Iwan Ries Dr. Bradley

One of our premier creations with its rich taste. Hinting towards the aromatic side, there is no aromatic tasted or aroma - just quality and character.


Brand Iwan Ries
Blended By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type American
Contents Burley, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams pouch
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.30 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 33 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2014 Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A medium sweet English/aromatic with a berry topping and light plum hit here and there. There's a slight woody, earthy smokiness from the Cyprian Latakia, which also adds a little push to the taste in the background. The nutty, woody, earthy, molasses sweet burley isn't very noticeable nor is the grassy, citrusy Virginia, but they show up to wave at you a few times during the proceedings. The buttery sweet, lightly dry and sour, woody, earthy, floral Orientals, and plumy, raisiny perique play with the flavor some, but in a minor way, and also adds a hint of spice. The Orientals are a tad more obvious than the perique, which is barely a condiment. The mixture isn't as complex as it may seem, but there's enough variety to keep you interested. The nic-hit is mild. The strength is just short of the center of mild to medium, while the taste is in that center. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns at a moderate pace, cool and clean with a mostly consistent flavor. Requires few relights, and leaves a little dampness in the bowl. The pleasant after taste is short lived. Can be an all day smoke. More of a two and a half star blend.

12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 29, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
This is a wonderful and unique smoking mixture. I am writing this review looking at easily 50 or more different pipe tobaccos in my collection, and nothing is remotely like Dr. Bradley (unless you count the use of latakia, which we will get to).

The cut is a nice chunky ribbon cut with a base of burley with VA's. As the description notes, it has latakia, perique, and oriental's, and you can see, smell, and taste each one. The pouch aroma offers the odor of latakia and oriental, with something extra. The perique is present if you know what to look for, and then there is that casing/topping aroma. Some people call it berry, but if it is berry it is more of a plum or prune essence, and nothing like a berry aromatic ala Devils' Holiday or the like. IRC is very accurate in their description where they state that this does not smoke or taste like an aromatic. While the tobacco components come through in the smoking experience, the somewhat sweet, nondescript aroma does not translate to a particular flavor other than as acting as an adhesive that blends and rounds the individual component tobaccos into a cohesive whole.

The cut packs easily and lights and burns fantastically. As a matter of fact, its easy, cool burning characteristics are one of this mixture's highlights. The burley offers an easy, cool burning base and it is super easy to smoke with little fussing. Anyone who alleges that this is goopy or hard to light or keep lit is simply wrong. I always dry out my tobacco before I smoke it (although the pouch humidity was not high to begin with) but this is truly one of the easiest to tend mixtures that you will ever smoke, guaranteed. Most tobacco should be still springy but dry to the touch before smoking, so just let this sit for 5 minutes or so and it will be perfect, and you will have no problems.

In addition to the super easygoing burn characteristics, it tastes great and offers no unpleasant surprises. This is a very middle of the road blend in the sense that it is not overly strong or mild, and while it is not packed with flavor, the flavor that it offers is rich and delicious, just not overwhelming. The burley and latakia offer a wonderful base, and the perique and orientals are truly present as flavoring agents without being too forward. The whole flavor profile is very well rounded and cohesive, with rich medium flavor and mild(er) strength with no tongue bite. The flavor is consistent throughout the bowl but does deepen somewhat toward the end. It burns faster than average, must likely due to the burley base, and overall presents a very easy to work with all day smoke.

This is a very "american" tasting mixture, and in my estimation is essential as part of a tobacco collection. Many pipe smokers work hard, and in my opinion wrongly, to smoke and appreciate only one or two types of tobaccos. If you do so you are missing out on a lot of wonderful smoking experiences. Anyone who has read my reviews knows that I love most of what Sam Gawith offers. This is nothing like any of them. This is nothing like a Danish style aromatic, and even though it contains latakia and orientals it is really nothing like a true English or Balkan blend. It is its own, quintessentially American style from the first half of last century, and as such it is a blessing to still have it available and as such a quality product. I have tried a host of these old style blends, including an original tin of Holiday Mixture from the 60's or earlier, and this is the best overall in my opinion. It has the best flavor profile and burn characteristics, and is very affordable to boot! Give yourself a treat and get some, and share an experience with your grandfather and great grandfather.

