Wilke Pipe Tobacco Rumcake

Originally prepared as our 1993 Christmas blend, Rumcake proved so popular we made it available year round. This Jamaican rum laced blend is based on a mixture we originally made for actor Basil Rathbone. Due to the keen characteristics of the rum flavoring we prefer to offer this mixture in 8 or 16 ounce jars. This is the finest rum mixture offered anywhere!


Brand Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Blended By John Brandt
Manufactured By Wilke Pipe Tobacco
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Butter, Rum, Vanilla
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 2 oz. bag, 4 oz. bag, 8 oz. bag 16 oz. bag
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.59 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 57 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2014 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
The Jamaican rum is richly sweet, lightly creamy with a little spice, and is the star flavor. You will taste a light honey note from the gold cavendish from time to time, and some vanilla from either a topping or the lightly sugary black cavendish or both (I suspect both is the correct answer). I occasionally notice the presence of nutty, earthy, woody, molasses sweet burley, but it's strictly condimental, as is the Virginia, which is slightly grassy and citrusy. The strength is a couple of steps past the mild mark, while the taste is a step the center of mild to medium. The nicotine level is a hair past the mild threshold. Won’t bite or get harsh. May need a slight dry time because it is moist, but drying it will lose you some of the rum, so you'll have to decide how you want to play it. Burns cool, clean, and a tad slow with a very consistent sweet and lightly spicy, rich, deep flavor that translates to the lightly lingering after taste. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Requires some relights. Has a very pleasant room note. An easily repeatable, comfortable all day smoke. Three and a half stars out of four.

Edit: 2-18-2018: I've smoked John Brandt's production of this blend, and can't tell a difference from the older version.

29 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2018 Very Mild Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I have read some reviews about old owner vs new owner blending. While I can’t comment on the old blend, I can say that the current iteration is as good as any aromatic/rum tobacco can be. Aroma lit and unlit are equally appealing. The tobacco behaves incredibly well. Minimal if any relights. I believe this is the best aromatic available and am proud to buy it from such a small blender as opposed to a huge mill. Tobacco is a natural product. Every crop the leaf tastes different. This rum cake was expertly blended and flavored. As highly recommend as possible
Pipe Used: Dunhill, Tsuge, Parker
PurchasedFrom: Wilke directly
Age When Smoked: Fresh
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2017 Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant
I'm surprised that, after looking over previous reviews, there was not much said about the Vanilla extract added to the Rum in this outstanding blend. I could sure taste it (as well as the rum), and the lighter Virginia in the compilation of leaf added a somewhat bittersweet tang to the presentation. Not a heavy aromatic, but one that when sipped slowly, will be richly rewarding to the palate of those who gravitate toward quality aromatics with Vanilla and/or rum flavoring.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2009 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I'm not sure if you can say a tobacco blend is good or bad. I must say that I, personally, really like this blend. To me, it tastes more like rumcake than rum. It's the right amount of sweet. I can definitely taste a grassy note (sorry, don't know what else to call it), like the smell of dried hay, which I really enjoy in an aromatic (I think it's the Virginia). It's simply a delicious tasting blend. Sometimes the taste is great right to the bottom of the bowl and other times it gets a bit ash tasting but I think this is due to the smoking technique. While I have smoked a lot of blends that weren't supposed to bite, I found that this one has the least bite of them all. Of the six blends I've tried from Pipeworks and Wilke, none of them bite. It has a very pleasant room note. Everyone likes the smell and many say it smells good enough to eat. Friends often tell me "it smells like cake" or "it's making me hungry". So there you go. Highly recommended. Note: I also enjoy English blends.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2006 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant
I recieved a sampler of Wilke Tobaccos. Of all the ones I recieved, this was the one I was least wanted. Just got it to round out the order. Now I am glad I did, as it has become my favorite (Next to PipeandCigars Butternut Burley). I especially like it with coffee in the morning after a light breakfast. And it is one of the few my wife allows me to smoke in the house, especially in the morning. It looks nice in the bag (although now it has its on canister w/ 8 oz). It smells sweet, but not overly so. One reviewer said rum raisin ice cream...dont completely agree with that, but I see how he would get that interpretation. Quite frankly I find its aroma unique and very pleasent. It packs well and lights well, although I helps to dry it a little but it is not necessary. The initial sweetness gently fades and an ever so slight spiciness slowly buils as you get deeper into the bowl. The natural tobacco taste come more as you get deeper in the pipe. As the smoker I have a hard time judging room note, but as I said my wife finds it pleasant in the morning and enjoyable in the evening. Even my carpool buddy likes it...now thats saying something. I just love this and I could see how someone would give it three stars, but this desearves four stars without a doubt. Try it in the morning. Starts sweet then buids throughout the bowl. By the time you are done, you will be ready for the rest of your day...or maybe another pipefull?
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2006 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Rumcake is another aromatic marvel from the folks at P&W. It is my favorite aromatic (yet aromatics are not my favroite type of blend) and in my top five overall blends of all time. The taste is indeed all rum, and pure rum (yet rum is not my favorite liquor). There is none of that synthetic flavoring sensation one gets from many aromatics. How P&W makes this pipe-weed all come together so perfectly is a mystery I'm happy to ponder.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2022 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant
As usual there’s nothing more that I can add to a review that Jim hasn’t already mentioned, and he’s definitely a better reviewer than 99.8% of us. So I would like to tell you a fun fact about the blend:

As you probably know, this was the preferred blend of Basil Rathbone, the greatest actor to play Sherlock Holmes. Most of the crew on the Sherlock movies didn’t particularly enjoy the room note of this blend, Nigel Bruce (Dr. Watson) chief amongst them. I’m guessing that Mr. Bruce was not an aromatic fan and mainly stuck with English blends.

