E. Hoffman Company Spilman Mixture

The return of an old favorite, Spilman Mixture is a classically complex English blend of Virginia, Latakia, Turkish and cubed Burley that hasn't been available for 70 years! The reinvention of this classic tobacco took years of research and development. Presented in a detailed recreation of the original can, right down to the replica tax stamp, Spilman Mixture features the coarse cut favored by pipe smokers in the last century, and an honest, straight forward tobacco flavor. As the can says, "Discriminating Smokers smoke and recommend Spilman Mixture on account of its purity. Spilman Mixture is of incomparable Quality. The combination contains the choicest tobaccos. Its rich aroma is guaranteed to be Nature's own." Spilman Mixture is irresistible for anyone interested in trying what their great-great grandfather smoked.


Brand E. Hoffman Company
Blended By  
Manufactured By  
Blend Type English
Contents Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 1.5oz tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.93 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 71 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 14, 2010 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A little smokey and a little tangy from the virginia/latakia and the burley adds a smidge of body to this blend. A tasty and mild english blend and a decent change if you want to give yourself a break from the heavier blends, which I almost never want to do, at least not during the cold months here in Chicago. But I could see reaching for this sometimes during the summer to give myself a change from the straight virginias and burleys. Just a little too mild for me right now...
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2015 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The lightly musty sweet Cyprian Latakia is smoky, earthy, woody as the lead component. The Oriental/Turkish provides earth, wood, light herbs and vegetation, mild floralness, and is slight buttery and sour as a supporting player. The earthy, woody, nutty, lightly molasses sweet burley plays a secondary role. The Virginia is grassy and slightly floral with a touch of tart and tangy citrus, and a few grains of sugar. It's a minor player. The strength and nic-hit are a step past the mild mark, while the taste is barely at the center of mild to medium. With such a variety of components in this blend, you'd think something would stand out, but they don't because they work well together. They do suffer from lack of depth. Perhaps the topping, whatever it is, lightly tames the ingredients, too. The strength is a couple of steps past the mild mark, while the taste is a slot past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite, but fast puffing may result in a harsh note or two. Has a few small rough edges. Burns clean and a tad warm at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor from top to bottom. Requires an average number of relights. Leaves little dampness in the bowl. Has a short lived, pleasant after taste and room note. An all day smoke that I could recommend it to someone just starting out in English blends. Two and a half stars due to the aforementioned lack of depth and body.

21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 03, 2010 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
Spilman is a retro/nostalgia blend. I Finally decided to pop the tub that sat in my cellar for more than a year and smoked four or five bowls of it in the next two days.

You can smell the Latakia and the Turkish reeking off the open tin, but taste more of the Turkish when smoking. Funny, because it supposedly has more burley and virginia than latakia or Turkish. It must be the Turkish that gives it a cigarettish quality, I think, but the burley and virginia help to balance things. Or not, depending on your own opinion. And few smokers will receive a completely similar impression of this blend.

Comes wet. Had to dry it out on a paper towel for about an hour. Surprisingly mild nicotine component, considering all those ingredients. Consequently, nic lovers find it too mild for their taste, but is perfect for me. YMMV. It does seem to be something of an acquired taste, but what can I say? I still can't make heads or tails of this blend, but I'm liking it. Easy to fill, to keep lit, smokes smooth, yadda yadda yadda. As long as you take the trouble to dry it out a bit prior to smoking.

I think the danger with this blend is that its milder, non-bitey smoothness can tempt you to make it an all-day smoke of it, which it isn't. It doesn't smoke enough under the radar and conceivably could tire tastebuds even to its best qualities, at least the ones I've perceived, if smoked too often and continuously. That may be one of the reasons the blend fell out of fashion in the U.S. after being all the rage for many years. But it hasn't bored me yet.

