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Bourbon on a mixture of burley, Virginia, and black cavendish.

BrandSutliff Tobacco Company
Blended ByCarl McCallister
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
Packaging1.5 ounce tin
ProductionNo longer in production
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Room Note
Very Pleasant

Favorite Of 3 Users

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild Strong Full Very Pleasant

LORD HAVE MERCY! I popped the tin, took a whiff and then was bucked backwards about 10-feet. The pungent whiskey odor had vaporized all my nose hairs. With much trepidation I switched from a higher grade aromatic pipe to another that is much lower on the food chain. Glad I did because Ghostbusters could not have exorcised the smell left in the pipe when I was done. And I was done at mid-bowl. Sweetest whiskey blend I ever puffed on.

Keep an open tin in the bathroom as it'll overpower any odor known to mankind.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3022)
Medium Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

The sweet bourbon whiskey is the main star here, and the smell when you open the tin is potent. This has the most intense bourbon taste of any tobacco I've ever smoked, and it is not an all day smoke. When dried, it's less intense, and the nutty, earthy molasses sweet burley, and grassy, citrusy Virginia notes are mildly obvious; the burley a little more so. Has a mild nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh. It burns cool and clean at a slightly less than moderate pace with very consistent flavor. Leaves just a little moisture in the bottom of your bowl. Needs a few relights as the tobacco is a little wet. Has a very good after taste, and room note. Three and a half stars.


9 people found this review helpful.

matthieuduquette Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
matthieuduquette (12)
Medium Very Strong Very Full Very Pleasant

Top Shelf is truly the highest grade whiskey cased aromatic on the market that I have found!

In the tin. Top Shelf has a knock your socks off kick of bourbon scent. It's almost exactly like you stuck your nose over the mouth of a bottle of the good stuff and inhaled. It is STRONG but oh so delightful.

In the pipe. There is a very spicy note to this that is very characteristic to Sutliff aromatics. Yet even more prominent in this blend. The smoking experience is not as sweet as the tin note but is still unmistakably whiskey. There's no even trying to give you a tobacco experience in Sutliff aromatics and this one is absolutely all about the casing. If you like flavorful aromatics then this one is a winner. Smokes cool and dry. Moist when first opened but smoked fine from a fresh tin. The tongue bite is from the spice of the casing and not from the smoking experience so it doesn't take away from the experience. In fact it adds to it as you would expect a sip of bourbon to bite you as it washes across your palate.

You'll get a good 45 minute to hour out of a bowl of this. Packs and lights well and relighting is minimal if ever.

The room note recaptures the sweetness of the tin note while calming the strong whiskey sharpness. Simply decadent and one not to be missed.

Top Shelf would be my favorite aromatic if it weren't for so many other amazing aromatics by Sutliff. Definitely the brand of choice for aromatic lovers. No one else comes close in actually capturing the flavors that inspire the blends they produce. A must try and one I will always keep close by.

Pipe Used: 2009 Erik Nording Fantasy Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: 1-6 Months

Purchased From: Sutliff Tobacco Company

Similar Blends: No other whiskey aromatic I have tried so far comes close..

8 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is one great tasting blend. As the bourbon topping is a bit strong, I like to let this dry for about an hour. That way some of it dissipates and more natural tobacco flavor comes through. I get a nice taste of Burley and Black Cavendish with just a light touch of Virginia. The bourbon topping goes extraordinarily well with it. It's just delicious.

Mild in body. Mild to medium in flavoring. Medium in flavor. Burns perfectly. A wonderful smoke.

Pipe Used: MM Diplomat 5th Ave, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

Sunday Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sunday (27)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Tin note: Wow take a step back

Taste : the flavoring is definitely bourbon but not overwhelming, I wish I had the knack for descriptions like other reviewers but when it comes to putting the "nutty, chocolaty, fruity, spicy, woodsy, smoky etc. I just can't do it. But it taste great. Maybe the best aromatic I've tried yet...but I will keep trying different tobaccos till they lay me to rest, because that's my hobby :D

Room note: Excellent, no one will complain!

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Omega

Age When Smoked: opened & smoked for two weeks

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

The tin note is a whiff of a bourbon bottle - no kidding. The flavor comes through in the smoking, although by midbowl it is a non-specific alcohol especially when exhaled through the nose. It has a pretty solid burley base that gives it more foundation than most aromatics. The Virginia is there backing up the burley, but it is a light touch. Mine was pretty damp in the tin.

