James Fox Campanile

A blend of Virginian and flavoured with pure Turkish leaf. It embodies absolutely no black tobaccos and is a blend which is delightfully smooth and sweet down to the last shred.


Brand James Fox
Blended By Kohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.88 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 43 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 08, 2008 Extremely Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable
(Original review: 03/04/2003):

This is the second Fox I have tried, and just as with Provost, this one has instantly become a favourite of mine. If anything, this tobacco proves that Orientals need not be harsh or rasping to provide a very tasty, refined and subtle flavour, and when skilfully combined with the proper Virginias, produce something very close to an all day smoke.

Campanile (an Italian word meaning bell tower, the one in the bright red tin depicting that of Trinity College, Dublin) is an apparently simple mixture of mild Virginias and Oriental leaf, mainly Turkish, with no Latakia or dark Cavendish. The quality of the Virginian leaf used here is quite similar to the ones used in some Dunhill mixtures (especially in Standard Mixture Medium and London Mixture), which means that their sweetness is not sugary, but more natural and subtle. In turn, the Turkish provides a very tangy and slightly sour undertone which, combined with other condimental leaf, produce a mellow yet flavoursome smoke, similar to Early Morning or Skiff, without the Latakia.

However, as you indulge in the fresh tartness of this blend, the interplay between Orientals and Virginias gathers strength, and becomes a livelier tobacco than the other two. It burns cool and clean, and the natural taste of the leaf pleasantly lingers on for a while. IMO this an excellent tobacco to start the day with, especially if planning to carry on smoking stronger Orientals later on. It is great with a cup of black coffee, just after breakfast, and prepares the scenario, and the mood, for more adventurous English blends. As with Provost, my only objection to this blend is the high degree of moisture in the tin. But airing for a couple of days solves the problem.


I regret to inform on the demise of the much beloved Campanile. Gone is the distinguished bright-red covered tin, and gone is that exquisite and delicate blend of Virginias and Orientals. What we are now being offered is a very bland and innocuous blend.

It is so similar to the current version of Early Morning Pipe, that I?d swear it is now being produced by Orlik. I recently ordered some from Martin MacGahey, in Exeter, G.B., thinking I would still find some last tins of the original Fox. When I wrote to him afterwards, he told me he thought Campanile is now being produced by Kohlhase and Kopp, in Germany.

It may be. But if so, this stuff has NOTHING to do with the previous version. It?s not that this blend is bad, but it simply isn?t Campanile.
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 09, 2003 Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant
This has the same scrumptiouso red Virginia ooomph of the delicious DORISCO, but instead of the zany Périque edge of that wonderful blend, this beauty is suffused in a cushiony cloud of glorious-smelling Orientals. This is what the word aromatic meant before it was usurped by the candy-smokers: the fabulous perfume of Turkish tobaccos.

As in any Balkanic blend, the beginning was a bit rough. The Virginia was a bit cutting, too. But it soon settled into a truly chimærical, smooth, marvelously and truly mild smoke, meaning that it was gently but exceptionally flavourful.

First-rate Virginia & Orientals mixes are rare, and rarely do they have the delicate power of this.

The room note and sidestream richness of this blend are wonderful. (If you love, as I do, the smell of Orientals...)
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Until about 15 years ago Campanile was one of my go-to blends. A remarkable and delicious concoction of turkish and virginia, it delivered every bowl and was tasty at any time of day or night. I have just opened a tin from the '90's and enjoyed a wave of nostalgia at the familiar whif of the sweetly sour leaf, the sourness of fermentation (!), an honest smell that is almost impossible to find these days. The mixed ribbon cut burned beautifully, relatively quickly yet cool and without bite, delectable from tin aroma to grey ash. This Campanile has gone the way of the many. If you are looking for something similar today, try Compton's Reserve No. 21. Although it has a smidgen of Latakia it is an excellent alternative and, even fresh out of the pouch, may be better than this well aged classic. The original Campanile: four stars (plus). The current version: two.
Age When Smoked: ca. 15 years, maybe more
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 01, 2006 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant
Campanile managed to secure a perception that I have been carrying around for years. This is that Latakia is over rated. Here is an English blend that is the best tasting English blend I have ever smoked and it has little to no Latakia, depending upon whom you ask. The combination of light Virginias and various sorts of Turkish make for a blend that tastes meaty and toasted and simply wonderful at any time of the day.

I get the impression that Latakia was once a mere component in the whole range of blending for the pipe, and only in recent years became a genre in itself. Why should it be the end all, be all of this style of blending when Campanile and other fine mixtures of old manage to do such amazing things without relying upon it?

One warning is that this much Turkish leaf can burn hot if one is not careful. I wanted to smoke one pipe of Campanile after another, but would find my tongue becoming a bit sensitive over time.