update: I wanted to add a note that about keeping this tobacco fresh. It is great but loses a lot if you let it dry out. I had it stored in a very cool name-brand humidor which unfortunately did not hold the moisture as well as it should, and this has lost most of its charm. Totally my fault but keep it in airtight glass to avoid my experience.
Pipe Used: GBD Virgin, Savinelli Autograph
PurchasedFrom: IRC
Age When Smoked: fresh, less than two months
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Like my father, I had been smoking 3-Star from Iwan Ries for some time but wanted to try something different. On a visit to Chicago during a 30-day leave from the USAF in January 1970, I made a point of stopping at the Cellini pipe shop to purchase a new Lovat shape and then made my way to Iwan Ries.

They provided a sample of Dr. Bradley which I had never tried before. Ah, what a wonderful blend in my new Cellini! I continued to smoke Dr. Bradley for the next 24 years before giving up my pipes in 1994.

I just recently resumed my pipe hobby (why not? I'm not getting any younger.) So I immediately placed an order with Iwan Ries for some Dr. Bradley and yes, some 3-Star Blue as well.

I was so happy to learn that Dr. Bradley hasn't changed one iota from the first time I tried it 39 years ago. As others have mentioned here, it burns cool and doesn't bite your tongue or irritate the palate of your mouth. This is a wonderful tobacco which I highly recommend!
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2007 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Strong
Now here we go, a real tobacco with nothing but a straight forward, in your face, real tobacco taste!

This is one of Iwan Ries's oldest and highly regarded blends. It came along before the 3-star series and has been a big hit for a million years. I can see why. If you want straight tobacco taste, take a ride with the Doctor. I order one of those mylar pouches of Dr. Bradley once ever couple of years and it is thoroughly enjoyable.

This is more than just a step up from "drugstore" quality blends and has a mostly Burley and background Virginia taste that will bring back very pleasant memories for those of us who have been puffing on our briars for several decades.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 29, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
This is a relatively course cut ribbon ranging from golden- to chocolate-brown with bits of black here and there. It arrives in a mylar “Perma-Moist Tobacco Pouch” at close to, but not quite, perfect smoking moisture. I remain suspect of the pouch, however, and soon transfer the contents to a jar. Pouch aroma is one of a mild Oriental spice with a light, sweet, plum or berry note, and is very pleasant and unusual.

A scant few minutes in the open air bring the tobacco to perfect smoking moisture, as little to no humectant appears to be present. The ribbons here are a little springy, and can require a bit more fiddling than some blends to satisfactorily pack the bowl without getting it too tight at first, especially if you are using a narrow bowl. It takes to the flame readily, and the sweet aromatic component is most prominent at this first light, but it settles in quickly and does its job supporting the natural tobacco flavors perfectly.

A savory Burley flavor is at work underneath prominent but not overwhelming spice tobaccos that combine for a slightly musty flavor. I don’t find that any of the components stand out on their own, but harmonize beautifully with each other and the fructose-tinged aromatic element to produce a flavor that is not really complex so much as compound. It’s unusual, but it seems like it very much belongs in the realm of natural tobacco flavors, rather than being out of place or intentionally iconoclastic.

This tobacco smokes quite easily, requiring few relights and little fuss. The flavor is about medium, but it won’t bore you nor will it overtax your palate. The room note seems quite pleasant. It can be smoked as an occasional treat or as an everyday thing, especially at its dirt-cheap price point.

I would agree with my friend Marosi: Dr. Bradley Mixture is as American a pipe tobacco as Condor is English, and it seems to be a better kept secret. That’s not to take away from the genius of Iwan Ries as tobacconists, or from Sutliff as blenders, though. This is a far cry from a basic Burley like Prince Albert, though it still satisfies many of the same customers’ requirements, such as ease of smoking and repeatability, while ratcheting up the flavor significantly. In the days before American pipe smokers were very familiar with imported blends, this must have been a very sophisticated blend indeed. In modern times when those imports constitute a lot of what we smoke, this and other Iwan Ries blends are nearly forgotten gems.

