Mac Baren Symphony

A very harmonious ready rubbed tobacco dominated by the selected burley tobaccos and with a minor part of Virginia and the original Mac Baren Cavendish. In this blend the tobaccos are adjusted to bring out the slight natural sweetness and with the tender note of chocolate - which is found in all excellent burley tobaccos.
Notes: Known as "Harmony" in Europe.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate
Cut Broken Flake
Packaging 100 grams tin weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.74 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 77 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I like this tobacco. I like it so much I bought a pound and put it down to rest.

The mixed reviews seen here do not surprise me at all. As with all Mac Baren pipe tobacco this stuff can really sizzle your taster. A gentle approach of this blend fully rubbed out and smoked in the right pipe can be a real pleasure.

There is a flavor there but I do not get chocolate, I would call it just sweet. I like this blend because it does not taste like vanilla or cherry or honeydew like other aromatics, it just has a sweet tobacco taste. Kind of like the old school american OTC blends in a tuxedo. I really do like it.

If you smoke it fast you are wasting your time, and I am beginning to think that there is a way Mac Baren cures their tobaccos that does not agree with some people. Some cannot smoke any Mac Baren blends, others never have a problem.

Give it a shot, you never know. This one fits me quite nicely. Highly recommended.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2021 Medium Mild Mild Tolerable
The presentation is always nice and neat with Mac Baren. This a ready rubbed, so there are flake pieces, but packing is made easier with this cut. When smoking this blend I never rubbed it out. I just stuffed the tobacco into the pipes and kept checking my draw to get the right resistance.

The tin note was fruity when first opened, like many Virginia blend, but as this gets some oxygen, it turns toward a Burley smell, a little chocolaty and leathery.

This is best sipped, and it's a nice blend that has some zest and it develops into a chocolaty, raisiny, molasses flavor. There are some cereal and bread notes here and there as well. It has salty and sweet sensation ranges and pillowy body to it that continues to develop and increase in smoke density as the bowl progresses. At times it reminds me of the HH Burley flake--this kind of fusile, earthy, engine oil note that I love and find unique.

I smoked this in a variety of pipe shapes, lengths, bowl demensions, etc. It burns well and relatively cool. I think a bigger billiard was more enjoyable, but anything worked really. I found it did not bite, contrary to many opinions on Mac Baren's standard line of blends. I found the nicotine unnoticeable. It's a nice all-day blend, and mild, that doesn't require much thought, but given the time and attention it sure does charm me.

I would recommend this to Burley-lovers and Virginia smokers as well. Recommended, three stars.
Pipe Used: Various briars.
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: One year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 03, 2021 Medium Medium Medium Tolerable
Summary: a medium-strength Burley blend with a mild chocolate flavoring

With "Symphony," Mac Baren makes a blend that smokes like an OTC but tastes more like a European smoking mixture. Upon opening the tin, the scent of milk chocolate wafts upward. The first light squirts out a bit of this flavor, but it quickly melds with the naturally somewhat chocolatey Burley flavor, aided by the Mac Baren natural Cavendish in becoming a thick but soft smoke that is gentle on the mouth. Virginias hide in back, and are the weakest part of this blend, being sizzly with acid like PopRocks or Lemonheads, but they are a minor player and caramelize rather quickly, letting the Burley mixture take the lead. The malted flavor of white Burley and the richer, earthy dark Burley play together in this mix, producing a taste like roasted almond paste with a light chocolate-vanilla flavoring. Like the blends that may have inspired it -- "Prince Albert," "Sir Walter Raleigh," and "Edgeworth Ready-Rubbed" -- this blend lights easily and stays lit, delivers a medium level of nicotine, has a mild but distinctive flavor, and burns down almost completely to ash. You could smoke this all day and not only enjoy it, but probably never get bored, because within this simple chocolate flavor a tapestry of interlocking influences from Virginias and Burleys plays out like a rainstorm, with never quite the same pattern of drops but similar intensity from top to bottom of the bowl.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2021 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
I enjoyed the first half of the 100 g tin of this that I purchased nearly six years ago; the other half is jarred for further investigation later. This is a good European aromatic assuming you are not looking for a topping drenched aro. I found the topping applied much to my liking, lightly.

