Mac Baren St. Bruno Ready Rubbed

Blend of Virginia and Kentucky. Slow burning and cool with a pleasant aroma.
Notes: Made by MacBaren since 2006, the company owns the blend as of 2015.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Floral Essences, Fruit / Citrus
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging pouch weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.03 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 142 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2012 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
Bought some on the line of thinking 'if all else fails, at least I can grab some of this stuff from practically any newsagents'. Was a bit scared, worried that it would taste and smell like dung. Or roadkill. Packed a bowl of my wee Dr Plumb Lightweight. Got her fired up easily enough. Sat and chugged away for 15 minutes. While I wouldn't smoke this all the time however it certainly gets a 'Somewhat Recommended' because 'if all else fails....'.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 29, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
The Virginias are slightly grassy, rather earthy and woody with some tart and tangy citrus, bread, light sugar and floralness, a pinch of spice, and some stewed tangy dark fruit, which indicates bright and dark Virginias were used. I notice the properties of the dark Va. more. The dark fired Kentucky has some wood, earth, floralness, herbs, dry sour and light spicy sweetness to go along with a little boldness as an important support player. The rich floral toppings are rose geranium and tonquin, but while the toppings do sublimate the tobaccos to some extent, you won’t miss out on what the varietals have to offer. There's a vinegar preservative, but it doesn't translate to the taste. The strength, taste and nic-hit are medium. Won’t bite even if you’re puffing like a steam engine. As with all ready rubbed cuts, it’s easy to deal with. It needs a light dry time, though I find it does well without much of it, and drying it too much would lessen the flavor a little. Burns cool and clean at a slow to moderate rate with a smooth, very consistent taste to the finish. Has no dull, weak, or harsh spots. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Requires some relights. Has a very pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. Easily repeatable during your smoking day.

The only differences I note in the ready rubbed version is that the tobacco flavor is a shade more obvious, which is often the case with this cut as more tobacco is exposed to air. It's also slightly mellower, which is also attributable to the cut.

48 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2006 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
The original Ogden's St. Bruno Ready Rubbed that came in a 50g tin was one of the finest tobaccos ever produced (IMO, of course.) I hoarded a dozen tins a couple of years ago from a private seller and unfortunately, they have all been consumed.

I have purchased and smoked the pouch version that is readily obtainable in England, and while the taste is similar, the current version is not nearly as elegant as the old, tinned St. Bruno Ready Rubbed.

I found the current version to be tasty, yet lacking in refinement. It is in ribbon form and packs and lights easily. It is somewhat powerful in the nicotine department and the taste is of quality Virginia leaf that has been cased lightly.

The no longer produced tinned version was more of a shag cut with a deeper, darker Virginia flavor that was loaded with nicotine and the casing caused the blend to smell and taste of hints of fermented raisins.

If you want to sample a quality, cased Virginia that packs enough wallop to keep the kids away, I can easily recommend this blend. If you are fortunate enough to locate a sealed Ogden's 50g tin, please forward it on to your friendly neighborhood Pipestud.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2009 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is based on one 50 gram packet which was gifted to me. I'm going to have to figure out a way to find more of this stuff!

St Bruno absolutely cracks me up! My pouch had more stems in it than I've ever seen in any tobacco blend. One stem was as long as the shank on one of my pipes! That concerns me with respect to quality control, but honestly, the real test of a tobacco is how it pleases the smoker. And St Bruno delivered time and time again. I finished the packet in record time (STUPID, since I don't know where the next one is coming from!) and enjoyed each puff. I would call this a medium bodied tobacco with a very robust but not overpowering flavor. I love full flavored tobaccos that burst on the tongue, yet do not bite. This tobacco reminds me of a porterhouse steak!

I used to smoke this in flake form back when it was available in the U.S and I probably would have preferred the flake, but this ready rubbed version smokes nothing short of wonderfully. I wouldn't call it overly complex as it doesn't seem to develop down the bowl. But if you're a fan of instant gratification and an entire bowlful of wonderful flavor that doesn't change, this is something to try. I found the flavor of this absolutely compelling and I am now conniving to figure out how to get more in this country. Great stuff!
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 21, 2015 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Unnoticeable
It seems my original three-word, one-star review of this that boldly proclaimed "ready rubbed sandwich" has been deleted. It seems like someone out there in the haze of virtual pipe smoke that is the internet either doesn't have a sense of humour, hasn't watched This Is Spinal Tap or both. It's probably just as well as my opinion of this tobacco has changed, and I wonder somewhat if the recipe has too.