My initial impression from just two bowls is very positive. Delectable flavor and a sidestream aroma that waltzes you in and out and around again. The first bowl recommended itself uniquely to my palate, with an unprecedented (to me) citrusy/sweet tang. Can't fully wrap my head around this blend yet; I have trouble finding any points of comparison, reference or similarity. Almost indescribable. Simply irresistible. (With apologies here to the late Robert Palmer.) Has a pungent, savory quality that blows through the leathery latakia and settles on the tastebuds, especially those on each side of the tongue. Yummers. Mommy.

Am I exaggerating here, reduced to spouting immature hyperbolic dithyrambs? Exaggerating, no. Reduced to spouting, yes. Ah initial impressions. The shock of recognition; or rather the surprise of non-recognition. I'm not compos mentis enough for balanced views or for sage and sedate evaluations. After all, this baccy has put me in The Zone in two and a half seconds flat.

Surprising, considering that it's just tobacco... And I don't drink...

Somehow it gives me a subtle memory of having smoked it once.... But I never smoked it before....!!!

Different from any tobacco I've smoked. And yet... and yet... at the same time... it is strangely familiar. But arcanely so... a contradiction in terms! A puzzlement, this tantalizing cognitive lacuna in my grasp. But gee willikers, this be some good baccy!

I want to repeat the experience over and over again. Let it haunt me and pursue me, but may it never turn on me.

And, oh yes, again: YMMV.

I smoked it in a large bowl, as someone recommended. That person was right.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 09, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Spilman is my 'go to' tobacco. I have to admit my first puchase was influenced by its pleasent retro-lable but, I have kept a tin or two around ever since. I find it well balanced (not too much latakia). I always enjoy a virginia/burley base and this one is just the right mix, kind of elegant, kind of homey. Sometimes I want a big nicotine hit. Spiman is not where I turn for that. It's just a nice, dependable smoke and that's a good thing. I don't want every bowlful to be a show-stopper, but I do want consistant, quality tobacco. Spilman just suites me that way.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Iwan Ries
Age When Smoked: Fresh from the tin.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2011 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
The awesome-looking tin won me over! Tin aroma is of a sweetened, kind of OTC-ish mustiness with some latakia present. Cut is a user friendly squarish chop - easy to load. Well, it would be easy to load if it didn't have so many stems in it. But so it goes.

This is something to smoke, I suppose. It's basically inoffensive and does nothing horribly wrong. The casing used could be toned down a bit for my taste, but the overall effect was "dirty", to use a strange word in the context of tobacco. It tasted old, and not old as in aged... old as in stale, but it wasn't stale. Hard to explain. The main flavor was very light latakia with some sort of sweetener and a good burley body. Orientals didn't come out much and the VA was just sort of a base without asserting itself, either. This reminded me of C&D's Americana but C&D did it so much better, IMHO. I made it through about 2 oz of this and gave the rest away. Probably the best thing I can say about this is that I gave it away to a pipesmoking couple. How cool is that?

It's something to try but it fails to distinguish itself. It just sort of "is" - nothing to get too excited over. As always, YMMV.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 23, 2009 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
Step right up and get your Barking Dog with a little different added flavoring right here, folks.

This is a delightful and very good blend in that it offers a somewhat unique smoking experience and is an easy tobacco to like. You'll not get exotic flavor sensations but you will receive a tobacco blend where you can taste Latakia, Burley and a mild added flavoring that combines to make this blend easy on the palate and won't give you "Latakia overload." For some reason, a few pipe smokers believe a Latakia blend means the blender has to pour on the Latakia and then stick in a pinch of a couple of other things. A light Latakia can be appreciated too, and here's a perfect example

Barking Dog (another American light Latakia/Burley mix) seems somewhat similar to Spilman, but the added flavorings are as different as night and day. Also, Spilman comes a little bit too moist in the tin for my liking and is a little more flavorful when dried out a bit.

