Iwan Ries Old Colonial

Made with a healthy base of toasted burley and bright Virginia flake. Black cavendish, perique and Latakia are then added to round out the flavor. Topped with just a hint of vanilla flavoring, Old Colonial is an exceptionally light aromatic and sure to please a variety of smokers.


Brand Iwan Ries
Blended By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Latakia, Perique, Virginia
Flavoring Vanilla
Cut Coarse Cut
Packaging 50 grams pouch, 7 ounce bag
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.08 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 13 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 10, 2014 Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
The bright Virginia offers some honey, grass and a bit of citrus, and competes with the burley for attention. The toasted burley provides earth, wood, nuts and cashews with a very light molasses in an important support role. The sugary black cavendish is in the background. The Cyprian Latakia adds no more than a slight push of smokiness, earth, wood, and slight sweetness to the blend. The perique doesn’t seem to have any spice, but apparently adds a little plum and raisin that’s hardly noticeable. A mild vanilla topping tones down the tobaccos just a mite, and while there is no coconut topping, something seems to give the impression that a little is present. The strength is mild, and the taste is just past the center of mild to medium. Has very little nicotine. Burns slightly faster than at a moderate pace, cool, clean, and even with a very smooth, consistent flavor from start to finish. Won’t bite, and leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. Requires very few relights. The sweetness isn’t over done, and it provides a very pleasant after taste that lingers a little with a great room note. An all day smoke that doesn’t wear out its welcome. Does well with hot tea or coffee. Three and a half stars.

12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 10, 2013 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Imagine Carter Hall with a mild topnote of coconut [ so they say ] , though I don't taste it as coconut , mostly . This is very much like Carter Hall , only better . It smokes smoothly and the topnote never gets in the way and stays in the back ground . It's really a fantastic smoke ! . This is easily an all day smoking blend . It is mindless to light and keep lit and has no wetness at the bottom of the bowl . No bite what so ever . A newbie could " smoke like a pro " with this one . For it's style , which would be an Old School American mild aro , it's top notch !

edit 2021

The coconut thing I mentioned is because years ago I called and bugged the guy at the shop what the topnote was , out of curiosity . He said coconut . It kind of is coconut and i dont know why hed say that for the hell of it . Back then , they didnt have as much description as they do now on their website . Its odd in that I dont get vanilla from it at all .. however .. vanilla and the the rest of the blend , hell it could very well be . Anyway , its a mild wonderful flavor of according to them these days is vanilla
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 12, 2020 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Received about 3/4 oz of this light brownish ribbon from a friend quite awhile ago but am just now getting around to smoking it. I found no coconut in the scent - I suppose the "coconut" in this one is like the "pineapple" in Erinmore...sort of a pipesmokers urban legend. Then again, I'm not the last word in recognizing artificial tobacco flavorings. If you taste coconut, you taste coconut. And I only had a little to smoke, so this "review" is hardly reliable.

This apparently is an attempt at an OTC-type light aromatic, and it does reasonably well in that category. Has a bit of "old-timey" taste, although something like Anglers Dream leaves this one in the dust. Then again, I don't think AD is available anymore, and it doesn't contain latakia or perique, as this one does. On the other hand, neither of those condiments asserts itself much, but I think this blend would have been not so fully realized without them. The predominate taste was nutty-sweet burley with a light vanilla casing. I tend to enjoy blends with light casings that last down the bowl, such as those from Steve Books (sadly, now no more). This blend took a downturn as a result of a light chemical note that reared its head from time to time. I don't know if this was truly blended by Sutliff as noted here but that chemical note takes a huge step towards that being accurate. It wasn't around all the time, but it was enough to reduce my enjoyment. I liked the concept and I need to say once again that 3/4 oz is hardly enough for a reliable review (the smoker really needs to smoke a blend in several different situations before reviewing). Even so, I have no desire to pursue this one further. As always, YMMV
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2010 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I love this stuff! I smoke FM, Dark star ,English luxury, Escudo etc... run the board. But the flavor and ash in every pipe I smoke is great, Meershaum,Castello,Charatan Dunhill,doesn't matter it smokes down to the bottom with no effort and a fluffy white ash with a great aroma according to my official aroma critic (one of my daughter's)! Fantastic!
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 15, 2002 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
This is not one of my favorite IRC blends, but frankly, I like it more than their 3-star aromatics because I don't taste any oriental leaf. It is quite cool and I particularly enjoyed the nostalgic idea that I might be smoking something my Grandpa loaded in his pipe.

An age old blend that is popular with almost any age group, barely aromatic to please both the natural and cased crowds, and a flavor that pleases. This may not be a home run, but is certainly a double in most any ballpark!
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 01, 2016 Extremely Mild Medium Medium Very Pleasant
The description of this blend was pretty off-base, so I updated with the information directly from the IRC website. As you can see, this has a base of burley, virginias, and black cavendish, to which latakia, perique, and a casing of of vanilla have been added. I can understand why many describe this as being coconut flavored. The overall effect is reminiscent of coconut, but that is most likely just the cumulative effect of the various flavors. IRC states very flatly that this only has a light vanilla casing. If we take them at their word then the coconut effect is an interesting example of something being more than the sum of its parts.