I do not like chocolate toppings and this one does tread on that side, but it is light enough to make it bearable and even enjoyable to my palate. It really accentuates the burley and makes this more like a burley blend to me than an aromatic. It actually reminds me a little of Golden Extra in character.

One caution I would point out on this blend is that it will bite with the slightest elevation from a slow puffing cadence. You have been warned. To anyone who smokes a lot of Mac Baren products, this is nothing new to them, but I would put this one up with the touchiest of their "bitey" blends. If the cadence is right however, it is a great smoke IMO. Nice moderate sweetness that you would want in a Virginia/Burley blend with a touch of chocolate to elevate the Burley. It performs well and is packaged in the typically classy Mac Baren presentation.
Age When Smoked: 5 yrs 8 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 07, 2020 Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable
I bought this the other day at the pipe store on a whim. I have smoked quite a few of the HH blends and apparently had forgotten about the infamous Mac Baren tongue bite, in fact I have a 21-year tin of Scottish Blend that after a few bowls I have to give it a rest but I am getting ahead of myself. I bought this in bulk out of the pipe store’s tobacco jar and it is a nice dark brown broken flake with a topping that says it is flavored with cocoa and chocolate. I couldn’t guess what it smelled like blindfolded so I will take their word for it. It is very slightly moist and holds a match really well. I was surprised at how few relights if any I needed while smoking this. It tastes smooth, maybe a little chocolate flavor can’t really say but tastes good. The problem is that I had to really sip on this one as to avoid the dreaded tongue bite and after a few bowls I decided to take a break as it started to nibble a little bit on my tongue. his one could really burn hot if pushed. Taking it slow I really liked but not sure if I have the discipline to make this a regular smoke but one, I am sure will return to. Definitely worth a try.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 02, 2014 Very Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
A broken flake of mid brown tobacco. It shares a tin note with Norwood, and both reminded me of Royal Yacht in that regard. Sweet, vanilla, perhaps honey, and a maltiness suggestive of biscuits.

Takes a light easily and smokes to the proverbial white ash without any drama. Tends towards the hot side, uncomplicated and a bit harsh. Straight out of the tin it will give off moisture, so drying is recommended.

This is one of the few tobaccos that will reliably give me niccups and I would rate this just a shade lower in nicotine than Royal Yacht. I consider Symphony to be a poor man's version of RY.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2010 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
It's been twenty years since I smoked MB Symphony and after severals bowls it reminded me how much I enjoyed this blend in years past. I know taste is a very personal thing, but I am somewhat surprised Symphony doesn't get higher marks here. I find it delightful. It has an excellent harmony, or if you will "symphony" between the Burley, Cavendish and Virginia leaf in this blend. To me it has a nice nutty sweet taste. Contrary to many of the reviews here, it did not bite and was not one dimensional. Nor did it heat up on me, although it important not to puff too hard. I smoked it in large bowl pipes. It was easy to light, and burned nicely to a grey white ash. In the tin it had a perfect moisture content. The broken flake was easy to pack. Symphony is back in my rotation and I highly recommend it for those who enjoy a Burley/Cavendish/Virginia. The price is right too.