A. Morley Jaques
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 30, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
The Virginias are grassy with a touch of earth, and light tart and tangy citrus, woody notes. The Turkish is woody, earthy, herbal, vegetative, a little smoky, with a hint of butter and sourness as a strong competitive player. I detect a hint of smoky, woody, earthy Cyprian Latakia. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels are mild. Won't bite, and will smoke slightly warm only if you're puffing your brains out. Has a few small rough edges. A mildly creamy smooth smoke that burns at a moderate pace, clean and cool with a mostly consistent flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste, and lightly stronger room note. Produces a good volume of smoke, though I don't recommend puffing like a steam engine. At times, it reminds me a little of Turkish cigarettes I have smoked, though I would not say this is cigarettish. An all day smoke that does well enough, but doesn't have a range of flavor or body to make the "must have" list.

6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2010 Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
White tinned version. There is definitely a small amount of black tobacco in this, which tastes and smells like latakia. Or maybe it's the type of latakia that supposedly isn't in Presbyterian Mixture - a sort of non-latakia latakia. All I know is that both blends taste faintly of latakia and leave a room note of latakia, not to mention the tin aroma. So if it's not latakia, it's doing a very believable impersonation.

I found this tobacco unmemorable. The virginias seemed moderately interesting and there was a wisp of muted orientals that showed up from time to time but the predominate flavor was latakia... not that it was very prominent at all. The trouble with this blend is that there was not much flavor at all. It was mainly the proverbial "warm air" smoke. I never got to smoke the original but I'm guessing it was a richer blend in the past. This is forgettable, and I intend to forget it now that I finished about 2/3 of the tin. The room note was decent but nothing to get excited over. Admittedly, I overpuffed a few bowls to get some flavor to develop and paid the price with a bit of tongue burn. When I puffed normally, there was very little flavor to be discerned. Recommended only to those who like very light-flavored tobaccos with no complexity or "color" to them. Not a bad tobacco by any means but certainly nothing I'd care to repeat when there are so many other more deserving blends.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 30, 2007 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Side by Side Comparison of Orcilla Mixture, Campanile and Original Oriental

I usually do not open multiple tins of tobacco at the same time of the exact same genre. But with the advent of Embarcadero, Yenidje Supreme and HH Vintage Virginia, all containing Virginia and Oriental leaf without latakia, I wanted to see how three ?classic? blends compared. Each has at least five years aging in the tin unopened. I do not have a tin of aged Cairo, or I would add it to the present review.

I laid out three mounds of leaf from each tin, equivalent to what would fill a very large pipe bowl and then some. As always for me, this is a test for the eyes, the nose, the fingers, the ears and mouth.

Orcilla Mixture: Color-wise, Orcilla is the overall lightest of the three. Mostly light browns and tans, with a few suspicious specks of dark leaf. Moisture content is just right, but there were more stems here than in the two others. There is a fermented nose in the tin and something very faintly smoky when I cup my hands around the tin and inhale through my nose very deeply. I am suspicious of Latakia, but am not confident.

Campanile: Darkest of the three and the reverse of Orcilla. The specks are the lighter leaf, while the remaining are medium browns to black. There are a few stems. There is something definitely smokey in the tin aroma, as with Original Oriental. This was noticeably moister of the three.

Original Oriental: Bright, black and brown in near equal proportions. The most visually interesting of three, but it is also the hardest to anticipate what it will be like smoking. Only a tiny stem. Moisture content is fine, but I smell something smoky, just like in Campanile. These are not supposed to have latakia, hmmm.

Cut: All three are a medium long ribbon cut, with Orcilla being much finer, followed by Campanile and then Original Oriental. All three are nice blends to handle, but will require care when loading due to the long leaf.

I decided on three of my best Virginia pipes for the test run, then one more whiff of Campanile and Original Oriental made me think better of it. I think they have Latakia. I will not put noticeable latakia or aromatized leaf in a pipe reserved for Virginia blends. I switched out two pipes for pipes used with very light English blends that had very little noticeable residual smell in the bowl. Orcilla loaded with ease, followed by Campanile. Original Oriental took more care. I used the Frank Method with each blend.

My notes on each blend as follows:


First Bowl Impressions: Not a light-weight by any means, and deep, earthy, spicy flavors betray the lighter appearance of the unburned leaf. I do detect brighter leaf at times. There?s a definite tingle in mouth and nose, but no Latakia, which is a good thing in this case. The burn is exceptionally even, white and rapid. My experience says, ?Respect this or your tongue will get slapped.? That said, it was easy keeping this cool. There is flavor aplenty. ?Sipping? this carefully avoids the need for aggressive puffing. Since this develops somewhat down the bowl, I?ll give my impressions on the middle and last third of the bowl.

The second third of the bowl is when the flavor intensifies. It does not vary from one flavor to the other, except when a little ?something? arrives. This ?something? might be Perique. If you do not generally like blends with Orientals or Turkish leaf because they are harsh, sour or oppressively acrid, Orcilla will change your mind. The Turkish in Orcilla are as good as any I have smoked in any blend and better than most others.

Last half is about the same as the middle third, but a bit more intense. I also sense more Perique. Overall, a solid blend with no arias, but Orcilla is surprisingly fuller than I anticipated without being overwhelming in flavor or strength.