This one is easy to recommend. It is a "change of pace" smoke for me, but it is a nice change of pace. If you like aromatics, and you like burley, you will probably like this a lot.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Medium to Strong Full Very Pleasant

No bite, smooth start, full finish. Best room note, best flavor, cool burn. Surprised it is not rated higher. Perfect cold weather hunting blend, brings in the deer.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: Grandfathers pipe tobacco.

3 people found this review helpful.

JTH74 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JTH74 (5)
Mild Medium Very Full Very Pleasant

It smells like a bourbon-based dessert in the can. The wife likes me to smoke it around her. I found this on clearance at a B&m. Wife had me go back and buy them out of this one. This is a good I'm-at-a-party-with-non-smokers smoke. Room note is fantastic. The smoke's aroma comes through in the flavor. No bite. This is in my normal rotation.

Pipe Used: Rhodesian

2 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (228)
Mild to Medium Extra Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant

I want to start out by saying this: No, reviewer Sunday 2015-01-17, one step back is not enough! Yes, reviewer Pipestud 2011-10-02, bucked back is a good description of what happened when a buddy of mine and I opened a tin of Top Shelf. My friend recoiled backward when he opened this tin, handed it to me and suggested that we put it way over on the other side of the basement - and we did. Now, I'm not as negative about this blend as I was with its sibling BRG (see BRG/King Weed 2014-10-28). However, the tin aroma is both pleasant and off-putting at the same time. I did not detect the aroma of Bourbon whiskey; rather a very strong odor of fermented chocolate and, had it not been so densely strong, might have been pleasant. In reality, the tin aroma was strangely shocking and I find this a bizarre way of presenting the blend to the smoking community. I say this because, once you air this blend out sufficiently, it is a very nice Burley/Virginia/Black Cavendish smoke. I like this blend enough to not dink it a star in the ratings for it's very questionable tin presentation and recommend it to the reader at three stars.

Pipe Used: Larry Roush Lovat

Age When Smoked: 9 years old

Purchased From: an Ebay seller

Similar Blends: I can't name any specific blend, but, we have all smoked a Burley/Virginia/Black Cavendish tobacco before and this one is smack at the top of the bell-shaped curve for this blend type..

1 person found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (66)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Toasty, spicy and slightly sweet. Like other Sutliff aros, the aroma intensity does not match the flavor. This is not a bad thing. Nice smoke.

Pipe Used: Aldo Velani Trio

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: online

1 person found this review helpful.

BigNick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BigNick (59)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

My friend gave me a tin of this, I did not know at the time that he had already smoked a great deal of it. So unlike the many comments regarding the intense bourbon or whiskey notes I cannot attest to. It was nicely dried when I received it. The aroma in the tin was sweet and mellow, like an old world barber shop mixed with a candy store. The smoke was smooth and mild. No bite, with a sweet whisky flavor. Every part of the smoke was balanced. It was consistent and burned a tad warm but not by any means was it hot to the touch. Unfortunately I recently smoked the last of it, but I can say that it is a fall & winter smoke. In the heat of summer the tastes and aroma can be displeasing; but in the winter months they are inviting and welcomed by your palate. I wish I received more from my friend so I could smoke it through the winter. All in all it is a decent whiskey flavored baccy, I definitely recommend it.

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Lark, Aldo Velani, corn cob(s).

Age When Smoked: 5 months to 1 1/2 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Strong Full Pleasant

"While age and proof help define a Top Shelf Bourbon, the deciding factor is taste. This extraordinary mixture of Burley, Virginia, and Black Cavendish is unsurpassed in smoothness and richness." - Pipes Magazine.

Very strong smell of bourbon out of the tin. Very smooth smoke. A strong aromatic.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I found the tin aroma almost over powering when I opened the tin, even a few weeks later. I was however pleasantly surprised how much it toned down once lit. The Bourbon flavor still remained fairly noticeable thru the over half the bowl. The first few smokes after opening were a bit damp but after drying smoked down quite well. Not a regular addition to my rotation but a good choice for a change of pace.

Pipe Used: stanwell,nording

Age When Smoked: from opened to 2 months

Purchased From: gift at pipe show

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