Borkum Riff Original

A natural tobacco, strong but soft to smoke with a neutral light aroma, Borkum Riff Original is a specially selected and processed Virginia and burley tobacco flavoured with the lightest touch of vanilla. It is carefully prepared and offers unique smoking pleasure. Pouch Description: The original recipe consists of 60% Black Cavendish from the Philippines and Africa mixed with 40% Virginia from Brazil, India and Africa.
Notes: Formerly called "Borkum Riff - Ultra Light", named changed due to tobacco regulations.


Brand Borkum Riff
Blended By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured By Skandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Vanilla
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams pouch, 250 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.01 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 78 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2016 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
Borkum Riff Original is a perfectly good tobacco so long as you smoke it expecting and ready for what it is--a verrrry light aromatic. If you light up wanting a full aromatic you will puff too hard trying to get more flavor, and with the somewhat dry ribbon cut which burns rather fast igniting even faster, you will wind up with a scorched tongue. Hold in mind that for most of the half century or so this blend has been on the market it was labelled Borkum Riff Ultra Light.

The head note as I write this review declares this blend is "strong but soft to smoke with neutral light aroma." It does possess the neutral light aroma, not particularly room filling, but pleasant enough for those around you. Strong it is not. The mixture is 40% Virginia and 60% cavendish treated burley. The taste does not provide a strong smoke. It is not unpleasant, although it borders on being insipid. The flavoring, vanilla with a tinge of chocolate, just barely comes across. There is nothing wrong with that so long as you do not light the pipe with a yen for a full aromatic.

As a contemplative tobacco, smoked with full attention upon the pipe, this offering is far too tame. As a utility tobacco, puffed while your full attention is upon something else, it can offer a quite satisfactory experience. In the morning I normally peruse several daily newspapers on the internet. Smoking Borkum Riff Original while thus engaged is a pleasant enough experience. The only real drawback to puffing this tobacco in this fashion is that several cheaper OTC mixtures do just as well if not better.

Borkum Riff Original will not ghost a pipe unless smoked repeatedly in the same bowl. If you rotate your pipes you should encounter no problem in this regard.

In sum, smoke this only if you are ready for a light smoke that is just barely aromatic.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2014 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant
Borkum Riff Original.

The unlit mixture, strangely for an aromatic, is a little one the dry side. The aroma from it is quite subtle, it doesn't imply a 'sticky' smoke's coming.

Like in the pouch-note the vanilla's quite a light flavour, however, the tobaccos are fairly equal, neither one steals the show, so both can be appreciated. It's alright but begins to bore about half way through. Half way? A point which arrives in short time: it burns fast. And can also issue a bite.

Nicotine: mild. Room-note: pleasant.

Two stars, it becomes mundane after half a bowl.

Somewhat recommended.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2012 Mild Mild Medium Very Pleasant
It's interesting to see just how subjective reviews may be, ranging from "fireproof" to "quick-burning", "tasteless and weak" to "too strong to smoke pure".

I haven't reviewed here before but felt moved to defend the blend on the basis that I'd avoided it for years, even joked about it, based purely on negative reviews here. In fact I recently braved the blend and find it to be a great all day smoke with a unique taste. It burns well, but not supernaturally fast, packs well and for me is a one-light smoke. it seems to be readily available and, as has been pointed out, is extremely popular, which crappy blends tend not to be. One friend smokes nothing else and I get that. My daughter remarked on the lovely chocolate smell although she said it started to smell ashy when nearing the end of the bowl - fairly astute for a 25 year old non-smoker. In all I'd recommend that anyone who's put of by negative reviews try it.

As an aside I paid 4 euros 70 cents for 50 grammes in Spain, so if you're on holiday or live there you have virtually nothing to lose. Recommended.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 24, 2020 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
I smoked BR original when I was in High School in the early 70s. It was a completely different tobacco then. It was moist, mild, aromatic and flavorful. I decided to start smoking a pipe again in my old age. I ordered BR as my 1st pipe tobacco thinking it would be as I had remembered it. It was horrible and unrecognizable from that which I smoked in my early days. Today’s BR smokes hot and tastes nasty. I then picked up a bag of Virginia Select Cavandish. Very nice, no complaints.
Pipe Used: Viking ceramicViking reverse calabash
PurchasedFrom: Pipes&
Age When Smoked: fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Strong
I tried this blend when i started pipe smoking and thanks god i didn't quit my hobby.when breaking the seal a chemical vanilla smell comes out escorted by some nuts.the blend moisture is absent.packs ok and lights ok with a few relights needed while smoking.while burning the flavours are unpleasant.tense vanilla wich disappears after a few puffs,nuts and very rare some grass notes.the tobacco flavours are really absent.the nicotine level is almost medium.some moisture is created in the bowl with perfect ash.tongue bite is very often and i felt my tongue numbed...the room note is very tense and feels chemical.burns fast and really hot.this is a blend that ruined my first smoking experiences..not recommended
Age When Smoked: When opened
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 06, 2010 Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable
I'm an OTC burley smoker. A friend gave me a sealed pouch of this stuff. On opening the aroma was OK. The moisture seemed a bit lacking but not to dry. I filled and lighted a medium size Stanwell that smokes most anything well. I have a pretty heavily seasoned mouth, 50+ years with the pipe, but this blend not only bit me,it made my lips numb. Guess there was some sort of flavor to it but nothing pleasant.There is a little nicotine present. Maybe when the last tub of Prince Albert is gone from the last shelf in the last drugstore I could manage to smoke this but it would be a dark day indeed. It's no good and glad I didn't pay for it.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 27, 2019 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I am new to pipe smoking. It was with this tobacco that I made my breakthrough in pipe smoking. Perhaps you will remember your own breakthrough. Started puffing too hard and/ or too deeply. Tobacco ended up getting singed. I finally learned how to sip the smoke, how to coax the flavor out of the tobacco, and how not to get a burnt ash taste.

