Seattle Pipe Club Mississippi River

Mississippi River ~ actually appeared to Master Blender Joe Lankford in a dream. Awakened from a sound sleep he grabbed a pencil and scribbled a recipe before the memory faded. The next morning he used those notes to create a Virginia blend like no other. Mississippi River was born. The rest is history in a tin. Enjoy the rich Virginias pressed in cakes with Oriental leaf, a pinch of Latakia and perique. Exceedingly popular with good reason. Crafting the most sought after small batch blends in America since 2007.
Notes: Smooth, creamy, rich, lightly smoky and appropriately sweet, with hints of dried fruits and a touch of dark chocolate.


Brand Seattle Pipe Club
Blended By Joe Lankford
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 2 or 8 ounce tins
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.21 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2009 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Comparing this to Seattle Pipe Club's Plum Pudding, I would have to say that the presence of the Perique, for me, was the dominant factor. Also, if you like your tobacco salty, neither will disappoint.

The presentation in the tin was similar to Plum Pudding, but the tobacco was not as brick-like. It was much easier to prepare Mississippi River for smoking. I could not detect any aromatic presence once I opened the tin, nor could I detect the presence of the Latakia. I did detect the presence of the musty Perique, but during the smoke, none of the Perique's flavor - just salt. It took to the match with ease and I had no trouble keeping it lit. Not a hot smoke, and very nondescript. All I tasted was salt and no tobacco - something I certainly wasn't expecting after reading the other reviews. At times I did detected a mild sweetness, but none of the fruity presence mentioned in the above description. For me, the Perique was so dominant (more salt than pepper) that I could not honestly detect the taste of any of the other tobaccos said to be in this blend.

Nothing in this one for me to cry out about. I will finish my 2 ounce tin over time, but unless things change, I won't be revisiting it. I have been wanting to try it and I am glad I did, with perhaps a slight preference for Mississippi River over Plum Pudding. Neither will make it into my rotation. In both cases, I was actually looking for more of a fruity sweetness to go with the Latakia. I recommend it with 2 stars for what it is - a mild, sweet Virginia with a little spice.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Another blend I would call "meat and potatoes" but all I really mean by that is that the blend is "okay."

There are aspects of this which remind me of the Frog Morton blends, but frankly, I personally find the Frog Morton's much more enjoyable.

In the case of this blend, I got a bit of that Virginia sweetness, but only a bit. Some smokey latakia. I also could tell as I worked through the bowl that there was perique -- something that I am not a particular fan of, though it wasn't too bad all said, so I think its only a little bit of perique.

I rate blends in three ways:

Those I absolutely love. Those I find okay. Those I cannot believe I wasted money on.

I'd put this blend in the middle category. It's not something I am going to crave, It's not something I will buy again. But it's not a blend that I find distasteful either.

My reasons? Well mainly, I like something a bit sweeter, like a pure Virginia flake. I like latakia, but I like them a little more smokey-sweet like Frog Morton's Cellar. But all said, this is an okay blend. Reminds me of Plum Pudding and Presbyterian in terms of my reaction to it.

I'll finish this tin, but will hold fast to my Frog Morton's Cellar when I want a blend in this sort of family.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 04, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
It deserves to be stated from the onset that this is in no way an English blend (just because something has latakia does not make it English). Worse, labeling this an English does this blend a disservice as it in fact reflects a quintessentially “American” style of tobacco popular throughout the twentieth century. Go back and look at the ingredient list for something like Holiday Mixture, or Dr. Bradley (which I would argue is the one of several better iterations of this flavor profile). It was very common for VA and Burley forward blends to include latakia, orientals, and cavendish for very subtle effects that do not take away from the relatively mild, all-day-smoke characteristics of this style. The only real differences between this and those older blends are (1) they were generally cased to varying degrees, while this avoids any additional top casing, and (2) the crumble cake format, which of course is not itself original to this blend but seems to have become trendy again recently.

