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 21 - 30 of 77 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 29, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I think I might review this further, as I only have had six bowlfuls, and these are more initial impressions. I'm really falling for this blend. The color in the tine is a brown ruddy-red color. Thick to thin broken flakes, and it smells spicy and wine like. It almost reminded me of Dunhill's Early Morning Pipe, ever so slightly. It doesn't smell as sweet as it does sour. I found it to be the perfect moisture and it packed well. Took to a flame very easy as well. Initially, a butter toast like flavor is dominant, followed by nutty-cashew like-flavors. Some sweet honey flashes in every once in a while. I have yet to find the chocolate note in the blend. Maybe it is to subtle for me. The Virginias do make their little citrusy presence known sparringly. I found this blend to be very mellow, light but flavorful. I was also surprised at how long this stuff burned, it goes on for quite some time. Burns evenly and down to a white-grey ash. It definitely has the the qualities of a classic blend. All in all, I highly recommend.
Pipe Used: MM Legend, Andreas Bauer Calabash
PurchasedFrom: David's Gifts and Tobaccos, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 09, 2014 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
My first try with Symphony ended in a wicked tongue bite. I haven't smoked a lot of Mac Baren blends, but I understand that these tobaccos can pack a big bite if you aren't careful. The first smoke pretty much turned me off to the blend.

But something brought me back for another taste, especially after reading reviews of this tobacco that suggest rubbing it out creates an entirely different experience and taste. So, I rubbed out a pinch, and man oh man, it's an entirely differently experience, indeed. The chance of bite decreased dramatically, and I could taste a symphony (ha) of subtle, dark, sweet flavors from the Burley, the bright sweets from the Cavendish, and the subtle yet complimenting Virginias. It's wild how something initially so bland and biting turned into a pleasurable tobacco by merely rubbing it out.

Warning: even after rubbing it out fully, take the blow slow. Find a rhythm, and hang in it. The tobacco can get way too hot very fast, and leave you with a burn. This blend requires patience. At first, it seems taxing, but the flavors are quite rewarding. I'll probably finish of this tin in the next two weeks.
PurchasedFrom: Libation Station; Johnson City, TN
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 25, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
This review is for a 7 oz tin of Symphony from the late 1970's that I just opened. My tin had a few little dents and dings, but fortunately Macbaren packaged these large tins with the tobacco in a plastic bag, so the contents were in fabulous shape with no drying or damage. Very dark brown broken flake makes this a beautiful tobacco. Tin note is very sweet, mostly a honey smell. After 30 years, the flavors of the toasty burley, the dark cavendish, and the sweet virginias truely do combine to make a symphony on your taste buds. The burley is at the forefront, but I like this blend a lot better then other burley dominants that I have tried, e.g. London Burley. Flavor is sweet as expected, but you taste more natural sweetness from the virginias aging so long, rather than any syrupy sweetness. Flavoring is mostly drowned out by the fabulously mellow combination of tobaccos. Hearty smoke and good ashing. It seems that most of the neutral reviews of this tobacco hinge on tongue bite. Well, nothing like 30 years to eliminate that! I found that tongue bite was minimal even when pushing my pipe hard. A truely fabulous treat and an excellent every day smoke.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2009 Mild Mild Medium Pleasant
Someone was nice enough to send me an lb of this delightful tobacco. I'm certainly grateful and if I can determine who this came from I will be happy to send them my thanks.

I found this tobacco to be very much what it Mac claims it to be. First light and a puff yields a very distinct Virginia aroma and flavor: Mild, grassy, and naturally semi-sweet. After a few puffs (and yes I tend to pull on the fast and heavy side) you begin to notice the burly which gets stronger as you move through the bowl. Cavendish peeks through after the first 3rd and dances in and out throughout the rest of the smoke. Symphony is a good name for this tobacco as it does yield a myriad of flavors at different times. As you smoke it .. you find yourself settling on a predominant flavor but then find that it waxes and wanes throughout the experience. My first thought at the beginning was "this is a VA ... not a Burly"; then, "ahh there is the burly"; followed by, "wow this is all burly .. with perhaps a bit of cavendish flavor"; and finally, "hmmm, the burly doesn't dominate after all". Terrific smoke!

What a treat to be surprised. I'll bet it would be even better if smoked with a bit less enthusiasm; also I'm betting a bit of aging would add to the delicacy. I'll be getting a few more lbs (guess I'll have to buy it this time) and adding to my cellar. Thanks again (whoever you are).

Well worth a try. Oh, and as for the nicotine, it does tend to develop more toward the last 3rd... even more than you might expect. Not sure why.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 05, 2009 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
I am smoking this as a change of pace since many years now, this is a balanced mixture of many tobaccos mixed at equal proportion where it is hard to taste or to recognize any of them, the balance is strict and well calculated, the flavor is particularly neutral and monochromatic (in the good sense) and the only remaining element in the flavor is a taste of "chocolate" with the Mac Baren honey flavoring.

This blend is particularly enjoyed by Mac Baren fans (and I am one of them) who are very familiar with the famous Mac honey casing.

