Newminster No. 403 Superior Round Slices

Whole Virginia leaves used as the wrapper and filler are combined with a center of dark-fired Kentucky, and are then rolled into ropes and cut into coins. The coins are slightly aromatic and medium to full in strength.


Brand Newminster
Blended By  
Manufactured By Villiger
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Cut Curly Cut
Packaging Bulk
Country Unknown
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.86 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 26 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2021 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
All these coin/roll cake blends take a little time to get to know.. Things like moisture and packing really seem to be especially important for this type of cut.. I think this holds especially true for this newminster blend.. it really has some sharp edges to it.. I did find that once dries out and folded carefully it delivered a nice bite free smoke.. is it worth the trouble? I would say yes.. Not a complex smoke but a nice gentle sweet soft light Kentucky blend with emphasis on the virginia.. I find it to smoke rather like orlik dark strong minus the topping.. or indeed dark twist.. but not quite as pleasant as dark twist in my opinion.. Nevertheless, it is a solid 3 for me.. and the price makes it a good choice for jarring and aging.. I like the subtle honey sweetness.. but it is a tad bland.. I like a little more spice and strength with my Kentucky..
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 19, 2021 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong
When Newminster labels something Superior, you best take note. Their Superior Navy Flake is my favorite Virginia flake these days, and this... chef’s kiss.

Superior Round Slices took me a few bowls to even begin getting a firm grasp on. I couldn’t tell exactly what I was tasting... I just knew I liked it. Among those early “false notes” I was experiencing, the oddest was a hint of mint. I KNEW that had to be wrong.

I can see now where/how I was picking that up, but trust me folks. This ain’t minty. And, for the record, there’s no discernible topping, and if there’s any casing, it’s minimal.

What we DO get is great tobacco flavor. The Virginia and Kentucky dance together beautifully across my palate (such as it is). The Virginia provides a subtle sweetness, but the star of the show, as best I can tell, is the Kentucky. And it’s giving off a spicy flavor I hadn’t yet experienced in a pipe tobacco. And there’s plenty of it. Earthy. Spicy. Maybe even a little meaty.

I certainly don’t see this becoming an all-day kind of blend. Not for me; at least. But this will make for a great change-of-pace blend.

About midway through the bowl I’m currently working on, I start picking up an almost zinc kind of taste. It’s reminiscent of the zinc notes Dominican cigars have, according to those (I am one of those) who are not fond of said Dominican cigars.

But the zinc-ness passes as quickly as it arrived, perhaps another “false note,” like the mint.

This blend is definitely going to require more intensive study before I can give a final verdict. I also look forward to seeing how a little aging affects Superior Round Slices. Ideally, it’ll bring the Virginias up a bit more in the mix. Because, for now, the Kentucky is stealing the show.

More to come... but, for now, I’m giving it three stars. I suspect that may get bumped up. But only time — and more bowls — will tell.

Update 1 April, 2021: Having set my 2-3 remaining ounces of this aside for a couple of weeks, I spent a week smoking nearly nothing but burley and bright, followed by a weekend of basically only Rattray’s Brown Clunee. Since then, it’s been very heavy on the “heavyweights” ... Irish Flake, Stirling Flake, HH Old Dark Fired and HH Bold Kentucky.

So, I decided to see how THIS fits into THAT. You know, since everything I just mentioned contains Virginias and Kentucky, in varying degrees.

I find this blend so unique, compared to the others. It probably has more in common overall, with the various Rattray’s offerings (Hal, Clunee, Gowrie), but there’s not much in common, taste-wise. This—SRS—may be a bit more flavorful. It’s certainly spicier. And I may prefer these Virginias to the ones Rattray uses.

UPDATE 30 June, 2021 I pulled my ever-shrinking stash of SRS out tonight, right after I finished my first bowl ever of Gawith Hoggarth Curly Cut Deluxe. I noted in my still-in-progress review of that product that its flavor is reminiscent of THIS product.

So, after finishing that initial bowl, I packed up some of this to see how they really compare. (Note: the CCD I sampled is over a decade old, while this is only a little over three months in my “cellar”... so YMMV)

The first thing I noticed was that while, yes, they do have a very similar flavor profile, the decade-plus-old GH product has more of said flavor. The Newminster seems a little wimpy by comparison.