A "delicate" Latakia blend... The long-ago creators of Spillman appear to have been simple folks. God bless 'em!
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 18, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Sturdy little all day English...Puzzles my as to why it went away in the first place...if the original was anything like this, somebody must have been asleep at the switch to allow it to be discontinued...If your looking for something less expensive and tastier than Squadron Leader, this is it.
Pipe Used: various for testing
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Newly bought
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 24, 2013 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I got to chance to try E. Hoffman Company's Spilman Mixture at our last meeting thanks to the generosity of our members. It was described as a mild English blend. Mild English blends are my favorites so I had to dive right in and try a bowl. The tin is described as "complex English blend of Virginia, Latakia, Turkish and cubed Burley" by the manufacturer. I don't smoke a lot of blends with burley in it. I think I may be missing out and may need to expand my horizons. Mild English is a very appropriate description of this tobacco. More accurate would be a pleasantly mild English tobacco. The Latakia, Virginia, and Burley tobaccos are very well balanced to create a tasty smoke that reminded of toasted nuts and summer campfires. The Turkish is the one component that was almost lost in the background. This might be a good thing, as too much Turkish would upset the balance already achieved in this tobacco. This may not be a smoke that completely knocks your socks off but it makes for a great all day, anytime smoke. I can't wait to try it first thing in the morning with a nice cup of coffee. Overall 4 our 5 stars. I will be ordering a pound or two to add to my cellar.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2010 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Spilman Mixture by the E. Hoffman Co. brings back, after 70 years, a heirloom tobacco that perhaps your great great grandfather may have smoked in an early sandblasted Dunhill (my fantasy). It comes complete with a can that captures the original to the last detail, including the tax stamp. It is an Air Cured blend of Burley, Virginia, Latakia and Turkish, and is presented in the can as a rough Broken Flake. This latter point means that flavors are occasionally released in the bowl explosively as one component presides over the other. Spilman Mixture in my book represents an American English blend. Although I am no great fan of Burley this is somewhat compensated by some fine Virginia and Latakia leaf. The Turkish provides an additional overtone. I would have preferred however less Burley and more Latakia and Virginia, but I guess then it wold not have conformed to the original recipe. I give it three stars because of the Burley, but it should be sampled as it may suit some more than others. Cheers,
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 05, 2008 Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant
Tin aroma is a little weak; not much stands out. First light; latakia that quickly fades, a little sweetness, and ocassional burley-ness. Mid bowl; tastes like a standard codger burley with a ghost of latakia flitting in and out.

This really is not a very good blend. It's not bad, there's nothing to not like. It just doesn't have much going for it. The plus side; it stays lit well, and it won't overburden you with complexity. So, it's a good "driving tobacco" for those times when you don't want to fiddle with something, and want something other than Carter Hall. Of course, a can of this will set you back considerably more than CH.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 17, 2019 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
E. Hoffman Company - Spilman Mixture.

The blend comprises mostly cumbrous ribbons. I see a few leafier pieces but it's prominently made of coarse ribbons. It includes, roughly, an even amount of each colour leaf, smells like an 'old school' English, and has an impeccable amount of hydration; for me. Some might find it too moist but I like my tobacco that way.

For my smoke this morning I wasn't too enthralled; I like a 'breakfast English' to be more formidable. But, as an afternoon/evening smoke I enjoy it. I find it a milder English which has quite a 'soothing' flavour. The Latakia doesn't hog the profile. It leads, but doesn't completely monopolise things with an acrid smokiness; instead it gives a sweet tasting flavour. The Orientals take a definite support to the Lat'. The Burley gives a perspicuous and certain ruggedness, but the Virginia sits RIGHT at the back. Mechanically it performs well; even, steady, quite slow, giving a cool smoke. Another bonus is the lack of bite; to my palate.

Nicotine: below medium. Room-note: old fashioned!

Spilman Mixture? Even though I don't 'love' it, I like it; quite a lot! Three stars:

Pipe Used: Ben Wade Blackfriar
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: 2 weeks
2 people found this review helpful.
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