I like to smoke this blend when I am in mood for nothing.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 20, 2023 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
Unlocked if you can get into the MacBaren groove. A great all day smoke.

Burley well balanced with the slight edge of sweetness of the VA and cavendish as well as the typical MacBaren topping. It's just enough balance to make it interesting and not flat.

The whole trick is the Mac Baren groove. You need to pack this lighter, much like Golden Extra or Mixture. Do the initial char and let it cool as you lightly tamp to get an ash layer going. I char generally two or three times, letting the initial nuclear coals to subside. If you draw down while it's glowing fire, you will pay the price.

With this and the other broken flake blends like Golden Extra or Mixture, I find that rubbing it out to a finer level helps to keep the pack in the bowl even and relatively dense. If I leave it coarse I find it too hard to balance it.

Once you get the initial ash layer going, re-light and go, nice and easy, keep it smoldering and you will unlock the flavor in this blend. It's a great all day smoke, doesn't coat the palate, can be smoked right up against a meal and goes great with a cup of coffee.

Though it's somewhat sweet, it burns very cleanly and doesn't leave the bowl all clogged and tarred up.

This one and Burley Flake are on my top list of all day smokes that are pleasant, simple and don't completely clog the sinuses and flatten your palate.

It takes time to get used to MacBaren but once you unlock them, you start to understand why they are so popular.
Pipe Used: A variety
PurchasedFrom: Online retailer
Age When Smoked: recent production
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2022 Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Mac B blends tend to frighten me. Not with strength, but the tongue bite. I should know better, but the description sounded glorious!

Pouch appearance of light to medium brown tobaccos, to specks of dark leaf. The broken flake/ready rubbed consistency needed some rubbing out before packing.

The pouch aroma of this 2oz sample to me, smelled like dark fired. Woody, slight chocolate, and smokiness come forth, with that signature Danish aroma.

The cocoa topping stay about 1/3 of the way down and disappears. Here, its all straight forward tobacco flavor with a slight sweetness. Each time I smoked this, I was extremely careful to just sip trying to avoid tongue bite. Relighting is where I really had to be cautious.

Quality blend from Mac Baren, a solid 3 stars

The initial lighting is a wonderful flavor. The cocoa, sweetness and woodsy/grassy are balanced very well together. This
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2022 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Symphony reminds me of MacBaren’s Golden Extra, but a tad sweeter……This is an all day smoke with a good balance between Burley boldness and Virginia sweetness and the sweet Cavendish doesn’t overwhelm or “ghost” my pipe ( I guess cobs don’t have that issue and that’s why I use them) . As with other reviewers that give this high ratings, be careful to smoke slowly as this blend can get hot……Not a complex smoke, but an all day smoke doesn’t need to be……So far I haven’t had any MacBare flake that I didn’t like; there are a few that I like better, but I keep this one in my regular rotation.
Pipe Used: Cobb
PurchasedFrom: Sergei’s in East Lyme Ct.
Age When Smoked: 11/20
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 31, 2021 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
This is a very nice blend. It tastes like burley (i.e., earthy/nuttiness/astringent) but with an extra twist, which it seems to be the result of some added Kentucky (smoky/sweet). The latter is very subtle, just a condiment to the burley. Perhaps this is the input of the Mac Baren Classic Cavendish. This blend is similar to Golden Extra, but a bit spicier. It is also similar to Mac Baren Navy Flake, but with a less noticeable casing/topping, and with less Virginia. The casing/topping might be the result of a mix of anis with brown sugar. I have perceived a similar smell in Mac baren´s Virginia Flake and Navy Flake. It does not burn particularly hot, but it can bite if pushed. The room note is nice. Recommended both for people that enjoy burley-based blends and for people that like the classic Mac Baren line. I´m glad I buy it, but I don´t think is as good ad Golden Extra or Navy Flake.
PurchasedFrom: tobacconist in Groningen, NL
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2021 Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I first smoked this blend around 1988-1989 when my local b&m owner opened a tin to smoke and offered it around the room. I haven't smoked it since until about a week ago. I bought a large collection in 2015 and there were three tins in it; two dated 2015 and one dated 2010. I opened the 2010 tin, shared it with a long time smoking buddy and he promptly wanted to buy it. We decided that it was both darker and spicier than what we remembered from the old days. This confirms the observation of reviewer Jimlnks 2013-04-07 that he, too, found it spicier and stronger as an aged sample. So, what do we have here in Mac Baren Symphony. I knew from the dark coloration and the tin odor we were dealing with a Burley-dominated mixture and it smoked as such. I enjoyed the Virginia/Burley proportioning, the strength level and the way it matured in the bottom half of the bowl. What I didn't like was the persistent tingling on the tongue that plagued the top half of each smoke. Symphony is a solid, but, not spectacular Burley/Virginia smoke that I recommend at three stars.
Pipe Used: Charatan Authentic Billiard 4420DC
PurchasedFrom: an Ebay seller
Age When Smoked: tinned in October 2010
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