Mac Baren Capstan Original Navy Cut Ready Rubbed

Like the milder-bodied Capstan Yellow, Capstan Blue was originally created by W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol well over a century ago. It's remained a favorite to countless pipe smokers across generations (J.R.R. Tolkien having been on of its most noted aficionados), a testament to the quality of this fine Virgina flake, here offered in ready-rubbed form.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 50 grams tin weight, 50 grams pouch weight
Country Denmark
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 1 - 11 of 36 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2016 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Very seldom do I feel compelled to review a tobacco because, frankly, very seldom do I come across a tobacco that I find exceptional in the satisfaction it delivers. Capstan Original Navy Cut Ready Rubbed has proved to be one of those rare finds. This tobacco has everything that brings me pipe smoking pleasure. It is ready to smoke right out of the tin, it is easy to pack, stays lit, produces a good volume of smoke, smells and tastes wonderful, burns cool (if you pack it correctly), won't bite even when pushed - and - the experience is easily repeatable from bowl to bowl, pipe to pipe.

Tin note is dried apricots. Room note is sweet hardwood BBQ and spice. Smoke is creamy with good body and rich, natural Virginia tobacco flavor. Retro-hale is spicy, a bit citrusy and teasingly effervescent - almost in a Fresca or root beer float sort of way.

Pack lightly for an effortless draw (lighter than soda through a straw). For my medium-sized briars I gravity feed the bowl, press lightly to about 3/4 full then top up just above the rim and lightly press to level (only two layers instead of the usual three). Test draw before charring light - again it should be effortless for the best experience with this tobacco. Can be a tad stubborn to take a charring light - I char twice before the true light. Once lit tamp lightly every few minutes to keep the coal seated. Very seldom do I have to re-light if I keep it tamped. I generally get an effortless 30-35 minute smoke before the coal reaches the dottle zone in the heel. Don't attempt to relight the dottle as the taste becomes a bit acrid. Anything above the dottle zone seems to do fine with re-light and/or DGT.

A wonderful, tasty, satisfying, no fuss tobacco that I highly recommend.
Pipe Used: Various Briars
Age When Smoked: 3+ Years (Tin Marked Apr 2013)
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 17, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This review is virtually the same as the one I posted for the flake version, because I tasted no discernible difference between that and the ready rubbed. The only difference is that this is easier to pack because it is ready rub cut.

Current MacBaren Version: This is a little stronger, less sweet, and less cased than its brother in the gold tin. Slight citrus, fig, and a little grass/hay and a more earthy, woody, breadiness with a nice mild to medium tangy dark fruit Virginia flavor. Also is slightly sugary with a light floral quality. Not a very complex blend, though there are a couple of different Virginias in the mix. The strength is a step below the medium mark, and the taste level is medium. The nic-hit is a step past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, and barely has any rough edges. A rather uncomplicated blend that burns cool, clean and smooth with a very consistent flavor at a slow pace. Requires a few relights. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a very pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. A very comfortable all day smoke to pack and light with enough nicotine to get your attention without overwhelming your senses.

45 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I like this a lot, glad it's available, and I am struck with the thought that it will age wonderfully.

The blue is pretty sweet, sugary enough that if you put the pipe down and come back, the stem tastes like one of those sugar-dipped little cigars.

Excellent virginia smell in the tin, a straight shot up the nose. Can't tell if this is cased or not, certainly it's pretty sweet. Not rough, not biting. If every tobacco could be as friendly!

Very old-timey to me, leaves a sweet/dirty note in the room.
Pipe Used: Brand new Savinelli petite
Age When Smoked: unaged/new
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 26, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable
When I smoked cigarettes, I found that almost every different brand was smokable and had different positive and negative qualities with the exception of Rothmans which I tried a few times back in the 90's and then gave up on the brand altogether - there must be something odd going on in my mouth because they used to sell enough of those cigarettes and nobody else I knew found them toxic and nasty. But I did.

Well same thing with this - I spent quite a while trying to like it and persevered to the end of tin, but in the end, it just turned out to be not for me. Hot, steamy flavorless tongue bite is all that comes to mind when recalling this tobacco. i also learnt on this tobacco that if the first bowl of a highly recommended tobacco is a complete personal disaster, ditch the rest of the pack quickly in the bin and move on rapidly to the next blend - eg just because you eat lots of brussel sprouts, doesn't mean you will ever like them. Life is too short. So I am swimming against the tide here, but thumbs down on this from me.
Pipe Used: Brigham Heritage 02
Age When Smoked: New to 3 months
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 26, 2013 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Revised review 6/19/2016- I've had a closed tin in the cellar for about 2 years and I just opened it, very , very nice. I realize that this is a straight Virginia, but , it sure tastes like there might be a TOUCH of Burley or Oriental , much like Dunhill's "Ready Rubbed" mixed with about 25% Mac's Virginia # 1. This is flavorful , smooth and great on the cold relight. NONE of Mac's typical bite ( from a cob). Then why not 4 stars ? I seem to catch a slight topping almost a "Lakeland Floral", not a fan , so 3 stars.

Original review- I hope this review is placed under the correct "Capstan Original Navy Cut, ready rubbed , Blue" listing, as I find these listings a little confusing (lists the blender as Orlik where my tin says Mac Baren and some of the reviews are for a full flake)? I find this tobacco as good as any of the best Virginias I have smoked. It does work it's full magic after about two weeks to breath and it becomes smooth and flavorful and as good as many of the other 4 star Virginia blends listed. My one and only complaint is it's price, it's only 1.75 oz. and the price is 20% higher than other comparable blends.