HOWEVER... while it may not have quite as much flavor, SRS remains the spiciest blend I’ve had in my pipe. The Kentucky featured here is still the star of the show, but the Virginia is definitely developing into more than just a supporting player. It’s getting gradually sweeter... smoother.

I firmly believe that this blend is going to age quite well. I’ve definitely GOT to grab a pound of this the next chance I get. This one has the potential to become more than just an occasional treat.

That said, maybe I’ll hold off a couple more months, just to make sure the depth of flavor doesn’t diminish further.

One final note: I’d enjoy this one more if it was simply a straight Virginia, like the CCD (as far as I know). I’d definitely stock up heavily on this one if I knew definitely that the Virginia will continue to blossom and the KY falls back.

It’s in the neighborhood of something special. It’s just not quite there yet.
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: New stock
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 05, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I really enjoy the idea of coins/medallions for tobacco, they are a nice change from the standard ribbon cuts. Initial tin note of this was nice. I found subtle hints of hay and very faint aroma of dried fruit. The coins are at a perfect humidity for immediate smoke. I find that of all my other coin tobaccos, this one is fine folded and stuffed rather than rubbing out. it takes some effort to stay lit but once tamped a couple times lightly provides a nice mellow smoke. I picked up on the bit of spice and found that slow easy sipping makes for a really enjoyable smoke. This tobacco also seems to like a smaller bowled pipe.

I'm confident that with age this will mature into a beautiful smoke.
Pipe Used: several sizes, shapes
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: new
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Really great bold Kentucky flavor sweetened by Virginia. Balanced blend with medium nicotine content and a balanced flavor. Incredible for the price point. Definite recommend. Not an all day
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 15, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I never did a review of it, but a couple of years ago I purchased a tin of Three Nuns, had about 2 or 3 bowls then gave the rest away. I felt I wasted my money for what it was. But after trying Newminster 403, I find it to be almost exactly the same, but at a much better price point.

My thoughts behind 403 is it does fill a void for me. While it's not a clone by any means, it reminds me alot of Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky. It's more mild then the description leads one. It's not a flavor bomb by no means, but it has a nice brown sugar and hickory flavor profile with marshmallow / vanilla note to it. At times while puffing slowly, I pickup on a dark fruitiness from the virginia's.It burns much better rubbed out then folded. No tongue bite or harshness.

It's not as potent as Orlik DSK but it does have a similar flavor.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 12, 2020 Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
This was gifted to me by a friend. When I opened the humidor I found the aroma to be slightly smoky, spicy, earthy and woody. I rubbed out the round slices and let them dry on a paper towel for 30 minutes. It seemed to be about perfect for smoking.

Having rubbed out the round slices I found the bowl to be easy to fill and the tobacco seemed to burn evenly at a medium pace yet warm. This clearly would bite if pushed. The smoke was not thick or billowy.

Lighting this proved to be a chore. I found I had to puff to get it lit and there were plenty of re-lights. The lighting gave a bit of a rough edge to it but after lit it burned pleasantly, and sipping it was smooth and a nice taste of honey combined with a tangy , grassy woody and rich earthy taste. In the background was a spiciness that was pleasant but if pushed would tend to get hot. A slight sour background appeared that was pleasant also. There was a lot going on in this smoke as it left a sweet and nutty aftertaste with a touch of pepper towards the end.

This burned down to a dark ash,left a bit of moisture in the bowl. A pleasant sweet with a touch of pepper aftertaste was in my mouth for about a half hour after smoking.

This was a interesting, complex and pleasant smoke that was hard to light and to keep lit at times and tended to give a rough edge when lighting. The different flavors seemed to at times vie for attention at times which was pleasant yet at other times it was like they battled with one surging forward then retreating and another then doing the same. Yet all in all, this was a pleasant smoke that I rather enjoyed. This smoke would go great while out at a campfire, while lunting out in the woods or as an early early morning smoke to get the day started. Definitely not an all day smoke. Yet a lot of fun to follow the flavors as they vie for your attention. I would definitely buy some and smoke it on certain occasions. a 3.3. out of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Weber Squat Bulldog Saddle Bit Meerschaum Lined
PurchasedFrom: Gift from friend
Age When Smoked: New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 21, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Coins de virginias con un núcleo de kentucky.

