Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) John Bull Royal English

English blends containing the mysterious and smoky tobacco, latakia, have long been a mainstay among pipe smokers, and nothing is more emblematic of England than John Bull. A true connoisseur’s delight, this supremely cool and smooth mixture uses mild flue cured tobaccos, mellow and nutty burley, a touch of black cavendish for a subtle sweetness and the star of the blend, magnificent Cyprian latakia. The result is a well-behaved, all-day mixture that is ultra-flavorful but never overbearing. It’s exceedingly rare to find this kind of premier blend in a pouch, but John Bull is anything but ordinary.


Brand Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG)
Blended By  
Manufactured By St-Group Assens
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 1.5 ounce pouch
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.15 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 04, 2014 Mild Very Mild Very Mild Tolerable
Very mild english blend. Faint trace of latakia. Not bad for an OTC blend. I usually prefer a stronger smoke than this. I did mix this with C&D 412 Billy Budd in a glass mason jar to pick it up a notch or two.
Pipe Used: MM country gentlemen, great dane
PurchasedFrom: pipes&
Age When Smoked: unknown
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 04, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Really not a fan of Latakia but got this as a trial pouch. For a smoker of burley and Virginias, this was a good introduction into the English genre. It smoked cool and even with a somewhat nutty flavor to go with the smokiness of the Latakia. I'll probably not buy it again but I did enjoy the pouch.
Pipe Used: Barber B
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 18, 2018 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable
This blend is not bad, but it is kind of boring. On the good side, it burns well doesn't really bite and has a pretty decent side stream aroma. On the bad side for me is that nothing really stands out in this blend. Jiminks coined it well with the term "mild." It is just too mild for my palate.

I really wanted something to stand out whether it be the burley or the latakia. The leading flavor to my palate was the Virginia, but even it didn't do enough. The sweetness provided by the Virginia seemed to be thwarted by the other elements to a sort of caramel type sweetness, to my palate anyway. I don't know if this was the result of a flavoring added to the black Cavendish or the small amount of latakia.

Overall, it was just decent. It would probably serve well in a position of a crossover blend for the latakia curious, but I would never recommend it to a lat lover. As it stands, it is two stars for me.
Pipe Used: Basil Meadows Bing
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 31, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
No gurgle or bite. Couldn't taste the black Cavendish. Smoky, campfire like room note. Not interesting to this aromatic smoker. I gifted the remainder to a smoker who could appreciate it
Pipe Used: Bones
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: 1 year
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 07, 2019 Very Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable
Let me get this out of the way. I did not enjoy this blend. Now that isn’t to say it’s so bad I would never smoke it again. If offered a bowl of some John Bull I’d be hard-pressed to turn it down. But to pick some up on my own dime probably won’t happen again. I’m not even sure what it is that I didn’t like. But there is a flavor here that did not sit well with me. It’s rather a shame the packaging is enticing and the bag note isn’t terrible. But there’s something here that I can’t quite place, a subtle flavor that ruined the whole experience for me. I’m rather disappointed because everyone else seems to enjoy this blend. I wish I had more knowledge and experience so that I could tell you guys what flavor is ruining this tobacco for me, but alas I’m at a loss of words.
Pipe Used: Briar, Corncob and Hardwood
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 29, 2017 Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable
I got this bc I have been checking out pouch blends.

Doesn't smell like much overall, maybe a light whiff of the lat in it. It's a pretty fine ribbon cut, and it packs well. It ease of use is probably its best feature. It's a tad dry off the get go, and smokes mindlessly once it gets going. Burns a bit warm for me, and it stays dry all the way through.

Overall, it's an ok blend. Don't expect much from it, it's not there. What is there is dependable easy smoking pouch tobacco. It's cheap enough, and is a decent diversion from heavier blends.
Pipe Used: Many
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: Fresh pouch
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 13, 2022 Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant
An English blend that I found to be rather heavy on the Virginia, light on Latakia. If you like a Latakia-forward English blend, this won't be for you. The predominant flavor is a bright, tangy, almost citrus Virginia, followed by a decent body of Burley, a fairly faint whiff of Latakia, and a mild topping of Black Cavendish. A good, all-around, light-flavored smoke, excellent when paired with a medium-roast coffee. I prefer more Latakia, but it's still a solid blend. Recommended.
Pipe Used: Mr. Brog No. 82 Consul
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 10, 2021 Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant
Well Easter weekend had come once again. As usual, my wife’s agenda involved the annual road trip to her sister’s house to celebrate the holiday. Our point for departure resided roughly a 3.5-hour drive to the next state over from the land of the Buckeyes. Per her instructions, I was ordered to make sure I had all my essentials packed for the two day stay. More specifically she was emphatic about it by stating “make sure you pack your pipe and plenty of tobacco, because there will not be any place around to get some”. Needless I did not need to be told that as those were on the first items entered on my written packing list; what else do I expect me to say?

Knowing that the forecast was for cooler weather and that I would be forced to smoke outside anyways, I scooped up a couple of my workhorse cob pipes, as they provide a nice basic short smoke that would fulfill my essential and immediate need. My choice of tobaccos included a sample English blend that I had secured as part of one of those e-retailer promotional package deals. A day without my beloved English is a day I hope to neither encounter nor live through.