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Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 1 month open / 2 years of age
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable
Alright, I am a quite newbie in pipe smoking, and I have access to almost no tobaccos, so my review might be taken with a grain of salt.

The first time i filled my pipe with this blue marvel, i had just opened the tin, allowed it to rest about 15 minutes and proceeded to smoke it. Just like some of the reviewers here noted, it was quite tasteless, giving a bit of nicotine and very little taste.

Later, I put the rest of the tobacco to a jar for a few hours after letting it sit out in the open for about an hour; then i transferred it back to the original tin.

The next day, I brewed some Earl Grey Tea (with a pinch of milk) and smoked it again. Now, that was a tobacco i truly enjoyed. Perhaps due to my brief airing, or perhaps due to the tea, I could now detect hints of a sugary taste that paired extremely well with the tea. Every puff i took gave me a taste i quite enjoyed. I should emphasize that the taste is still mild, but not undetectable. It is a mild, sugary, enjoyable taste. It isn't legendary or anything, but if you enjoy the occasional pipe smoking or have access to a very few number of blends like me, I believe you will enjoy it.
Pipe Used: Chacom Churchill 393 + Tsuge the Tasting (21)
Age When Smoked: Fresh off the tin and a few days after
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 07, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Strong
Capstan - Ready Rubbed.

Starting with the unlit blend prior to smoking: the smell coming from mine is a fairly basic Virginia one, there is only a delicate citrus note if you deliberately search for it. The build of the mixture appears to be quite dainty, one or two longer/thicker pieces but mostly it consists of shorter/slim pieces. It's easy to see that it is 100% Virginia, it's all a medium brown in colour and the quantity of water is spot on, it's ready to smoke immediately.

It's relatively simple to get lit but the moment it is burning it accentuates the first issue, the temperature of the smoke is too much. Sadly for Capstan this isn't the only low point (for me), this one is a real biter, whether sipped slowly or sucked with aggression it has as much bite as a Great White Shark! On to some positives now, firstly flavour. Throughout it has a really pure/full Virginia taste, I note that others notice a few additions in there but for me it is a truly "straight forward" Virginia taste, even when retro-haled it still bestows a pure V' taste. On to Nicotine now, this is the perfect amount of Lady N for me: it's very satisfying, quells the lust without being too much and is a doddle to inhale. Sadly I must point out an additional negative, the room-note: yes it is a straight up Virginia one but it is (like the temp') just too much! When smoking Capstan it is necessitated that you have some windows opened! A final good point to end on is that the flavour stays nicely even throughout, there is no fluctuation with taste, only a steady Virginia one.

I score this 2 stars and not more for a few reasons, the bite is at the top of my list of impairments!
Pipe Used: Peterson Sandblast Sherlock Homes Baskerville
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 19, 2020 Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I've been smoking the same tin on and off for around two months now. When I first opened the tin it had a pleasant and typical Virginia smell, slightly sweet and grassy. I filled a bowl in one of my briars and I will admit that it was the weakest Virginia I have tried to date. Being a new smoker after only 2 years I chalked it up to inexperience and tried a few more bowls in different pipes. Nope. Still the weakest blend I had tried with little to no flavor to me. So I jarred it and forgot about it for around 2-3 months.

I have reopened the jar and smoked a few bowls in the past few days and what a difference. I have found it took on a lot more flavor. It has taken on more of a sweet note, which is a tiny bit incense-like. The grassy Virginia is more pronounced and the blend has become more complex and smokable. I will admit however, that even with the improvement from aging I might not buy this again, and if I do it will immediately get jarred and cellared for a few months to years. The taste intrigues me so I will be trying the Flake version of this and see if my experience improves.

Edit: The more I smoke this the more it improves and so I will bump my rating up to three stars. This tobacco shines with age and the grassy citrus notes start to really shine I am about to buy a few more tins of this a put them in the cellar to age for a year or more.
Pipe Used: Capri from Italy
PurchasedFrom: La Casa Cigar Lounge
Age When Smoked: 5 Months
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 15, 2018 Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant
if you love virginia, you have to try this tobacco. that's great. there is different kind of virginias in it and a little citros flavoring that machs virginia so nicely. but flavoring is not overhelming. its one of my top ten list and always have one tin of that. an all day smoke and highly recomended to virginia lovers and fans of low cased aromatic tobaccos.
Pipe Used: Angelo
PurchasedFrom: local shop, iran
Age When Smoked: fresh and aged
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
This is a nice straight forward VA blend, i really couldnt detect any topping or casing. Good dose of vitamin N and quite easy to smoke. When sipped slowly no heat or bite was encountered. Nothing mind blowing here, just straight VA. I would've liked to have tried the original blend for historic comparison, the tin i have is Mac Baren production. I doubt id buy it again but i will try Capstan Gold to see if any differences exist.
Pipe Used: Capri rustic billiard
Age When Smoked: current production
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 23, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a really well-behaved Virginia that starts out sweet on the light. Almost fruity/honey like with a spicy flavor that last throughout the bowl. Hints of the sweetness dance in and out of the blend throughout the bowl but especially in the first third and last third of the bowl. This is a blend that could easily be smoked any time of day and I can see why many people call it an “all-day blend.” I could easily smoke and enjoy the blend while working and it also lead to many deep, meditative thoughts even as the air temperature dropped forcing me inside. Mechanically, the blend burned all the way to the bottom of the bowl leaving little to no dottle for me to pick out. I will look forward to many more bowls of this blend. The price i a little high in my opinion, and it may be a limiting factor for me, but I will cellar as much as I can. The blend should age well for many years.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Roma 673 KS
Age When Smoked: 4 years old
5 people found this review helpful.
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