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Schippers Speciaal is a loose cut tobacco blend made of both hand stripped tobaccos and whole leaf, which makes a traditional Dutch Baai product. The blend consists of orange Virginia, dark air cured burley and fire cured Kentucky tobaccos. The blend has a chocolate and smoky note.

BrandScandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)
Blended ByScandanavian Tobacco Group
Manufactured ByScandinavian Tabacco Group
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Virginia
FlavoringCocoa / Chocolate
Packaging50 grams pouch
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I 'found' this tobacco in a tabac shop in Benodet, Brittany France on my summer vacation. The owner, an old guy whom appeared to have seen everything, recommended this Schippers tabac to me as a worthy pipe tobacco worth trying. So I did. Boy was I pleased, it was wonderful! I opened the 50g packet, it was all tightly clumped together, dry not too moist, and smelled of spicy creamy cocoa, with a hint of orange. I quickly packed a bowl, very fine tobacco this, and lit up... Wow, creamy, spicy, with a slight bitter cocoa taste with a hint of orange, beautiful. It burned very easily & quickly, in fact it was all gone, in a short time, just a small bit of ash left, no tongue bite, not hot, just really enjoyable.

Definitely need to pack it a little tighter than normal, or else it will disappear too quickly. In fact once packed nicely, it will puff away without any relights with fabulous smoke bellowing out, wonderful. I went back to the tabac a few days later and bought another 2 packets, which I wouldn't normally do. It has become one of my everyday smokes.

Well worth trying, especially if you enjoy a quick smoke without any fuss.

Pipe Used: Peterson Kapet 606

Age When Smoked: Straight from the pouch and then few months old.

Purchased From: Benodet Tabac Brittany France

9 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2851)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The smoky, woody, dry, earthy, floral, herbal and spicy Orientals are fairly prominent (but not strong). There's a just a little hint of cigar to go with the spice, wood, earth, lightly sour, nutty notes from the dark fired Kentucky, which is a secondary star. The chocolate, earth, wood and nuts from the burleys are noticeable, more so when hydrated, which also enhances that nice smoky taste as a supporting player. In the background is mild tart and tangy citrusy, grassy, orange Virginias. The cocoa topping sublimates the tobaccos to a moderate degree. The strength is a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The nic-hit is in that center. The taste just reaches the medium mark. Has a few rough edges. As it is a shag cut, it burns fast, but it does not bite, and burns fairly smoothly all the way to the very end with a very consistent flavor, though it needs to sipped more than puffed. I recommend a little hydration. Leaves virtually no dampness in the bowl, and requires few relights. Has a pleasant, lightly lingering after taste. Can be an all day smoke, though possibly not one for the novice.


6 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I can almost afford tobacco in Belgium, and this is by far the least unpleasant. Sorry to be negative, but most of my favourites have been ruined by Orlik, and this seems to have escaped. Nothing special (despite the name) but no vices, and can be smoked in a very small after-breakfast pipe, as well as in a decent sized evening pipe. Keeps me happy! as opposed to the UK!

4 people found this review helpful.

Setzer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Setzer (6)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This mixture is a shag cut so it will burn faster than others tobaccos. The pouch smells like pure tobacco with some hint of mint. The moisture is just perfect, on the dry side but not too dry. It tastes like tobacco, I can't feel the burley but I suppose it adds sweetness combined with the orange virginia and it helps mellowing the strenght of kentucky. The flavor has something like cigarish and balsamic. Room note it's not a big deal, it's mild and not noticeable for a smoker. I recommend it, but not to newbie smokers. (It suffers relights and it turns a bit harsh and clogs my throath, but paying attention can lead to the end of the smoke just with the charring light.)

Pipe Used: La raganella, St.Claude

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Tobacco shop, Genova, Italy

2 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (213)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable to Strong

This tobacco is a natural Dutch mixture, slightly flavored with cocoa. Nothing special, this tobacco fails to convince me. It isn't a pure natural tobacco and it isn't a real flavored mixture. Neither fish nor fowl. Even the cut (shag) is not a great choice (it burns very quickly and warm up) In my rating (from 0 to 10) my score is 3 and only a star.