When I first bought this stuff, I found what seemed to be excruciatingly dry twiglets in the packet, it almost made me wonder if the blenders had been dragged through a hedge backwards on their way into work and shaken themselves off over that day's barrelful of leaf. It tastes like twigs too, damp ones at that. For dry tobacco it didn't half smoke wet. I think I ended up binning most of the packet I was that fed up of it. A second packet and a second chance for Bruno ended in similar fashion six months later. So Wibblefish, why on earth did you pick it up again? Well, having gone through a financially lean period recently and wanted an OTC tobacco that I could get from my local Tesco without it being too nice - I didn't want to buy a packet of Condor only to smoke it within a couple of days and not have anything left for the rest of the month. So I bought a 50g pouch of this with the intent of making my way through it come hell or high water. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised. The tobacco, amazingly, looked like tobacco instead of those ghastly twigs. It packed well, lit well and tasted well. I did find the taste a little hard to pin down, I'm not sure about the whole fruity/citrus thing, but someone mentioned liquorice, I'd go with that. I will say it doesn't taste as good as Condor but there are moments in each smoke where I found a real sweet spot, where it tasted gorgeous. It would be nice to if that was more the norm with this stuff, but then I guess I would smoke it quicker, which was never the point of me buying it. Another plus point I found was that it put the cake on the pipe I smoked it in very quickly, more so than any other tobacco I have ever found. So those of you wanting to know how to cake up a new pipe, I'd suggest running a couple of pouches (go for the 50g ones, the 25g's are perhaps a little small) to get you going.

In summary, I'm glad to have a decent OTC for when times are lean. It's not as good as Condor, it's not as good as a lot of tobaccos out there, but it fits a very nice hole in my pipe smoking habits.
Pipe Used: MySmokingShop own brand briar
PurchasedFrom: Tesco
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2020 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
To my industrial sized hooter, this smells more like the old Ogden’s version of St Bruno than the flake version. The flake has more of a vinegary note, that rides rough shod over the smell of plums, dates and figs.

It has come to my attention that the (what used to be OTC) popular UK blends are all heavily vinegared; most require a prolonged period, jarred up, to lose this smell, though, Walnut flake, after a year jarred up, still holds doggedly to the scent of Sarson’s.

Anyway, I digress.

It’s difficult to gauge Bruno’s popularity these days because there are so few of us chuffing on the pipe weed; we’re rarer than hens teeth. I do remember, back in the last century, that the village newsagent’s always had a good stock of pipe tobaccos but now you have to go to a big supermarket and choose from a stunning choice of three blends and there isn’t even a news agents anymore.

This used to be as popular as a bar maid on pay day; I remember old fellas with pouches of SBRR or Condor, surrounded by a blue haze of smoke, complaining about the cost of this or that and not being able to understand the new doctor, they seemed to be everywhere now, as far as I can see, there aren’t many of us left?

It does seem to be more of a ribbon cut these days, not that it was ever a shag cut but it does seem more chunky to me; I could be wrong.

As for a ‘floral ness’ I don’t get that at all. Comments of “typical Lakeland” confuse the boots off me as well - I don’t taste any ‘soapy ness’ either, it’s just a solidly good taste to me.

It must be increasingly difficult for the remaining tobacco makers to get hold of a continuity of tobacco supply - wars in Syria, the falling demand for tobacco leaf, more viable agricultural alternatives to tobacco etc - so MacBaren’s should be praised to the rafters for continuing to produce a product like St Bruno, that has only changed a little, over a 100 + years and over different manufacturers in different countries.

It is still a slow burning tobacco, perfect for an evening smoke as it can be sipped can be savoured. It isn’t harsh at all and if it is it is only when/if you come across a vein of peppery tobacco, that dances on your tongue; I presume this is the Burley? It can have a perique like quality to it when you hit one of these veins.

