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A mild, lightly scented Virginia flake mixture in the best Scottish tradition—an all-day companion.

Blended ByEd Burak
Blend TypeVirginia Based
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutBroken Flake
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None Detected
Room Note
Very Pleasant
8 reviews
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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I first tried Scottish Ribbon upon Ed Burak's recommendation when I purchased three fantastic pipes of his on a recent visit to my home town of NYC. Connoisseur Pipes is located on the concourse level of the UBS building at West 52nd and Ave of the Americas.

To make sense of this review, a short background. I first started smoking pipes seriously at the age of 15 (Troost), but soon discovered English/Latakia blends (Balkan Sobranie and John Cotton No. 1). However in 1994 I relocated to Saigon, Vietnam where it's just too hot and humid to enjoy them anymore, and where there are zero tobacconists. I occasionally picked up a tin or two of My Mixture 965 in Singapore which I found flat after BS and JC. So gioven the weather here, I called it quits to my pipes.

Then while in NYC recently, I visited Ed who told me to try straight Virginias. Who can say "no" to such an eminent name in pipes and tobaccos as the great Ed Burak? So I bought 14 oz bulk of his own Scottish Ribbon, and tried it back at the hotel. The next day I returned to Ed's shop and bought a pound of it.

What a revelation. Even in newly smoked, yet to be broken-in pipes, SB is fantastic. Back in Saigon, I've been smoking it consistently for a few months now, and it just gets better and better (as well as my new Connoisseur pipes). It's the perfect strength for this climate. It's a loosely rubbed out flake so packing and lighting are an ease. It needs a bit of drying out (but don't we all on occasion?) Like any other VA, SR needs to be smoked slowly, but patience will be rewarded by a cool. long lasting and flavorful smoke.

As for flavoring, there is little to none. The taste is full, sweet with hints of nuts, autumn and frankincense. It is downright intoxicating.

As perhaps the ultimate homage to Scottish Ribbon, my Vietnamese wife claims that SR smells better than the joss sticks she burns in our home shrine. Even the gods approve of SR.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Scottish Ribbon is another Connoisseur blend that I really miss. Lighter Bright Virginia dominated the blend that tasted really firm despite the lack of strength in the blend. I'm told that many old timers considered this their go to all day smoke because it was so naturally sweet and could be smoked all day with no bite. I preferred to smoke it in the evenings with some of my blending Latakia for what was a real palate pleaser.

2 people found this review helpful.

denholrl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
denholrl (22)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This has been my No.1 favorite tobacco for many years. Burak told me it was layers of Virginia, each layer sprayed with sugar water. It has been compared with Mac Baron's Scottish Mixture; some say that was what it is. Regardless, I'm glad I have pounds of it stashed away . . . enough to last a life time. I agree with a previous reviewer that it was better fresh; Burak has also said that. But, the old stuff is better than the complete lack of this delicious tobacco.

Pipe Used: Great in any pipe; smokes slower in tall bowl.

Age When Smoked: Minimum 7 yrs. Connoisseur closed in Feb. 2009

Purchased From: Connoisseur . . . various other smokers

Similar Blends: Paul Bonacquisti's Park Lane Luxury The Connoisseur's Flake is a clone of Scottish Ribbon.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

Can't add much to what others have said, an excellent smoke. I have a few pounds cellared for over 10 year and I don't think it improved the tobacco, I like it better when fresh.

When I started smoking I found it identical in taste to the old MacBarens Scottish Mixture. In fact we had a discussion that perhaps that's what it actually was, repackaged MacBarens, but no proof ever came to light.

2 people found this review helpful.

tillmanj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tillmanj (73)
Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This is a long cut mixture of several different virginias grades, predominantly bright carolina strains, giving it sweet and light top notes. The Broken Flake appelation is not quite correct, as this is a fully rubbed out flake with many broken flake pieces in it, as opposed to being a 'pure' form of either cut.

The combination of cuts is, in my opinion, one of the great things about this blend, in that it allows the differing characteristics of the two styles to combine in a unique way, without any of the huge negatives of either style.

The blend packs into the pipe easily, almost willingly, and the first light always chars the entire top of the bowl, and the second light has never failed to ignite a slow, smooth burn, all the way to the edges of the bowl.

I very much enjoy this blend, and its light to medium character is a perfect Spring blend, not overly sweet and bright, like one might enjoy during the heat of Summer, but not dark and stoved, as one might prfer during Fall or Winter.

There is a vague, non-descript flowery essence added to this blend, but unlike most scented virginias I have smoked, this one seems to be very unobtrusive. It works well with the blend, and adds, not detracts, from the experience, even for die-hard virginia smokers.

2 people found this review helpful.

slightlyfermentedvirginiaflake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
slightlyfermentedvirginiaflake (11)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

All I can say....It is a shame this blend is no longer available. To me, this was the best virginia flake I ever smoked; an "all day"..."all time" companion. Burak was able to create a subtle "virginia sweetness" here that I have not found in any other virginia blend....ED! BRING THIS TOBACCO BACK! I know you are retired but, me, and a multitude of other pipe smokers miss this fine smoke...Scottish Ribbon was simply the best!

1 person found this review helpful.

Redd Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Redd (117)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant

A real good Virgina Blend for summer !!!! Ed Burak From the conniosseur recomended this blend to me as he dose to everyone being his personal favorite as he proclaims. This is a mild scottish blend. And aAs with all of Ed's blends this is a Slow slow slow slow smoke. Puff very soft and slow to capture the wonderful essence of this blend. THis is why it is an all day companion. To smoke it right you must smoke it slow. SR leaves a perfect white ash. There is a very so faint hint of a vanilla & whiskey aroma to this blend. Very top shelf leaf used here. Well worht the price. Also if you are in his shop check out his pipes. That he designs. Why you can grab a second for $40. to $50. bucks. The same qaulity as his art pipes which range from $255.and up. A great little shop and a great guy to talk to about everything. A real treat. I suggest you go to his shop he is the last of his kind. You can also order his blends over the telephone.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (178)
Mild Medium Mild Pleasant

I'm glad to see that this classic of decades is getting some mention. This is a very nice, slightly scented, fully rubbed out virginia blend. Some dark specs appear in the strips of virginai leaf. There must be a fair amount of red virginia here, but it does not smoke as robust as some all red virginias do. It is fairly light but sweet (fruity or flowery a bit).

This is easy to pack, cool smoking if puffed slowly, and a fairly dry experience. If you like those light scottish virginia blends or slighted scented ones, this has just enough sweetness to satisfy you. It only has a mild virginia tang.

This used to be, and probably still is, the owner's (Ed Burak, in Manhattan) favorite tobacco. After years and years of smoking it and others, that is a high recommendation indeed from the obviously high quality and demanding tastes Mr. Burak has. He blends it in his shop and ages it for nearly a year.

If you want a straigher version of this one, try his Indonesian Cavendish, probably just called "Cavendish" now. Another rubbed out virginia, more golden in appearance, but possessing the nutty, woodsy, but mild taste of a rubbed out natural virginia flake. If you want a heavier version, try his blend No. 2, which has turkish and latakia and other tobaccos added. Andy, Mr. Burak's former shop manager until the mid-1990's, explained this to me. i tried them all, but this scottish one and Cavendish are the best.

I see there are two Connoisseur's brands listed here, with the other one being Ed's. This brand entry has a few of Ed's by mistake I imagine, as I don't recognize that many, except Turkish Black, this one, etc.

1 person found this review helpful.