The tobacco itself is a loose crumble cake that when properly dried smokes cool and offers a sweet, mild VA dominant flavor that becomes somewhat richer as you move down the bowl. I never really get any pronounced latakia or oriental flavors from this and the VA’s always remain at the forefront. Why two stars? First, it is not original in any possible sense and really represents a rebranding and packaging of something that has been available for decades from other houses. There is certainly a lot of overlap from one house to another, but to try to market this as some unique brainchild of a master blender is just not very sincere, so I ding it for that. Second, once rubbed out the tobacco is more of a uniform cube cut, and this can make it very easy to pack too tightly as it tends to lay flat on top of itself as you load the bowl and can also clog it at the bottom. Not a big deal but a little variation in cut would avoid this issue.

In my estimation setting aside Smoker’s Haven’s venerable Krumble Kake, Hermit tobacco, not SPC, deserves the credit for refocusing on crumble cake long before SPC even existed, and those blends are still available and more unique. Honor Blend, for example, lacks the latakia that this claims to have but has a similar VAPER flavor profile in crumble cake format and has been around for roughly two decades. It has more nic than MS river but also offers a more complex and rich flavor profile even without the latakia. Iwan Reis also still offers several blends, like Dr. Bradley and Old Colonial, that have been made for them and sold by them for more than 50 years, that explore this American style of blending that uses VA and Burley with gentle use of condiment leaf to round things out. It should be noted that to my knowledge these blend are, and have been for a long time if not always, been made for IR by Sutliff, which makes MS River as well. Dr. Bradley, for example, has a very similar ingredient list as this, but has a little sweeter casing (but not a top flavor like true aromatics) and less nicotine. It is a true all-day smoke and in peak form is more complex and tastier than MS River (although neither are in any way truly complex). It is not a crumble cake but I prefer its more shag style cut for maintaining a consistent draw.

Ms River is a nice smoke and can be enjoyed. It is not, however, a premium smoke or groundbreaking as it is marketed (you simply cannot compare the tobacco quality in this blend to something from Germaine or S. Gawith, for example - how many other Sutliff blends do you argue are equal in quality to the best tobacco coming from England or Europe?). If you love it smoke it for what it is, but explore the early and mid-century blends still offered by Iwan Reis and the fantastic crumble cakes from Hermit if you want to take this enjoyment further.
Pipe Used: meerschaum
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 05, 2015 Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Although not a bad tobacco, I'd consider this a crossover for those coming from the Aro world looking to explore the world of English/Baltic blends. It's cased with something, though it may just be the humectant of which there is obviously a sizable measure. As has been stated, it just doesn't want to dry out. This however,is not a problem as it does stay lit quite well. The problem stems from the fact that it maintains that moist nature throughout the smoke which at least in my case, is a deal breaker since your concentration is always on the cloying moisture content so commonly experienced with Aro's, rather than the nature of the blend itself. Thus it's burdened having the smoking qualities of an aromatic with a taste of the flavors associated with true English/Balkans, Vapers and Straight Virginia's. The flavors never really marry and leaves the smoke rather one dimensional. It sadly and simply never really develops any real body.
As I previously said, this may be a great way to introduce the Aro smoker to the joys of purer tobacco's as the moisture content will ease them into smoking pure tobacco by having many of an Aro's smoking characteristics. But, if your a veteran of the true Balkan types of weed, I think you'll find the qualities and nuances you'd expect from that type of blend to simply not be found here. 2 stars for an excellent bridge into the English/Balkan world.
Pipe Used: Meers, briars and cobs
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2015 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I completely rewrote my review for this blend. I reviewed it 5 years ago and gave it pretty high marks. But having revisited it I would like to revise it

