Borkum Riff Mixture with Bourbon Whiskey (Bronze)

(1.65)
Selected quality, bright aromatic Virginia and rich, cool smoking burley tobaccos are blended to give an exquisite taste and aroma, enhanced by the finest Kentucky bourbon whiskey traditionally matured for over eight years to develop its full complex flavour. Serious yet dynamic, Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey has a unique, captivating taste and aroma. Infused with eight year old Kentucky Bourbon, it combines the natural flavour of the tobacco with a distinctive aroma that is both traditional and discreetly masculine.
Notes: Used to be Virginia and burley. Now is Virginia and black cavendish. The new pouch description relates: The Bourbon Whiskey recipe consists of 35% black cavendish from Africa, Europe and the Philippines mixed with 65% Virginia from Brazil and Africa. And as a final treat genuine Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is added. Due to EU regulations this is now known as "Bronze".

Details

Brand Borkum Riff
Blended By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured By Lane Limited
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Bourbon
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 42.5 grams (US) 50 g (Canada) pouch, 250 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

1.65 / 4
17

42

67

186

Reviews

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Displaying 31 - 40 of 67 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 17, 2009 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong
A decent smoke for the price. It never seems to burn well, even in my well-seasoned pipes. The taste is a little harsh. I can not taste any notes of bourbon whiskey, but there is another unpleasant taste that I can't put my finger on.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2009 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
*Update: well it smoked OK for a week or two, then seemed to go back to it's old ways. Went flat, stale real quick. Better than it used to be but you can do better.

In the mid to late '70s, I alway had a can of Borkum Riff Bourbon on my study desk and smoked a ton of it. It had a strong casing, not terribly unpleasant but very "definite", it smoked hot and it was hard to find a true tobacco taste. Hey, I didn't know any better and after several years of this being my everyday/all day smoke I moved on. Lots of young guys smoked this "back when".

This new version is definitely NOT the same stuff at all. The smell of the tobacco in the pouch is way toned down. Same cut for sure. The flavor is that of a plain burley with an occasional hint of virginia and the whisper of topping. Smokes like a straight up burley blend, nice tobacco taste. It burns nicely. And this new stuff doesn't bite unless really pushed. This won't put Dunhill out of business but I can see picking a pouch of this to have for.....well, studying (again) or reading. A pleasant suprise! The change in blenders had made a huge difference IMHO.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 13, 2009 Very Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant
I think the room note of this blend is one of the best ever. However the taste never fulfilled me no matter how many times I have tried it. I don't like it's fine ribbon cut and my tongue always was raw afterwards, most likely drawing too hard trying for a n boost I never got. I have tried all the BR blends as I used to work for US Tobacco back when they had the US rights to sell it and I had all I wanted free but instead at that time smoked Amphora Brown. This always sold well and many a new smoker cut his teeth on it.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2008 Medium to Strong Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Not bad, I think their quality control has improved since I last tried this stuff. Borkum Riff is not something I would go out of my way to smoke or even buy large quantities, but not bad for now and then. The flavoring is pretty strong but not overwheelming and the nicotine content is high, so it is probably the good slap we need some mornings.

An ok OTC smoke. I'll smoke it in a pinch.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2020 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Pleasant
In my opinion this nice and delicate aromatic is unjustly downrated. Very pleasant pouch note. Its nice and not-too-sweet aroma develops already while you are lighting your pipe. The balance between black cavendish and (good quality) Virginia is just right. The presence of a round and semi-dry distilled spirit (bourbon? brandy?) is rather clear and resists through the first half of the bowl and beyond. A plus: this mixture is aromatic but not heavily topped. The best feature of this mixture: the great aroma you feel when you retro-swirl a tiny "sip" of the smoke through the back of your nose. Although not officially declared by manufacturer, I feel the presence of some burley, emerging through the second half of the bowl. A plus: the after-smoke taste that remains in your mouth is delightful. Why 3 stars instead of 4? The burley, which I personally don't like, but -i admit- may be necessary during the casing process of this mixture. This is very personal; YMMV of course. Suggestion, enjoy it in a pipe with a large and deep bowl.