2 people found this review helpful.

gam86 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gam86 (49)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild Pleasant

I took this tobacco to experience the baai cut and I was very pleased. The tobacco is very dry and it's up to you to smoked it like that or moist it again. I've tried both and in both ways it is very good. I've also used to roll up some cigarette and they were strong but ok. At the end, this tobacco give you a pleasant smoke and very fresh, you've to keep an eye on the charging. If the tobacco is dry you've to press it a lot if not is up to you.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I am in luck because one of the best pipe makers in France (Jean Nicolas), lives in the same city as me (Lyon). He is the one who recommended this tobacco as one very good and cheaper pipe tobaccos on the market. The tobacco colour is on the dark side, almost shag cut, smells real nice of cocoa and pure strong tobacco.

This tobacco keeps burning easily and should be puffed real slow. It is very very pleasant, I could smoke it all day. Cocoa flavoured, more than chocolate, the virginias blend amazingly, the kentucky here, gives it a kick as well. Room note is tolerable. Why not 4 stars? Well, even when smoked gently and slowly, it smokes a tad bit fast. No tongue bite however. Recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Mild Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Another classic, allday, Holland style tobacco. Pointy, woodsy, rusty and bitter but with a preminent natural taste and less aromatic than the other holland types (like the Clan aromatic, the Flying Dutchman or the Troost). The producers say that is made with tobaccos selected from Asia, Africa and America with a hint of orientals; in my opinion burleys and kentucky are surely the main ingredients. This tobacco has not a strong body but in a certain way has the holland cigarillos character, and this is why I think this tobacco can be appreciated by cigars lovers. Hardly used in home made mixtures (simply doesn't match with other tobaccos). Like other dutch tobaccos has a little base of aromatic taste (very gentle in fact), like almond, anise and dried fruits, It's all the ingredients that make acceptable the smell by who is near the smoker, but it's less the "inside type tobacco" than the classical Holland types. It's very dry and thin so it burns like hell, optimal for a fast, light and effortless smoking.

Type: Natural aromatic ; Contents: Burley, Kentucky and Orientals (is what I detected) ; Flavoring: Classic holland flavoring but very light in taste (almond, anise and dired fruits) ; Cut: Extremly thin shag ; Humidity: I never saw a tobacco dry as this one ; Lighting: Once lighted is pratically ended ; Pipe recommended: The producers recommend "de fumer cet excellent tabac dans une pipe à fourneau assez grand", I, on the other side, recommend a thin bowl with a little more pressure than usual.

2 people found this review helpful.

richard f. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
richard f. (6)
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I find this an "honest" tobacco without an attempt to make it taste like cherries or truffles or vanilla ice-creme. It tastes to me like is is based on the semois burley tabaccos from Belgium. The added elements make it smoke a little lighter and without so much nicotine punch as the pure semois taboccos yet it is still quite strong. To be honest I prefer to mix it with a mild pure virginia to get the nicotine down to a level which i enjoy.

I would not call this cut a shag but rather a thin ribbon cut. I personally do not find it an everyday smoke because it is on the strong side for me.

I surely recommend it especially for those who are looking for a strong honest tobacco that tastes like tobacco.

again the program does not allow for smokers who only smoke out of doors as to room note.

I most enjoyed this tobacco with a Ludwig Lorenz double filter pipe.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: one month

Purchased From: cigar world in Dusseldorf

Similar Blends: the various semois tobaccos.

1 person found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (203)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, lucky chance it was that after completing my review, I faced an unexpected unlogging, and it eventually went lost. This allows me to reconsider my opinion, cut a star down and include this blend in my one star list, even I'm not happy with this whenever it happens. The fact is that my palate is still scorched after three hours from that “reviewing” bowl: I'm just scared to plan a further approach, indeed !

Let me point out that, during thirty'n'more years of pipe smoking, I met Schippers Tabak Speciaal say three times. I was induced this new attempt (the last one, I guess) after my recent tour into the Semois territory.