I enjoyed Borkum Riff Original. I'm too new at pipe smoking to make this my go-to blend, but it ranks high for me. I enjoyed it very much.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2018 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Borkum Riff OG what a interesting pipe tobacco indeed, I once smoked there bourbon whiskey blend and was turned off to this brand for years because of that stuff, my local tobacconist encouraged me to try OG and that I would like it because its nothing like the other stuff so I gave it a go and I'm glad I did, OG redeemed Borkim Riff in general and now I enjoy OG Riff with a cup of french roast because at least for me they go well together. I am a true tobacconist and worked for tobacco and with tobacco for quite a few years and just always passed this stuff up and being a big Mac Baren fan I am glad I tried this blend because it reminds me of Mac Baren's style of blending and surprised me alittle because I was missing out for so many years. The fact that this blend also uses so many types of tobaccos grown around the world is unique in its own because each leaf grown in a different region provides its special quality of taste it brings to the table, even though the best Virginia tobacco in the world grows right here in the United States, I've seen the different whole leaves of Virginia tobacco grown from Africa to Canada each one boasting its own color and smell and texture from the environment it is grown in, so many types of Virginia's in Borkum Riff is interesting to me as I love breaking down tobacco in general, I just love the concept is where I'm driving at and I know that many pipe tobaccos do this as well but at the most outsource about three kinds of Virginia's at the most. I am also not sure of the burley content of this blend but never the less plays a role in the production of there black cavendish as only a few pipe tobacco companies actually use Virginia based cavendish because burley is cheaper. Anyway I could go on and on about this subject and thanks for continuing to read on so lets review this fine pipe tobacco. When I open a pouch of Borkum Riff OG I am greeted by a sweet tobacco smell with hints of plums and raisins, I do not smell any vanilla or can even taste vanilla but instead a liquor topping of some sort its definitely there own thing. When I light up my bowl and begin to smoke this stuff I can taste chocolate along with raisins and in the background tones of plum bit does not over power the blend allowing for the tobaccos used to shine right through giving a nice aroma. The bowl stays consistent and smooth all the way through and does not bite and I know that's a huge plus for most of you, this blend also has a slight zing to it but not in a spicy way but more of a robust way with a nice body to it in the smoke itself. This stuff actually has some nicotine in it to, not a heavy hitter by far but has a touch more than most aromatics with black cavendish and from start to finish leaves a clean white ash and high quality smoke. I can see why this stuff is alittle pricey because the quality they put into this pipe tobacco for a pouch is pretty dang good amd not goopy or leaves a mess in your pipe. The texture and moisture of this blend is right on and really never gets hot unless you really puff your pipe hard and leaves a nice sweet after taste in your mouth but not in your pipe unless maybe you smoke bowl after bowl in one day. This stuff makes for a good treat and could be a all day smoke easily but again the price is just alittle to high for me and so I smoke it as a every so often kind of thing but its truly some good stuff. I highly recommend this for a novice pipe smoker because it taste good and is very forgiving and will keep you interested all the way through the bowl. I thought this pipe tobacco blend is very interesting and I already know I wrote a long @$$ review but hey!!! give me a break I love tobacco and everything about it and love smoking my pipe so much. Thanks for reading this if you made it all the way here, God bless you and God bless America, stand up for your smoking rights and support your tobacco farmers and business's.
Pipe Used: MM Corn Cob CnS Pipes
PurchasedFrom: Big Smoke CDA Idaho
Age When Smoked: 39
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable
Very dry from the pouch, burns quickly & gives nasty tongue bite, a harsh smoke with not much flavour. I'm not a fan. Not sure what else to say. Very disappointing.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2021 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant
---Update 10/8/2022--- I am forced to downgrade my verdict. The subsequent pouches I smoked generated tongue irritation, doubtless provoked by whichever humectant is used by STG to keep the tobacco moist over a longer period. The taste is still really interesting and, so is the roomnote, but the irritation seriously impedes on the overall smoking experience. It was better in a Peterson System but then, my mouthroof became irritated. ---Original review 12/18/2021--- My impressions of this mixture are obviously completely different than the great majority of reviews. I seriously wonder: why this disparity? Why is it that I have really enjoyed this tobacco? That I did find it had tobacco taste? That the burn was ideal? The casing, extremely pleasant without being obtrusive? This is very curious. To the review. The tobacco in the pouch was just right in terms of moisture. The pouch aroma was slightly sweet with something akin to the Mixture with Bourbon Whisky. Black Cavendish takes about half of the composition with the rest being Virginias and Burleys. Very easy to fill and it does not require further rubbing out. The tobacco lights up easily over all the surface. The tobacco taste is true to the pouch aroma: vanilla, chocolate, yes, with Cavendish and Burleys in the background which provide a very subtle sour taste that is not unpleasant at all. There is nicotine here, ladies and gents, about mild to medium. Past the half way point, the casing becomes less appearent and the tobacco taste more present. It smokes wonderfully and has left no messy dottle. Having gone through almost all the pouch, I cannot say I have experienced tongue bite or that the tobacco was harsh nor burned hot. I also have some Univerity Flake, G & H Best Brown #2, and Mac Baren Modern Virginia open at the moment and have been reaching for the MO most of the time! In summary, I have been taken completely by surprise by this lovely mixture and have ordered many more pouches.
Pipe Used: Peterson POY 2021, various Dunhill
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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