Fribourg & Treyer Blackjack

A ready-rubbed pure red Virginia plug.


Brand Fribourg & Treyer
Blended By Kohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.27 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 45 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2011 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Update 5/30/20

Picked up a fresh tin a year or so ago - tall tin but still 50 grams. Not sure what that's about. Anyway, this exhibits a nice tangy tartness, as a good red virginia should. This would be a good substitute for those who mourn the loss of McClellands Red Cake, although they do not taste alike. Absolutely no chance of bite unless you're puffing like a steam engine. A 4 star blend for experienced smokers and newbies alike. Just be sure to snork this to get the full range of flavors, as this is a moderately complex tobacco.


Review is based on a 2 year old tin with its European name of Negrohead, a bit of an unfortunate moniker here in the states. I'm not sure where the name comes from as it is not a black tobacco, nor does it fit in with the only reference I'm aware of for Negrohead, which is in Dickens' Great Expectations novel. Magwitch smoked it and it was said to be a black rope. This is a light colored shag. What's in a name, I suppose....

Excellent flavored tobacco with the faintest hint of citrus amidst the hay qualities. A subtle light toast picks up around mid-bowl and there is a bit of Grandma's spice rack in here as well. Occasionally exhibited a trace of cigarette quality, but of a non-mass produced, high end variety. One thing I really enjoyed was the fact that this smoked like a red virginia but had the best of lemon VA virtues - that slight orange peel taste, but not enough to make it overbearing. It's a different kind of sweetness than I'm used to with red virginia blends. And the top note is so faint that I can't place it but it is there.

This was good enough that I picked up 5 more tins! Recommended to any straight virginia smoker. One of the better examples out there.
20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 31, 2015 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Fribourg & Treyer - Blackjack. This is a surprisingly good blend.

After doing some reading up on this I was prepared for your 'straight forward' ready rubbed Virginia blend so it was a good moment when I opened the tin to find broken flakes! In fact, some of the blend is that chunky it could still use a bit of a rub; this is a bit of a shock as I note how a few other smokers found theirs to be over rubbed. The aroma from the can is a straight forward Virginia one, some citrus, some grass, and slightly sweet. The amount of water makes it smokeable right away but after a few weeks of being unsealed it becomes absolutely perfect.

The taste I get is very fresh. It has all of the lively attributes of a good Virginia. The smoke is very 'clean'; I mean this in the way that it doesn't leave any heavy aftertaste nor claggy feeling on the palate, it would make for a decent smoke prior to an expensive tipple where you don't want your mouth to be impeded by any lingering flavour.

The temperature of the smoke is about medium and no matter how hard I puff my pipe I get no bite!

For me, the nicotine amount is about mild to medium being closer to mild unless it's stressed heavily.

The room note? A pleasant Virginia one that doesn't generate a huge quantity of actual smoke.

This is a top mark straight Virginia. It has to be highly recommended!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson Founders Edition 2015
PurchasedFrom: The Danish Pipe Shop
Age When Smoked: New
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 27, 2003 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I have smoked a very well aged tin of Blackjack -- back when the blend was called Negro Head. It was a nice, mellow Virginia but just too light for my palate. If you gravitate toward lighter yet flavorful Virginia offerings then I will highly recommend F&T's Blackjack.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 18, 2012 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The bready, lightly spicy, barely sugary, red Virginia has little tart and tangy dark fruit sweetness, much less so than other blends where it's the dominant component. Also has a mild earthiness and a few splinters of wood. I would not label this as a sweet Virginia. It possesses a fair amount of hay and grass, tart and tangy citrus, bread, light sugar, with a bare touch of tart lemon, and a very slight spice that comes and goes as you smoke it down. Has a few small rough edges. It's not very complex; mild enough to be an all day smoke with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the mild mark. The taste is in the center of mild to medium. It loads easy, burns clean and rather cool at a moderate pace, but can bite a constant puffer. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires few relights. You may want to sip it to get the full effect, and avoid potential tongue bite. It gets two stars for that. Three stars for the flavor.

Update June 2022: The blend has been changed. There's a sweet sugary citrus topping now that mildly tones down the tobaccos. The citrus and sugar from the bright Virginia is a little more prominent now, and the grass/hay content is a couple of steps lighter. The red Virginia seems to be a tad sweeter, and was cut with some orange Virginia. The bread notes are mildly more obvious. The spice content is less than before; there's not much more than a hint of it now. The bite potential has disappeared as this is a smoother version with almost no rough notes. The rest of my previous observations still hold, except I give this version three stars in all aspects.

14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 30, 2006 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Firstly, allow me to wonder about the name of this blend. If you peel off the Blackjack label, you will see the original name, Negrohead. Obviously not Politically Correct. Neither name describes the tobacco accurately.

Appearance: An orangey-red broken flake of medium thickness, just right for packing as-is into medium and large pipes

Aroma: Mildly sweet Va. Aroma, with a subtle top-note of something citrusy (to my nose).

Packing: Packs well into any size pipe, for smaller pipes you probably will require a bit of rubbing out.

Lighting: Takes flame perfectly, charring light very easy to establish. Tamp, relight, enjoy. Almost foolproof.

Initial flavor: Mild to medium Virginia sweetness, slight citrus taste, mostly medium notes with occasional highs and lows

Mid-bowl: Not very complex, but not monochromatic or dull. The flavor can best be described as lively, but without tingle. Very gentle on the tongue and palate, when smoked slowly. If puffed aggressively, it flattens out, and can get hot, but what tobacco doesn?t?