In my strictly personal opinion, a comparison is still possible between STS and Florina just because they share the tonquin thing. This seems the only common feature, even STS seems having a kind of mint-like faint aroma which I have not detected in Florina. On the other hand, getting deeper into the comparison:

- Florina (a Semois) is basically a mono-weed, Kentucky: STS is a complex blend of several tobaccos, not limited to VaBKy but including Java, Paraguay and possibly Maryland; this explains the opinion of the fellow reviewer Steden about a “Continental cigarish aroma” (I know what he means), which is partially mitigated by the tonquin/mint flavouring

- Florina (“coupe-pipe”) is a fine-ribbon, STS is a traditional Baai shag, OK… just a small difference; nevertheless they both come dry into unsealed bags; I'm informed that they both don't benefit from re-hydration, to be strictly avoided.

To me Florina wins 3:0 being really smoother and well-behaved, and having a more generous body.

STS and the traditional Dutch blends have their respected estimators, and surely have their own well deserved dignity, being well above some chemical concoctions coming from the Baltic we Italian pipsters are steadily supplied with. My issue is all about body-chemistry. The suggested slow drawing & large bore (a straight pot by Charatan being something of a group 5, which I usually keep safe from strange experiments) have not delivered any truly satisfactory smoke.


EDIT 2014.04.18:

After years I’ve given a new chance to Schippers. The main reason was that I found the blend packed in a aluminium bag and it appeared freshly received at my tobacconist.

Well, I have to say that my one-star review at the time was basically caused by the bad conservation of the tobacco in the non-sealed pouch. Next, I feel some little changes. First, the cut is still in the Baai style, but a bit larger. Second (yet my memory may fail…) there’s less flavouring.

The results: I’ve completely changed mind about it. It delivers a cool (and I mean really cool) and pleasant smoke, with a is one-of-a-kind flavor in the today’s market.

I’ve smoked it in medium and large bores. A couple of Castello with 24/25mm bowls have better rendered the qualities of this honest tobacco.

Schippers deserves your attention.

Pipe Used: mainly large bored Castello's

Age When Smoked: fresh from pouch

1 person found this review helpful.

Clarkus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Clarkus (36)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

2/2/10 Update - Thanks to Steden for sending me a pouch before I committed to a large quantity from Amsterdam.

It is amazing the difference forty years can make. Upon opening the pouch, I was quite excited because the aroma was exactly as I had remembered. Unfortunately, the flavor was not. I remember absolutely loving this tobacco and now I don't know how that could have been.

The tobacco didn't exactly put me off but it didn't attract me either. Steden's cigar reference was spot on. At the time I was smoking Schippers with some regularity, I primarily smoked Old Georgetown, a local English blend heavy on the latakia so my taste buds may have a bit suppressed. I remember not liking Troost at the time and now it is one of my favorites.

In any case, I'm revising my rating and will get my tonquin fix from SG's 1792 going forward.

And, I thank Steden again for assisting me in finalizing this obsessive memory.

10/19/09 Update - Steden - thanks for your clarification - I agree with your point regarding cigars.

STS is not sold anywhere in Iceland. My son is going back to Europe at the end of the month to shoot a documentary on a rock band so he's sure to find it somewhere. I'm becoming obsessed. Since my original post, Troost has become my regular smoke but it just doesn't have that STS flavor. I'll let you know when I succeed in acquiring a pouch.

Original Post - I smoked this a lot in the '60's and '70's - probably pounds of it. I loved it and even got a delft blue Schippers tobacco jar with the coupons in the pouch.

I still crave it but it can't be had in the US and $40 a pouch from Holland is just too much. My son is going to Iceland in a couple of weeks on business so I hope he can find it there. "Schippers" means fisherman and that's what they do in Iceland so maybe I'll get lucky.

I hope the first posting just mis-characterized the flavor because it wasn't a description of Schippers. I think the flavoring in the tobacco is tonquin. whatever it is, it wasn't cigar - it was wonderful.

1 person found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (238)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant

UPDATE 11-18-09: I want to start this update with a gracious note of thanks to Stefano (STEDAN) who sent me a pouch of Schipper's Tabak Speciaal all the way from Italy. It is greatly appreciated!

