stick with Big N'Burley for that. However, I will be smoking one or two bowls of Robusto a day, and am itching to try it after a hearty steak and potatoes dinner!

PS - I'm heading back to my local tobacco dealer tomorrow to purchase a couple more tins for my cellar! I do indeed recommend this blend!
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
Excellent blend all the way around. I was looking for a straight forward cigar blend to enjoy after dinner. Robusto fills the bill nicely.

To me the cigar leaf takes a front seat in this smoke while the latakia and red virginia leaf adds both creamy and sweet highlights. It Produces a good volume of smoke on the draw and smokes to the bottom of the bowl with few if any relights. There is definitely some strength to this blend so I usually smoke it in a medium sized bowl.

A good and gratifying smoke.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2005 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
I approached this blend with the idea that it would be the next best thing to a fine cigar in pipe tobacco form. That's not exactly how it plays out. I think the key phrase in the description is "the suggestion of the richness of a great cigar"--and that's exactly what it is.

You won't be smoking a cigar in your pipe here, but that's not such a bad thing, as this is still a great blend with a strong feel and a nice, round body. I am, though, puzzled a bit by the addition of Latakia. It's not the most dominant aspect of the smoke, but there's enough of it to outshine the maduro leaf. Despite the many choices of ingredients one has when blending, the supply of Syrian Latakia remains unstable. That's too bad, because I think the maduro and Syrian leaf would have complimented one another beautifully, as the Cyprian stuff used here seems to have too loud a voice.

I understand it must be difficult to capture the taste of a cigar in a pipe tobacco blend, as an excess of leaf could probably overpower one's senses, and might likely offend many pipe smokers who favor a different sort of characteristics in their smoke.

Many people here have said that if they wanted to smoke a cigar, they'd smoke a cigar. And, I agree. Still, I'll be on the lookout for the pipe tobacco blend that comes as close to the real thing as I can get. In the mean time..Robusto will do fine.
2 people found this review helpful.
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