March 2015 update I can't believe it's been 5 years since I reviewed this blend. I fired-up a bowl this past week, first time in awhile. Right out of the tin it does have a tendency to heat-up and have found it cooler if left to sit and dry a day before lighting. I would not change my review. This is a nice blend of Burley and Virginia leaf. Some are saying this blend has Black Cavendish in it. Not that I can see. It's a non-blackened Cavendish for sure.
Pipe Used: Charatan and Savinelli
Age When Smoked: 5 year old tin
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 28, 2010 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
This tobacco marriage is a best !!! What a perfect, gorgeous, delightful, stimulating, refreshing, and delicious blend. The texture, color, and appearance of these tobaccos is astonishing: love at first sight. I feel as if I am gazing at a delectable forest in the midst of autumn with all the pleasant red and orange tobacco staring at me. The smell is sweet, handsome, invigorating, and very warmly inviting. "I really want to get to smoking!" is what this tobacco does to me. This is o.c.d. tobacco, it may just get you all enveloped with it all. It is so good that you will rub the rest while smoking while continually sniffing and inhaling in ecstasy from the gorgeous tin. The taste is very pleasing, and interesting, or even intriguing. It builds up and gets better in an infinite number of ways, that is how supreme and complex this blend is! I am a single man safe to say that this tin makes a good wife 😉 LOL! Lighting is easy, yet halfway down the bowl, as with most MacBaren blends, the tobacco suddenly whimpers down into mere smoke...(giggles), usually a symptom of fresh out of the can I guess; I will just easily solve this little pesk by setting the tin out for a bit so it may dry out in the room for the moisture to adjust itself, no biggie. I just remembered too that with most MacBaren blends, I get a significantly better smoke and a fuller better light with literally just dumping the tobacco in the bowl whether I rub it more or not and just pressing down just enough so there are not too big of a gap between the slices/flakes, because this premium tobacco likes space and mega airflow. Now that my tongue reminds me (way after the fact, showing you how great and delicious this stuff was for me to remember!) there was a general distinctive taste and smell of some kind of delicious sweet pancakes with maple/brown sugar, fruit and nut chocolate (think Raisin and Almond Cadbury's) and the slightest most pleasing sweetness of mild apricot preserves type flavor. Something like that! There is also a lot more more going on though too, too many great flavors to describe !?! This is a must try blend. Enjoy the Symphony !!!
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2020 Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

Upon opening the humidor I was greeted by a earthy, grassy, slightly spicy and woody aroma. The tobacco seemed a bit dry and was a rubbed long ribbon which I rubbed out more and let sit for a half hour on a paper towel.

With the rubbed tobacco in long ribbons rubbed out into smaller pieces this was a pleasure to fill my bowl easily. This burned consistently at a medium rate to a nice dark gray ash and the smoke was medium and full with a wonderful roasted chocolate nut aroma.

Upon lighting the mild flavor of nuts, earth, wood, grassy, toasty flavor with a spiciness tickled my senses. It was obvious that this has a potential to bite and after the initial tongue tingle from lighting I sipped slowly and wondered where the chocolate flavor was. About 5 or 6 sips in the a mild chocolate arrived with a slight molasses background coming onboard and moving to the forefront as the other flavors danced closely in the background. The spices dances in the background also and from time to time cinnamon danced out for a solo to only rejoin the other spices after a couple of sips. From time to time Honey would make an appearance only to disappear again. The flavors left a slightly sweet slightly tangy aftertaste as the smoke progressed and it was enjoyable. At just before half way down the bowl the chocolate flavor changed into milk chocolate and it was very, very good. Then at a quarter of the bowl left it turned to cocoa for the rest of the way. There was no bitter flavor appearance or a decline of the flavors that sometimes happens in blends towards the end of the bowl.

The aftertaste of sweet and tangy stayed for around a half hour after finishing up this blend. This was a very, very pleasant smoke and I enjoyed it immensely. While pleasurable the tendency to want to bite would make this hard pressed to be an all day smoke. But, it sure could be a everyday smoke. The tobacco flavor was never overpowered by the different flavors although at times it came close. Will I buy more of this. Yes I will. It will be another of my special occasion blends. I would give this a 3.8 out of 4 stars with only its tendency to want to bite if one puffed a bit hard holding it off from a 4 star out of 4 star review.

***UPDATE*** I jarred this for 6 weeks and smoked it in my Shalom Author and that bit of time brought on a rich mild chocolate flavor that really shone. That change alone made this a perfect smoke This is now in my regular rotation and gets a 4 out of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Shalom Author Smooth and Carved Pipe
PurchasedFrom: Local Pipe Shop
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2017 Mild Mild Medium Pleasant
Great burley blend. Well behaved and a little sweet. Mild chemistry and just a little heat. You can smoke Symphony all day as is or sweeten it up with a pinch of your favorite gooper for a sweeter treat.
Pipe Used: grabow briars
3 people found this review helpful.
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