The blend that I absconded with was John Bull Royal English. It had been sitting on my cellar shelf for quite a while. This pouch was earmarked as one of those miscellaneous samples that I had plan to get to in due time. Ah, the holiday voyeur presented itself as the appropriate occasion I quickly surmised! If it showed itself as a dud, well then, no real loss as my limited objective was to have something in the English vain to smoke period.

Getting straight to the point, my inaugural bowl tasting of Mr. Bull’s mix was an exercise in disappointment of king-sized proportion to say the least. Too light, no character, weak rather than majestic in presentation. With a strong note of rebuff, I poo-poo’ed the tobacco has unimpressive and not worth the smoking effort for even the realm’s resident oaf. Yet here I was stuck with Royal English as my only gratification for the weekend, so I made do.

Upon returning home, hindsight fell upon me and as they say it is always 20/20. In all fairness to this mixture and my own better judgement, my preliminary smoking excursions were not unlike that of Humphrey Bogart puffing a Lucky Strike on riding on a fast-moving freight-train. Namely, due to the inconvenience of the circumstance (i.e., standing by the garage in windy mid-40° temperatures), I found myself herfing the stuff, with overly zealous vigor of course, like a crazed tobacco junkie trying to get my fix in before I froze to death or experienced flash burns from the swirling cinders of ignited tobacco, not a pretty picture by any means.

Let me clarify one very more important about my methodology. Typically, whenever I try new blends, they are partaken in specific pipes under much more conventional and controlled circumstances. In the case of an English/Scottish/Balkan blends my test pipe 100% of the time is my favorite Savinelli Baronet Bruyere briar. Call me quirky but this is how I attempt to be objective and consistent in my comparative analysis. Same pipe equals no noise attributable to pipe construction variance that can or may skew a clean overall evaluation, a tad bit obsessive, but hey that is what I do.

Resuming normalcy, I thought to give Mr. Bull another shot. I smoked 4, 5, …6 bowls of the preparation by way of a sampling arrangement using my trusty Savinelli briar. With each successive bowl the true character of the blend began to morph justifiably. Bottom-line there was a world of difference compared the disastrous cob experience. Lesson for the day, consistency in the review process is tantamount and righteous to the cause be default.

John Bull’s Royal English is a course ribbon-cut medley encompassing an array of assorted tobaccos. By its general make-up, it is categorically a complex concoction. The blend offers a recipe matrixed by the presence of Latakia, assorted Burley, Virginia and pressed Cavendish types. From appearance one sees an interesting pile of predominantly brown cluster hues with maybe 10%-15% occupancy of the black Latakia/Cavendish strains, not a lot respectfully. Texturally the pillow is very springing and a little wayward in the loading of the pipe. As this is a pouched blend there is a level of considerable moistness.

The pouch note is somewhat concealed as I had to really take voluminous and repeated sniffs to form a proper registration. Once the aroma hit, I gathered the standing vinegary, smoky, campfire essence being expelled from the Latakia. There were some notable yet reasonably sour-woody pings emitting from the noted Burleys and a distant pungent grassy wisp offered by the Virginia. Nothing too presumptuous, but overall, very mild if not modest in character.

As I alluded with the repetitive briar-based smoking sessions, Royal English gradually displayed the jewels of its crown, unpretentious in the revealing. The flavor produced is consistently very mild yet balanced, I guess one could say. Its rather smooth mellow character comes to life about halfway down the bowl. Nothing really pops as the distinct monarchial lead figure, although there is some entertaining interplay between the soft Latakia and Burley on the bottom.

Frankly, each and every component is experienced to a degree, but the overall presentation is on an even, gentle keel. Again, nothing really grabbed me as the alpha lord here. Meaning, the flash hints of native nuisance of each varietal are somewhat distinguishable, which not necessarily a bad thing, yet it is a very unassuming, non-opinionated taste saying it somewhat differently. Royal English is characteristically moderate and non-committed in the overall flavor cast.

The effects of the base Latakia, being openly generous in one respect, marginally register with a subtle smoky cedar leather flair. There are trace notes of dark molasses and sour woodiness stemming from the competing Burley and a little grassy tang offered by the influence of Virginia. The pressed Cavendish adds a pleasant, little sweet accent note to finish the drawl’s persona. In summary, not quite the celebration of fullness that one might expect especially in reference to the blend’s constitution.

As to the fragrance, very English in countenance but exceptionally light in density and girth. Royal English imparts a pleasing smoky, woody perfume that is highly tolerable and permissible to even the most averse non-aficionados. This mixture burns cool and evenly as the smoke’s texture is genuinely creamy and smooth. No harshness although I did feel a little tingling on the tongue.

Honestly, the John Bull blend would be is a nice little introduction into the genre of English tobaccos. Its mild flavoring and mellow experience do offer a neo-smoker a neutral base for experiencing the flair of the standard elements that embody traditional English blends, (less Orientals) without too much emphasis on one specific ingredient. Otherwise, I can see the experienced enthusiast opting to pull out Royal English as a comfortable all day casual selection to drop and burn at leisure. It will not knock your socks nor is it full and robust. It is a relatively simple yet enjoyable fair, nonetheless. Just make sure you are comfortably set for the adventure ahead of time; trust me.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Briar
PurchasedFrom: Pipes&
Age When Smoked: 2 months in pouch
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