I liken my renewal with Schipper's to that of a meeting with a long lost friend. Everything I remember about this fine tobacco was in evidence; from the packaging, to the appearance of a very fine cut tobacco, its pouch aroma, and most importantly, with its smoke. After several bowls, I would say that this is the Schipper's I remember. Due to its fine cut, it appeared as dry in the pouch as I remember, but it was not without the proper smoking moisture. It packed and took to the match with ease. I am sure there is some Maryland in this mixture since it took so readily to lighting. A very fine smoke in the Dutch Baai tradition! Surprisingly, although it burns rather quickly, it did not smoke hot. I experienced none of the original discomfort on my tongue as I had experienced with it during my early pipe smoking years. As expected with any blend containing Kentucky, it was very full tasting with a good dose of nicotine and quite sweet tasting throughout. It produced a good amount of smoke and I was rewarded with that beautiful, old-world pipey aroma that I find so appealing with a good Dutch blend. I get the most enjoyment when smoked in a large chambered bowl. I will savor this pouch and stretch it as far as I can since the price is very prohibitive as it is no longer available in the USA. The best I found was a 5 pouch deal from the Netherlands for $42 and a whopping $52 shipping fee! That shipping fee stands even with the order of one pouch for any tobacco that can be purchased singly. Orlik has done a very nice job keeping true to what I remember of the original Van Rossem blend. I mentioned that with Troost, the Orlik concoction was different. After smoking the last of my original Troost (I had some stashed that was over 20 years old), I conclude the main difference with the new version of Troost was the lack of that initial soapy taste upon lighting; and I don't miss that at all!

Even though there are many tobaccos available here in the USA, and with so many imported from abroad, I fear that with the world-wide anti-smoking policies gaining momentum everywhere, our pipe smoking future looks bleak. Anyone who happens to come by Schipper's will not be disappointed.

Again, thank you Stefano.

ORIGINAL REVIEW: This tobacco hasn't been available in the U.S. for over 20 years! I used to purchase it from a shop in Washington D.C. called Earthworks. A great place that had a huge selection of pipe tobaccos, all detailed in a lovely print catalog. Unfortunately, this shop has been out of business since the mid 90's I believe, but I still have many of their print catalogs. I remember when the shop owner told me that Schippers was no longer obtainable in the U.S., so I bought out his remaining stock - 20 or so pouches and a 200 gram tin. I am looking at the tin as I write this and the tobacco was produced by the Van Rossem Co., which was the original blender. Now it is produced by Orlick. Perhaps that is why after having read the only other review of this brand before mine, I feel that the blend I remember best is not the one described in the previous review. Same thing happened with Troost Special Cavendish, another favorite of mine. Troost is very good and one of my top 5 favorites, but it is no where near as good as when it was produced by Van Rossem. I get a kick out of the pouch boasting "the original Van Rossem recipe." That's like saying I'll use the same ingredients that my grandmother used for her meatballs and sauce and mine will taste exactly the same. Well, that never happened for me. No one could ever rival my grandmother's cooking! I believe the same holds true for pipe tobacco.

What I remember of Schippers Tabak was a delicious tobacco taste of Virginia, Burley, and Kentucky. A beautiful, full tobacco taste without any noticeable top dressing, all done in the traditional Dutch Cavendish style, and with that wonderful, "pipey" room note. One had to sip at this since it tended to burn quite hot, but the extra care was well worth it in my opinion. I do miss it. The new version of Troost Special Cavendish comes close, but alas, no cigar. An internet search has shown Schippers (original packaging depicted) available from I may purchase some (in spite of it being blended by Orlick) for nostalgia's sake and see how it goes. My rating of 3 stars is for the original Van Rossem Schippers. I'll let you know how I fare if I connect with Amsterdam.