If you are stuck in a rut, if you’re bored, or if you think that Virginias, VaPers, Balkans, Burleys and Black Cavendish Aromatics are all there is in pipe tobacco, you need a pouch of Dr. Bradley Mixture. This blend will confound your expectations, shatter your stereotypes, give you respect for the past and hope for the future, and make pipe smoking fun and exciting again. Four stars for both quality and originality.
Pipe Used: Briars, cobs, Falcons
PurchasedFrom: Iwan Ries & Co.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2014 Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
I decided to make this tobacco my first review. I have been smoking a pipe on and off for 9 years so I am not a newbie. This blend is a really nice berry flavored blend with a light latakia note. I find it very enjoyable. It will bite a little if you're not careful. However, it won't bite like Mac Baren's plumcake. The flavor is so distinctive that if you smoke an ounce, wait 1-2 years and smoke it again you will remember exactly what you were doing when you smoked it the first time.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
An excellent berry crossover.

It's just a little tough to light at first, but once it gets going, it burns very consistently. It also burns very lengthily, by the way—you can get quite a long smoke out of this one.

It seems to really take off after about a third of the bowl.

The final two-thirds produce billows of soft, white smoke.

Others say that the topping affects room note only, not taste—I heartily disagree. I definitely taste a high quality berry topping. No chemically funkiness—just a great berry flavor. It melds quite nicely with a bit of nuttiness from the burley and a bit of sourness from oriental. This is an exceptionally cool smoke. Few blends smoke this cooly.

Dr. Bradley is exceedingly similar to Milan's Chartwell. That was my most pressing impression from the first puff to the last. Three slight, but noteworthy, differences between Chartwell and Dr. Bradley: [1] Chartwell emphasizes the crossover with latakia, whereas Dr. Bradley emphasizes the crossover with orientals; [2] Chartwell smokes more warmly than Dr. Bradley does; [3] Chartwell does not produce the billows of white smoke that Dr. Bradley does. But really, these two are sisters. They strike me as very slight variations on the same blend. I won't venture to assert which is better until I've compared them side-by-side more carefully. For now, I'll simply say that if you like Chartwell, try this; if you like this, try Chartwell.

Definitely recommended. I don't give it a 4 star for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, but it's a solid 3.5.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2011 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
A super cross-over blend developed ages ago by Iwan Ries in Chicago for Dr.Preston Bradley, a prominent Presbyterian minister.There is just a hint of latakia in the background of this predominantly burley mixture, and a light dose of the very famous Iwan Ries taste--all without any shred of black cavendish. I smoke it daily and recommend it highly to aromatic and non-aromatic pipemen alike.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 19, 2008 Medium None Detected Full Very Pleasant
An Iwan Ries salesman told me there was a delicate addition of subtle flavoring added merely to improve the aroma. I take that to be a top dressing. As he predicted, I couldn't really find any evidence of it -- either during or after the smoke.

To me there is a raisin/prune character to its gentle sweetness; and an unidentifiable floral note that comes and goes throughout the smoke, teasingly.

I smoke mostly natural, unflavored burleys, and Virginia flake, but I keep some Bradley on hand when I'm in the mood for something like an aromatic without the 'drug store blend' problems.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 02, 2007 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
I haven't smoked this blend for about 30 years, but I recently started working in downtown Chicago and am only 3 blocks from Iwan Ries. Iwan Ries is the oldest tobacco shop in America, 1857, and they have the best selections of pipe tobacco anywhere.

Dr. Bradley is one of their oldest blends, best described as an American English. It has a light casing added to improve the aroma, but you cannot taste the casing while smoking, but it provides a pleasant room note. Burley based, with VA, latakia and a touch of orientals. Dr. Bradley smokes cool, dry and with no bite. Makes a great all day "English" smoke. The cost is very ecconomical, $12.60 for a 7oz. bag, buy 2 = $11.20/bag. If your looking for a good all day english type tobacco with a nice room note, give Dr. Bradley a try.
3 people found this review helpful.
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