First off this is a crossover blend. With all of the pleasant tin notes and room smells of an aromatic, but still managing to have a little bit of flavor. But I only mean a little bit. The latakia is noticeable but quite minor. Other than that there isn't much real tobacco flavor. It does seem rich, or at least it makes a lot of smoke. Above all it is very user friendly. Like many of Seattle pipe clubs blends, handling it is easy. It's consistency almost seems artificial. Light and springy like the stuff you put in Easter baskets underneath the chocolate. This stuff came in a can as a cake, but barely. It seems to me they just pressed it together at the last minute and made the loosest type of cake for novelty. The stuff is also overpriced, crazy overpriced. But it does have its purpose. It's an excellent beginners blend. Nearly impossible to burn your tongue with. Plenty of topping and casing to lure a person who has not yet fall in love with tobacco in more pure forms. It smells a little ketchupy out of the can. Also it has a slightly savory, maybe even salty flavor. In a good way. I could probably enjoy this while smoking it around a lot of people. It is excellent for blowing smoke rings. And I don't think it's possible to burn yourself with it. All in all I think blends like this do have their place. Like Burma road, or East farthing, this tobacco serves as an aromatic that might possibly transition someone into more mature blends. I bought one can of this long ago, just because everyone was talking about it. But now I think I've moved a little beyond this type of blend. I like something a little more authentic now.

But make no mistake. This is not an English blend. So don't pat yourself on the back if you like this stuff. This ain't English.

Pipe Used: New cob
Age When Smoked: New
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2013 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I know everyone raves about this one due to all the positive publicity on youtube, and it does have a nice flavor profile, however, I just find this one way too mild -
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 21, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
This blend upon opening the tin reeked of bbq. It reminded me of a Kansas city bbq sauce actually. This was a bit off putting as i have never really smelled that in a blend before, but as you know, the tin note and flavor are often quite different. This aroma settled down after a day or two, and it smelled more like a sweet and smoky english blend.

My first attempt at this blend was after a bowl of McClelland's Balkan Blue, which I LOVE! This was a really bad decision, because all I could taste was Virginias after the Balkan. It was actually kinda gross and I was disappointed. I decided to try it again the next day on it's own, and I'm glad I did. The second time around was much more pleasant and worthwhile, though still not really what I was hoping for. It's still decidedly a Virginia forward blend as far as I can tell, but the Orientals and Latakia start to build around mid bowl and create a very interesting, sweet and smokey flavor that is quite complex and satisfying . . . for a Virginia. That being said, it's not really my favorite flavor profile as the Virginia's tend to dominate, at least to my palate.

Another downside to this blend for me is that it is quite wet, and does not dry out very readily. I let a bowl full sit out on the tin lid for 3 hours and it was still almost as moist as when I pulled it from the tin. It may have some propylene glycol or some other moisture preserver mixed in, I'm not sure, but I ended up zapping it in the micro for about 15 seconds to get it to the moisture level that I wanted, which worked like a champ.

It burns medium hot once dried, but it's still heavy on the Virginia, so I took it slow. It is not super strong in the nicotine department either, which is a plus for me.

All in all, not my cup of tea, but if you're a Virginia lover looking for something different, this may fit the bill for you. If you're like me and you love Balkans and fuller English blends, this may not be what you're looking for. I am going to cellar the tin I bought and let it mellow out for a few years before I crack it open again. I probably won't buy another tin either.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum straight Billiard
PurchasedFrom: pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: new
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 03, 2017 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Update: 9/4/19

Well if you read my initial reviews, I did not like this stuff when I first purchased it, and I dove in with both feet and bought an 8 oz tin along with some 2 oz tins! What I remember most about this was how salty is seemed to taste. Around 5 bowls worth and it was had an unbelievable salty character to it for something you smoke. Well I threw what was left in a ceramic tobacco jar I got at an antique store, threw in a few ceramic disks to keep it moist and put it on the shelf. I may have added water to the discs 3 or so times in the last two years. I saw the jar and thought I would moisten the disks again and figured why not a smoke. Now as you may have guessed the tobacco is not only older but it is much drier. Not quite a crispy critter but it is pretty darn dry. Now I have learned that drier is better in almost every case, but being impatient I do not always wait. This may change that. With a little age and drying out this is pretty good stuff. I would not say it is one of my favorites but it is a fine tasting blend. It is pretty mild with smokey notes and a hint of barbecue. The perique give a little peppery tingle and the Latakia gives some sweetness and some smoke. I am picking up more sour notes from the Orientals, which I like. I don't get much from the Virginia's other than they seem to support the other flavors nicely.