I’m not sure if we have the opportunity in this day and age, to have an ‘all day smoke’ - I for one only smoke in the evening because to smoke during the day is a massive pain in the...posterior - but, when I can sneak a lazy Sunday, this is what I would reach for in the morning whilst the first pot of tea brews.

I do find that I go all round the houses - 28 blends on the go as I type - searching for something as good as St Bruno; why I feel the need to do this is beyond me; my main pipe smoking idol was my old Grandad, who never had more than an ounce of SBRR, the flake, Condor or Erinmore on the go at once - he certainly never had 28 different blends going. I guess I have fallen for one of the pipe smokers traps - tobacco or pipe collecting.

In fairness, SBRR is possibly all I actually need on my shelf; it’s that much of an all rounder.

The room note is pleasant enough and doesn’t out stay it’s welcome and the residual taste in the mouth lasts long enough to remind you not to smoke too much.

All in all - give it a go.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 29, 2014 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant
I'm unsure which I prefer out of this and St. Bruno - maybe Condor slightly beats this one because the nicotine hit is higher but nonetheless this is a mighty fine OTC blend. I've not tried the Flake but that is next on my list, though the ready rubbed is wonderful. I get an aniseed taste from this which is quite delightful. If there is one downside to this blend it is that I smoke it too quickly because as soon as I've finished a bowl I can't wait to start another. Like Condor it may be slightly too overwhelming for a newbie pipe puffer but come back to it when you've put some hairs on your chest and you'll be glad you did. This is a Lakeland tobacco to be savoured - a totally wonderful smoke.

Just bought a pouch today - august 2018 - and I think it's the same as every Still burns well, tastes lush and smells wonderful.
Pipe Used: various
PurchasedFrom: ASDA
Age When Smoked: fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 01, 2020 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Pouch note - vinegar a la McClelland

Cut - broken flake - dark Blend - appears to be about half and half VA and DFK. Whatever the mix, it is extremely well balanced. Lights easily right of the pouch and burns cool and well with minimal re-lights. Flavor - tobacco with light floral notes and adequate sweetness. Not really an aromatic except for definition. Nicotine - medium + Fullness - medium Taste/mouth feel - full roundness, mellow and pleasant aftertaste. Copious smoke. All day blend - without question. Tongue bite - If you can get it to bite, you need to attend to your body PH. Room note - not determined but expect just a pleasant inoffensive tobacco odor Ghosting - not likely. Codger blend? In my opinion, yes and a very good one. Would it meet “Desert Island” qualification? For me it would. Overall, this is not a blow your socks blend but it is a pleasant to the extreme blend for me. Strongly recommend. You may love it, you may not love it but I believe you will at least like it. There is simply nothing I can think of that wouldn’t be liked.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: 2018
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2014 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
My fabourite of the easily available blends - I find this tobacco to always give a good full flavoured smoke. I like full bodied tobbacco and St Bruno is one such beast. The packet states that it is made up of Virginia and other fine leaf tobacco varities and I'm certain I detect some latakia in this. I've smoked both the ready rubbed and flaked variety and I slighly prefer the ready rubbed variety.
Pipe Used: Parker earl
PurchasedFrom: ASDA (Walmasrt group)
Age When Smoked: fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 10, 2010 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
A top lakeland blend, very fruity and floral, a top quality pouch, nicer than Mellow Virginia and Condor which are along similar lines. Top, I can't wait to get my hands on the flake.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2018 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
This new version made by MacBaren is a pleasant surprise. IMHO is better than the previous Imperial Tobacco. The Va is sweeter and more pleasant, the Kentucky is spicing up and the Lakeland essence is still intense. The blow of Nicotine is appreciable. Advisable to crumble it very well and dry it a minimum of 30 minutes. Fill the bowl without tightening too much. This way, it burns well and does not go out. It does not bite. A renovated classic highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Patriot cob from Missouri Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: Taba-TK tobacco shop from Manresa (Catalunya)
Age When Smoked: New from the pouch
6 people found this review helpful.
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