In ‘The House of Fear’, one of my favorite of the Rathbone/Bruce series of films and very loosely based upon ‘The Five Orange Pips’, the character Captain Simpson smokes this tobacco though it’s not mentioned by name or blender; he states that it’s flavored with Jamaican rum. When told that Simpson must not be too often bothered by people asking for some of his tobacco the other characters in the scene concur. Later, when Holmes and Watson are alone in front of a fireplace Holmes helps himself to some of the blend that Captain Simpson kept in a beautiful glass tobacco jar that was shaped like a doggo. When he lights it, Watson exclaims “Must you smoke that filthy stuff? It smells like an old sock”. They clearly added such lines to the film to tease Rathbone about his favorite blend.

Light spoiler if you’ve not seen ‘The House of Fear’ (and if you haven’t, why haven’t you?! Only a Communist would refuse to watch such excellent films) - the tobacco plays a part in Holmes’ solving of the mystery.

It’s fun to learn these sorts of things and I hope that you enjoyed it.

Unlike dear old Watson, I quite enjoy Wilke’s Rum Cake. It does have a very strong smell that some people love and other loathe, but I recommend that everyone buy at least two ounces of it from the Wilke’s website and give it a try.

It can ‘ghost’ a pipe, which is why I’ve dedicated one of my Chris Morgan Bones and a MM Corn Cob for this blend. Like many rum-topped blends it can bite if you puff too quickly on it, and so this is a tobacco that is best savored slowly with easy ‘sips’.

Virtually all of the Rathbone/Bruce Sherlock Holmes films are available to watch for free, with only one or two commercial interruptions, on YouTube. If you’ve never watched ‘The House of Fear’ you should make time to watch it today. Follow that up with their version of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘Terror By Night’, another of my particular favorites. I’ve seen all of the series at least twice and I’ve watched the above mentioned three films probably around two or three dozen times each. Yes, really. I love them that much.
Pipe Used: Morgan Bones, MM Cob
PurchasedFrom: Wilke Website
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2019 Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant
The only things I can add to the existing positive reviews is that John Brandt has done it again in continuing the Wilke tradition. I like many of the others am not ordinarily an aromatic smoker. Wilke 622 is my go to tobacco. This blend is an outstanding change of pace for me and has become a regular in my rotation. I prefer it to 515 because it provides a more mellow smoke. John if you read these things it is time to bring back nutty burley.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Wilke
Age When Smoked: Various
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2019 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium Very Pleasant
No matter what anyone says about other rum tobaccos. Im not an expert, but to me, this is thee best rum tobacco that i' ve ever put in my pipe. Hands down... and i have tried many. And with that being said, smoke it first, sit back and enjoy. Theres alot of talk about all tobacco's, but really this us as fine as it gets. I am not employed by wilk nor do i know any. But i am going to order another pound. Oh by the way, the other tobacco that i smoke regularly is quiet nights. Go figure......
Pipe Used: Jobey pinch
PurchasedFrom: Wilk
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2017 Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant
So I have been testing pipes, many non aromatic blends, but finally I decided that some of the aromatics I tired are just perfect, and this is one of them. It is not overtly complex as far as tobacco goes, but the descriptor of rum cake is dead on, as all you can think of is a pound cake that has been drizzled with a thick rum sauce. Or if you have had a good bread pudding made with eggs to be like custard, then topped with a cream sauce that is egg white and loads of rum, cooked but not enough to evaporate the majority of the alcohol, then you will understand, what it is to smoke this.

It needs to be sipped, as you want it moist to get that full Jamaican Rum but there is almost an afterthought that this is based with mild tobaccos blended perfectly and topped without being goopy or tasting any bit artificial. seriously you will want to eat it, but instead just sip and enjoy for an hour or more.

What I like to do with serious aromatics that are moist is to move the pipe stem farther back in the mouth so the smoke coming in doesn't hit the end of the tongue but easily goes towards the back of the mouth, and you can easily retrohale this without getting the sinuses going crazy.

Yes this is not like smoking non-aromatic tobacco where we can wax poetic about the individual tobaccos making it up and their aromas and how full the blend is, but something that just takes you to what the description is.

Others I really like are Edward G. Robinson, and I like the Bourbon Street, but with those you can easily identify the tobaccos and their properties and enjoy the topping, but both can sear in the pipe, easily get to hot and leave a bit of crunchy ash, where this blend leaves almost nothing, and it doesn't gunk up mu sten or the reserve area, as I like to use Peterson's with the system or their spigots and the P-LIP system, which helps avoid any tongue bite if you work the tobacco properly. Wilke rumcake was easy sit comes right on the first pipe load as I was sent a few ounces by a pipe buddy.

I like many pipes, but for aromatics I really like the Peterson double stage spigots or Army because they are just easy to drain if needed, though none was necessary with this blend.

With other aromatics I have all sorts of black nasty stuff on my pipe cleaners, and yet this one was remarkably clean, and considering combustion. i was pretty amazed.

So this one gets 4 stars and I will try as hard as possible to buy this in a pound as I could easily sip on this much of the evening. What a treat.
Pipe Used: Peterson's Spigots, Army, Bent Briar P-Lip system
PurchasedFrom: traded a fellow piper
Age When Smoked: unknown
6 people found this review helpful.
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