Yo lo cargo entero, haciendo con varias monedas una carga media. Quema bien, no necesita de ser desmenuzado. Humedad perfecta, aún así si puedo lo dejo airea unos minutos.

Si lo cargas sin desmenuzar, de primero te viene sabores a heno, hierba, suave, nada áspera la fumada, con un fondo dulzón.

A medida que se quema el tabaco, te aparece el característico sabor del kentucky, sabores tostados, terrosos, a madera, pero de fondo sin dominar. Se mezclan sabores.

Es una mezcla suave, de fortaleza media, media baja. Con una carga de nicotina nada abrumadora. Se puede fumar a todas horas.

Considero esta labor muy de batalla, por sus características (amantes de kentucky, pero suave de fumar) y su precio. Muy recomendable si ésto es lo que buscas3 de 5
Pipe Used: François Dal
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 18, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Bag note of sweet Virginia's and some dark fired. The dark fired is very noticeable and reminds me of BBQ. The bag aroma is great. Coins arrive a tad moist for me so dry time is needed. The coins are small and not uniform shape. Some are broken and some are bigger/smaller. They rub out easy and they also stuff easy. The first flavors are BBQ and sweet Virginia. The spice follows on the retrohale. As the smoke goes on I notice the dark fired less and less and the sweet Virginia's more and more. Totally not what I had expected from this blend but not in a bad way. My only gripe is that I have trouble keeping this lit regardless of pipe or pack method. I dry it out to be nearly crisp but I still struggle. I'll keep experimenting and maybe change my review and rating later.

Edit Dec 22 2019 I have found that keeping the coins intact and wading them into a medium sized pipe with a narrow bowl produces a good smoke. I pack this one very lightly and find that works best. I have changed my rating up to a 3. This is good and I will probably add more to the cellar at some point soon.

Edit March 5 2020. I think I was expecting more dark fired in this blend. The Virginia's are definitely the lead here and the smoky dark fired is the whisper that comes and goes. This is likely my final edit and I will leave my rating at a 3 out of 4 but this is good stuff and i feel good recommending it.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: smoking pipes
Age When Smoked: fresh from bag, aged
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 20, 2018 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The first thing that struck me was the feel. The slices have an odd waxy finish, akin to buying an apple or vegetable from the grocery store with a protective film you need to wash off. Note: the reason for the mild topping rank. It didn't seem to affect anything, but struck me all the same.

The slices are smaller than previous rounds I've tried (e.g. Escudo Navy De Luxe), likely being cut from a tighter roll. They were certainly more interesting to look at, with dozens of tightly spun tobacco tornadoes just like the swirled burls on the grain pattern of the brier I was using. The aroma was pleasing, reminding me of a sweet wood used to make a keepsake chest with some sap/honey coming through, which was a nice change from the barn/hey smell I expected.

Smoked great and was long lasting, likely from the density of the rubbed out pieces. A bit of a sharp finish while smoking, but otherwise a clean nice smoke that was nicotine mild.

I will admit that my buds were somewhat burned out this week from heavy smoking, so I am willing to bet there are a few missed nuances here for you to discover as well.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 03, 2016 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
My first experience with a Newminster blend offered me a sharp bite that led me to believe that it was made by Mac Baren, one of the few companies that I often get bit. I was wrong about the maker, which is actually Villiger-Stokkebye, but I thought based on the great appearance of Superior Round that I’d give it another go. SRS appears like rough cut medium size coins of Virginia surrounding a center of dark fired. They are easy to stuff and fold and that is my preferred way to smoke this blend. There is a sweet topping that I would describe as “honey-like.” There is some hay from the Virginias with the dark fired adding strength and a little bit of body. From a taste standpoint, the dark fired is more in a supporting role. There is a decent nic hit with SRS although I wouldn’t call it a strong blend. I didn’t experience any bite this time around, but it will burn a little hot if pushed. I don’t taste any Perique, but my leather tongue could be missing it if it’s there. For me, what is really needed with this blend is some age as I think it will soften some of the rough edges. From a cost/benefit point of view, Superior Round is a very good value and based on that, it would be worth a few ounces for the cellar.
Age When Smoked: new
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