The tobacco is an attractive light mottle of the burley and VA with darker flecks here at there. The cut is most definitely not ribbon - to my eye it is closest to a cube cut. It is pretty dry and needs little additional resting time before packing, and packs nicely without much fuss.

It lights easily and once started will burn very consistently with a light tamping now and then. The flavor started out dry and soapy to my taste, but this quickly dissipates and is replaced with a sweet, dry but rich flavor. I really cannot taste the latakia, but perhaps that is where that slightly soapy background and the dry mouth feel comes from. It burns so cool that I have a tendency to puff it too quickly simply because it lets me, and it tastes very good. I must admit that sweetness with a light coconut flavor is a good way to describe the taste, but the effect is very harmonious and light, without being thin or enjoyable like other, flavorless blends. I can almost convince myself that there is some kind of very light floral, lakeland thing going on, but it is probably just in my head, because I have to look to find it. The takeaway is that while this is light there is real depth here also, and you can enjoy exploring with a bowl.

This one has zero nicotine, so it would be a very good beginners blend as it does not bite, tastes good, burns easily, and will not make you woozy. Like all blends with vanilla it can get sharp if you puff too hard and fast, but it never reaches the level of tongue bite, and you really have to offend it to produce such an effect.

To me this is clearly a very burley-forward aromatic, and there is nothing wrong with that. There are some heavily cased German virginia based aros that will just destroy you if you do not smoke them exactly right. There are no such worries with this - just pack your pipe and go to town.

I always find it interesting that many of the old school aromatics had latakia and perique thrown in. We seem over the years to have developed a false line that excludes those tobaccos from most aromatics, and have lost something as a result. One of my favorite aromatics is Sillem's Black, which has a very substantial dose of Latakia, and Old Colonial benefits from these ingredients, no matter how little is used. They provide just enough structure to provide real flavor and a satisfying smoke from what would otherwise be a very light aromatic.

This one is growing on me. I am new to the blend, and frankly did not give it a fair shake because I had already tried Dr. Bradley, which is just much better to my taste. That is not, however, because Old Colonial is not very good in its own right - Dr. Bradley is just an amazing, one of a kind smoke. Even though they share much of the same structure they really do not taste anything alike, and Old Colonial is much in light with what one might expect from an old school american aromatic. If you are used to gloppy, wet modern aromatics then you need to see what was up 50 or more years ago, because they knew how to blend for flavor and enjoyment without creating a sticky mess. So Old Colonial makes a wonderful anytime, easygoing aromatic smoke.

I just want to add a shout-out to Peppino's review because he got it exactly right. It doesn't matter what you smoke, if you enjoy a good quality pipe then you are going to enjoy this, because it has a whole lot of good qualities to offer if you have an open mind. I have sugar-coated Gawith flakes that are more than ten years old, and I can honestly say that I can enjoy this, in the right frame of mind, (almost) as much as I can enjoy those Gawith nuggets of joy!
Pipe Used: Colm Magner Pot
PurchasedFrom: IRC
Age When Smoked: fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
This blend is pretty good, The more I smoke it, the more I appreciate it. I dont get the coconut I see in the reviews, just a light old fashioned aromatic mixture. The room note is good, and the taste "rich." All in all, a good tobacco.

Update: This is slowly becoming my favorite!!!!!
Pipe Used: Peterson Irish Harp canadian
PurchasedFrom: Iwan Ries
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2011 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I tried this blend among some others from Iwan Ries. I like this blend. It isn't overly wet, and it didn't bite. It burned nicely in both briar and meerschaum. I could taste the cocnut topping without it seeming to take over. The cut of the tobacco was varied. It had a tendency - at least for me - to burn a little faster than some other blends, making it good for larger bowls. The only complaint I have is that some smaller tobacco pieces got caught, leaving me to use more cleaners during the smoke than I normally do. Three stars.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 14, 2008 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
OC is a very mild aromatic which has a coconut topping. On opening, the pouch aroma is outstanding. It is a medium cut mixture which gravity packs easily, is easy to light, and burns smoothly to the bottom of the bowl. On smoking, I felt the coconut flavor to be tough to detect and one is left with a mild, Dutch like, tobacco taste. Like many IRC blends, the room note is very pleasant and sure to impress. This is not my cup of tea, but if you like easy to smoke, mild aromatics you should give it a try.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 02, 2006 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
This blend has a pleasant and distinct pouch aroma of coconuts with a chocolate scent in the background. When smoked, it is much more subdued than the pouch aroma with a moderate sweetness and flavor. I experienced no bite. This blend should please fans of light aromatics.

A cigarette is to be smoked. A cigar is to be enjoyed. A pipe is to be savored.

I rate this tobacco 8.3 out of 10.
1 person found this review helpful.
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