1 person found this review helpful.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (99)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Update 09-30-2009: I feel the need to clarify some aspects of my original review because that has generated unexpected reactions. Firstly I have not made any allusion ironically talking about “aroma of cigar”, on the contrary, my intention this was a compliment to the naturalness of this tobacco. It seems very strange that we discuss only this aspect because, as I pointed out, this tobacco some special characteristics such as the fact that is no vacuum, this type of packaging was used in the past but now is unusual, tobacco also has a cut (cut loose) very thin, so the tobacco is dry! Another very interesting point is to understand the composition of this tobacco, the producer (Orlik) speaks of VA + Bu + Ky, but some retailers speak of Orientals or VA + Bu + Maryland etcetera .... There is a great deal! About the "notes of cigar", which has shocked some people, you must pay attention to what I wrote: "... a certain vein of continental taste ...." Well, obviously the continent is Europe since STS is a European production, in Europe there are a few cigars and cigarillos very similar to this tobacco for example, in the vast (and good) production Villiger, I'm sure I smoked some of these products 5 or 6 years ago, if someone prefer I can say that are these cigars similar to STS but what changes? Adding up all of the above, I confirm what I said in the original review: this tobacco is good and cigarish, but a bit dry and difficult to manage. The only point on which I need to correct is the Flavoring: indeed there is a bit of Tonka bean.

Original rereview: This is a Dutch tobacco product in Denmark, the instructions are written on the pouch in French (!!!!). After this European tour, you can open a NOT vacuum pouch! The tobacco is fairly dry and the smell is very natural, pretty cigar. The cut is similar to some roll tobacco for cigarettes, as well as color. The instructions on the pouch advised to use a large pipe. The taste and flavor are consistent to the aroma: very natural and certainly cigars (it's easily found a certain vein of taste "Continental"), smoke it very slowly, it produces much smoke with more body that nicotine. You can try to rehydrate, but it seems a little reluctant: the taste and the flavor becomes flat. For the implicit difficulty of managing it is not recommended for beginners, for the same reason could be an intriguing challenge for smokers with a lot of experience, for all others (like me) smoke it may be a curious event.

1 person found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (310)
Extremely Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Pleasant

Another catch from a trip to the Netherlands a couple of months ago. Opening the pouch, the topping (floral soap, but not too off-putting) comes out first. The leaf is mostly medium brown with a few yellow highlights (VA) and a small portion of darker leaf, most likely the KY component. Overall, a typical Dutch Baai blend.

The thin ribbon (this is definitely not a shag!) is easy to stuff and light. Once lit, the room note is amazingly good. The burn is fast, but not overly hot. The flavour... er... must have gone somewhere else. Apart from an extremely light sweetness, and just a barely-noticeable hint of spice at the end, this blend does not have any flavour, even after serious drying-out.

There, I said it. Not even hot air. Nothing. I have no idea how STG achieve this, with the components including leaf that is usually known for its rather strong impact on flavour, like VA (sweetness and citrus), Burley (sweetness, chocolate/cocoa) and Kentucky (meat and smoke). This is the most flavourless blend I have ever had in 30 years of pipe smoking, and that is not due to lack of trying. I soldiered on for 3/4 of the pouch I bought, simply because I could not believe a blend could be this, well, tasteless. The final quarter I will relegate to the compost heap.

Pipe Used: MM cobs, various briars

Age When Smoked: fresh from new pouch, up to 2 months

Purchased From: Tabak Specialist, Groningen, NL

Similar Blends: Echte Friesche Heerenbaai - Echte Friesche Heerenbaai, Though that has lots more flavour..

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maigret fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
maigret fan (76)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable

Strangely the last reviewer bought it in Benodet, Brittany, and I found it by chance also in Brittany, Lancieux. Local interest for the blend? Unfortunately I do not share the enthusiasm of previous reviews. The blend is rather flat without much interest unless you want to have a pipe in your mouth and not to take too much care about what is in it. I notice previous reviewers bought the blend years ago. Perhaps what was good then is not so good now.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

its a very "tangy" blend due to the leafs used, smoke it slowwww like most baai-products, then it will diliver what said, smoky and a slight chocolate aroma i even detect some cigar-ish notes at the end of the bowl. smoke-able in big or small bowlsizes,i prefer midsize. eigter you love it or you hate it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (216)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A traditional Dutch Baai shag tobacco, flavored with tonquin. Comes on the dry side in an unsealed pouch. I find this aromatic a good buy for the price and the taste it delivers. The tonquin topping is manageable and there is no bite even when smoked fast. I like to smoke those Dutch style tobaccos in a clay pipe which I think delivers the best results.

Virginia lover

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