Ongoing Impressions with Orcilla: I keep reaching for this of the three being reviewed here. It gets better each time I smoke it. The balance is perfect, highlighting the Virginias by off-setting them with the mild Turkish. The blender has a palate for subtle, rich flavors that anyone could enjoy who likes flue-cured leaf or Oriental leaf. This is World-class blending indeed.

Campanile: First Bowl Impressions: Subtle, but definite Latakia at the match and throughout, with a surprise taste of non-descript topping. Campanile is a nice, refined mild-medium English, but not an Oriental blend or a ?spiced? Virginia. It really does not develop much down the bowl, but does burn beautifully, cleanly, coolly, and to a dry, slightly mottled white ash. If J.J. Fox were a tobacconist in my neighborhood, I would feel quite blessed with access to such quality (and to think of the blending houses the residents of Edinburgh, Dublin and London had access to, without forgetting Kendal or Jersey, is to sigh that a great era has passed). With the price per tin and solid competition readily available, I am not likely to purchase more. I can still recommend it because it is well crafted, just not a niche that needed filling in my rotation.

Ongoing Impressions: Truly a clean pipe, clean palate blend. The Virginia leaf is top-notch and just gets creamier the more I smoked it in the same pipe on repeated occasions. This is far more refined than my staple lighter English, EMP. If I could get this more reasonably priced, I would enjoy a tin now and then.

Update: Having quite a collection of Oriental blends without noticeable Latakia and being quite confident of the ability of blends to be rich, robust and exquisite without Latakia, Campanile has some Latakia in it (or some other smoke-cured Turkish leaf [wink, wink]). Holding an opened tin to my nose, it is smokey and there is noticeable dark brown tobacco, akin to lovely Syrian Latakia. Dorisco is allegedly a pure Virginia and perique blend, but what makes it here in the USA has Latakia in it. That said, Campanile has absolutely no black tobaccos!

Original Oriental:

Initial Impressions: This is more in the genre of Orcilla, but darker still, with that acrid taste for which Turkish leaf is renowned. Thankfully, it is not sour, bitter or bitey. Compared to Orcilla, this starts off strong, like an amusement park ride launched by catapult. Orcilla starts more like the walk before the jog before the run. Despite the instant ?pow,? Original Oriental is smooth enough. The thought occurs to me that Original Oriental borders balkanic. There might be a smidge of Latakia here, but much in the way it appears ghostly in Pease?s Fillmore. If there is perique, it is quite enigmatic. I think Original Oriental is more like McClelland?s Yenidje Supreme, just fuller-flavored, but not as refined.

Ongoing Impressions: This has merit by itself, and I really do enjoy its complexity and richness. If I smoke it back to back with Orcilla and Campanile, it is ?odd man out.? I think that this is because Original Oriental demands my attention, and I do not always want to think too much about the ?act of smoking.?
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 25, 2021 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
At last found a tobacco I like to smoke at the very end of the day; light enough, but still with that 'sophisticated' though satisfying flavour. Plenty of light creamy VA here but with only that delicate and airy Turkish to go with it - none of those heavy or bitter orientals. Makes lots of smoke and a fair bit of ash too. The nearest pipe smoking gets, or should get, to a decent Turkish cigarette, but with more weight. This one is a rarity; you can find 50 VA flakes and hundreds of 'English' with Latakia, but not yet in 40 yrs smoked much like it. Different, and thanks for being different!
Pipe Used: Good English briars
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs cellared
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 04, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wish I could've tried the old version because this one has less value than used toilet paper. Definitely has Latakia, in fact, in a cob it's about all I can taste. The only thing I get from the other two components is a funky tasting tang and a bare hint of sweetness. I can't say that I care for this one at all.

Mild to medium in body and taste. Can't detect any added flavorings unless it's the funk. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 02, 2009 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Sadly, J.J. Fox in St James's London, my local tobacconist, now only appear to have four tobaccos that they still blend themselves; the remainder have been handed over to Kohlhase, Kopp.

Such was the destiny for Campanile. I must admit that the last time I smoked a tin was one I purchased in the shop in Grafton Street, Dublin; it was a red labeled tin. So when I purchased a few tins in London recently, without realising that Kohlhase had entered the arena, I was so dis-appointed that I brought back two un-opened tins for refund. Luckily, the manager happened to be in the shop at the time and as a long-standing customer, she spent an hour with me explaining the circumstances under which a complete transformation of their blends has been undertaken.

While I was reassured that the blending of my all-time favourite English oriental is still undertaken by them, and there are no plans, at present, to transfer blending to Kohlhase, there is a certain enevitably about the eventual loss of this great oriental that has been around since 1904.

today's Campinile is a different cut, a different aroma, a different flavour and an altogether different tobacco from the founding original: It is blended from medium cut virginian and Turkish leaf (no black at all); it's smooth and sweet to the last, but it lost its classic English character.

I reviewed as 'somewhat recommended' purely from a perspective that some, not familiar with the original blend, might still find it appealing, but be under no illusions - another classic English destined for the annals of history!
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