UPDATE September 2020: I noticed that the quality of this tobacco may vary depending on the country where you purchase it. =>The one I bought in Italy is the best, you feel the liquor aroma and a fantastic taste remains in your mouth for several hours after your smoke. 3 stars, surely. =>The batch I bought in Belgium and the Netherlands is not so great, a bit more dull, and less aromatic, with prevalence of burley notes, and very little scent and taste of whiskey. 2 stars. Is the overall low rating of this mixture due to such diversity in batches distributed to different countries?
Pipe Used: Chacom Maigret
PurchasedFrom: Cigar shop at the "Grand Place", Bruxelles, Tobacconist in Busto Arsizio, Italy
Age When Smoked: just purchased
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 12, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I have always preferred the aroma of someone else smoking this tobacco to the experience of smoking it myself. Although there are dissenters, most find the room note of Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey pleasant. As of the date of this review it is listed on this board both as "whiskey" and "bourbon whiskey" with about the same number of reviewers under each rubric. Since its introduction in the mid 1960's (if memory serves me correctly it was not until 1968 that it was imported to the US) this has been a good selling and widely available blend. Nevertheless, reviewers on this board have been largely negative, with more "not recommended" ratings than any other.

The current pouch identifies the contents as 35% black cavendish (burley?) and 65% Virginia. Smoked carelessly, it will bite like a constipated badger. Smoked carefully, it is still bite prone for smokers with sensitive tongues. Personally, with a relaxed puffing cadence, and remembering to hold the pipe in my hand and not clench it in my teeth, I can smoke it without biting.

The pouch aroma is somewhat mild for an aromatic. So too is the taste, a taste which I find pleasant, although not something to write home about. I doubt seriously that I could identify the taste as bourbon in a blind test.

I normally have about five tins or pouches open at one time. On the fairly infrequent times that I have Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey as one of these, I smoke it as often as the other blends open. When I do not like a tobacco, I cut it with something else. I have yet to find one that I cannot finish even if my cutting may create something far different from the original. (In over five decades, I have smoked well over 500 different tobaccos.) But I have never been tempted to cut Borkum Riff Bourbon Whiskey.

Bottom line: for me, this is a two star, "somewhat recommended" blend, but a two star rating given with a caveat for pipe smokers easily susceptible to tongue bite.

1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2014 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
Just received a pouch. It's not that bad. It lights ok, and if smoked slowly it stays lit and doesn't bite. Just take your time; treat it as if it were heavy on the Latakia.
Pipe Used: Peterson and Carey.
Age When Smoked: 1 week
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2012 Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I live in a country where pipe tobacco is hard to come by, and this was one of the few varieties available at the local tobacco purveyor.

I decided to try it out, and in my first pipe I was surprised by its bite and the speec of its combustion. The smell, while pleasant in hints, could be quite overwhelming when the smoke was too dense.

For my next pipe I decided to prepare myself better. I loaded the pipe and poured myself a whiskey (all I had was a Bushmill's malt, but it would do). This time around the experience was much more enjoyable. The flavour of the smoke and the liquid blended nicely, and the slightly denser packing that I used made it burn slower. Unfortunately I soon ran out of whiskey, and soon afterwards the bite again made an appearance.

It is not the best of blends, but in the right conditions it can provide a solid half our of enjoyment. I would recommend it to gentlemen who do not much mind the bite, and enjoy a good glass of bourbon (or equivalent) to go with their tobacco.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 19, 2011 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
I have been somking a pipe on and off for 37 years (I started in high school) and have tried a multitude of tobacco brands over the years, but this stuff (I'm thinking of another word...) is the poster child for horrible! I bought a can of this in 1974 for around seven bucks, tried it twice and promptly sealed the can. I threw away the can a few years ago when I was going through old stuff. I should have learned my lesson then, but in my nostalgic middle age, I picked up a pouch of this the other day when I ran out of my usual fave (Hearth & Home Classic Burley Kake). I was hoping over the years that it was just my youthful inexperience that was to blame for absolutly hating this stuff, but I was right even then. This is horrible from the get-go! The pouch aroma is pleasant enough, but that's where the party ends. The smoking is harsh to say the least and bite is worse than many of Balkans out there. I found NO Bourbon flavor or aroma in this, so... I added a quarter ounce of Evan Williams Bourbon to the pouch and let it set for a week. After I aired it for a few hours, I loaded my pipe and I fired up this Frankenstein blend and was pleasantly surprised! The addition of real bourbon mellowing tamed the beast here and was quite enjoyable. I still think that 2 stars is pushung this a bit much, but the experiment changed the entire make-up of the tobacco.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 24, 2011 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I remember when this blend first hit the American market about 40 years ago. I had tried only a few blends at the time and I was trying a pouch of everything I could find in search of something I could like. BR whiskey was the best of the OTC blends at the time. It doesn't seem to taste the same now as it did then but it is still much better than the other drug store blends such as the Captain Black crap (which, by the way, would gag a maggot off a gut wagon).
1 person found this review helpful.
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