Finish: Finishes dry, cool and gently. No trace of gunk from the flavoring agent. It generally left me wanting another hit in about an hour (not high in nicotine).

Summary: A great choice for an all-day smoke, mild enough for breakfast, lively enough for all day. Might even be a good choice in the evening, if you don?t crave something heavy.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 06, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Beautiful straight red Va broken flake. September hay and faint fruit sweetness and a little twang. Simple and delicious. The consistency of the broken flake and the moisture level are very similar to DTM, not quite C&D dry, but close.

For me this is a top 5 straight Virginia. I put it up there with BBF, Butera Golden Cake, McClelland Rich Va Ribbon, and Germain Brown Flake. There isn’t anything magical or complex here, it’s more a Va for a guy who loves Va and VaPers, but who probably also enjoys a frequent bowl of Prince Albert or Carter Hall. A tobacco lover’s Va.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 16, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
F&T Blackjack After just finishing a tin of McClelland red VA. I thought I would give blackjack, also said to be a red VA. a try, so without any delay I did just that. My first impression was Blackjack seemed stronger, fuller and had a quite different flavor profile, similar to the difference found in Danish Virginias, the German VA's seems to have their own unique taste identity. Many may disagree but I taste licorice/citrus in this and other German VA's. Not a bad thing, because I find both are quite enjoyable at times, but neither can be much more than a change of pace smoke in my rotation, because their assertive flavors will soon wear me down.

I would have preferred this tobacco was not rubbed out as much as it is, and came as a more familiar broken flake so as to allow me to fit the moment, because IMO as is, this stuff wants to burn faster than I like, especially at the $11 for 50 Gram cost level.

I had no bite issues with this blend and found it produced a surprising amount of thick white smoke for a straight VA, with a slightly elevated nicotine level, a satisfying combination in my book. Overall; I found Blackjack is a smooth and a very easy to smoke tobacco, which probably for some could be a fine all day choice. But at this cost, IMHO there is some serious competition out there, meaning when I finish these 2 tins; Blackjack will probably become only a memory. But for those with deeper pockets and prefer old world tin art, try this one, many on this site seem to just love it. 2.5 stars.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 23, 2017 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
My F&T Blackack came in a tin that seems rather large for 50 grams of tobacco. Inside, I found a fairly loose pile of well broken flakes, dark to light reddish-brown, at what looked and felt like a moisture level fit for smoking. Tin note is very subdued, aged, VA tobacco, slightly earthy, like aged hay; nothing more. Though I can smoke it OK straight from the tin, IMO Blackjack is best after maybe a month’s rest in a jar and some drying prior to smoking it. Lit, rested and dryer Blackjack promptly unfolds and “blooms” with subtle, floral and wood resin side notes wafting through its rather bluff, woody/earthy primary notes. I taste well-aged, cold pressed, air cured VAs that are sweet, earthy, herbal and floral, with some treacle, citrus and a smidgen of anise atop it. There might also be some lightly stoved leaf here, but there is no “dark fruit”, or “stewed fruit”, whatsoever. Like most VAs, Blackjack “intensifies” down the bowl, going from mild to past medium in taste. There is some sharp-ish, VA-type tannin here that reminds me a bit of the original Rattray’s Red Rapparee. Strength is mild. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is a little tannic at first, but it soon settles down to sweet, delicious best-of-the-end-of-the-smoke.

I have to admit, I get no wow factor from Blackjack. But, in view of what I do get, that's alright with me. 4 stars from me, with noted reservations.
Pipe Used: briars used for VAs
PurchasedFrom: 4Noggins
Age When Smoked: fresh from tin to 1 month jarred
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 28, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
This review is based on a tin that is more than ten years old. With that in mind I had hoped for more sweetness than was offered by Blackjack. As has been mentioned, it has been rubbed out quite a bit and kind of wish it wasn’t. I like Blackjack, it’s a good blend, just not a great one. After returning to the lovely sweetness of a well-aged Red Cake last week, Blackjack offers more strength and body, which is something that I prefer. Blackjack is mildly sweet, offers no bite, and is fairly straightforward with not a lot of complexity. The tobacco is, like all of the F&T blends I have smoked thus far, of good quality. As others have pointed out Blackjack seems to be topped with a very light citrus topping. But it is very light. I have a love/hate relationship with red Virginias. I really like them, but they don’t always like me. This gets along with me well. Overall, Blackjack is a tasty, but slightly expensive offering for those that like red Virginias.
Age When Smoked: 10+ years
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 27, 2007 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I have tried a tin of this recently: in Europe this tobacco is sold under the name of Negrohead, which is not politically correct and quite confusing too as the contents of the tin are bright-red Virginias.

It is a pleasant smoke, delicate, honeyed, with notes of hay: an unoffensive, slow smoking tobacco with little bite.

In spite of the tobacco being a bit moist and very pliable, it does not burn wet. Overall a nice experience, it burns well and doesn't require much care. Alas, it is also a bit monodimensional and doesn't evolve much through the bowl. But the flavour is always fine, it's not heavy and has no unpleasant traits. Think of it as a gentler variation on Hamboorger Veermaster.

Not mind blowing, but hard to dislike.
5 people found this review helpful.
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