Mississippi River may be the most finicky tobacco I have ever smoked... and I can't say that is all bad, if fact it is kind of good. This tobacco when smoked the way it wants to be, out of the pipe that it chooses, is quite delicious. On some occasions and in the wrong pipe it can be rather disappointing. For me half the fun is finding out what I am getting when I choose it for a smoke. Tin note on this is light an subtle. I get a hint of latakia and a sweet smell, like honey or sweet pastry. Not what I expected but nice I have burned through about 4+ oz of MR so I feel comfortable with a review. When this is good all of the tobacco's sing, I have found a straight bulldog to be the best bet (briar) for a great smoke with MR. Spicy latakia, figgy perique and malty sweetness dance and morph when it is behaving.The orientals provide an ever present woodiness and spice in the nose which is very pleasant. I get a saltiness that peeks in and out when this is behaving and it is quite enjoyable, I have never had the salty pretzel taste in any other tobacco , I enjoy it when MR is at its best. Now for the not so good smokes, when it is not behaving (larger bent pipes in particular). I get some latakia and a mouth full of salt water. I have had a few smokes where the saltiness was so overpowering I had to put the pipe down. Even when dried I would get a wet mouth feel, not hot but wet, and very salty. On occasion, I have come back an hour later for this to change on relight, into a decent smoke but occasionally the saltiness is all I get and it is not something I enjoy. I have a weird relationship with this tobacco because when it is good, it is really good. I am looking into my technique since something this good must have a pilot error component when it is not so good... who knows. I recommend this and will continue to smoke it and see what I get. Edit: Much of my previous review was from a roughly 8 month old purchase of several tins of MR. I ma now down to my last 8 oz tin and this has only gotten worse bowl by bowl. I have tried to replicate the few delicious bowls I had to no avail. This is an utterly tasteless tobacco on average, and when bad is salty and wet as others have described. I have roughy 4 oz left that I will banish to the cellar for a few years I split some to a mason jar and some to a used tin that I will just put away to see if it ever dries out. The one nice thing about this is that it travels well in a pouch. I find that any other tobacco in a travel pouch dries to potato chip like dryness in an 8 hour period while this remains unchanged for days . It is never awful but it is rarely good. If SPC changed suppliers they should fire them or if lucky the FDA laws may give you a reason to just disappear. I am utterly disappointed in this blend. Stock up on Dunhill now before classic reliable tobacco disappears forever. 1.5 for portability and not a bad tasting smoke...just not good either.
Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum and cobs
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: < 1 yr +1yr + 1 yr (2 years is the sweet spot)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Somehow I find this blend much less than what I expected. The latakia is added so less that you can hardly make it out, and the main leading is virginia and some unknown additive casing. Good crumble flake presentation with excessive stiky moisture. When those different tobaccos mix together, this becomes a mess rather than in harmony. An overrated blend in my book. Worth a try but never get into my rotation.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2015 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Like Plum Pudding, Mississippi River is a nice crumble cake tobacco. The dominant tin aroma was rather vinegry with a sweet edge. Again, I believe there might be some sort of topping, but it is less evident than in PP. I have to be honest and admit that the vinegar note prevented me from being able to identify the other components. As the tobacco was fairly moist so I had to wait some before being able to smoke some. When smoking, I could tell I was dealing with virginias and some kind of topping but, if anything, I can't tell that there is Latakia or orientals in there. Or maybe there are there as, at times, I am not sure if I am smoking a virgina forward blend, or not. In summary, MR is something different, yes, but, because of what I perceive as a "confusion" of flavours, it is not positively different for me to want to buy more in the future.
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