Lane Limited Crown Achievement

The rarest, most costly mixture composed of the finest Virginia, Mahalla, Dubac and Mountain Leaf Latakia. Recognized as the world's most outstanding smoking mixture.


Brand Lane Limited
Blended By Lane Limited
Manufactured By Lane Limited
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 1.75 ounce tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.76 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 87 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2020 Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant
This review is mostly for posterity, as it's in reference to the original Crown Achievement from the late '60s or early '70s; I believe the remake, which I've yet to try, has also been discontinued.

I don't recall ever having referred to a tobacco as 'luxurious,' but there you have it. When I first tried this blend I had a sensation bordering somewhat on disbelief, since I've never had quite the same experience with another tobacco.

The tobacco is very dark, with some ruby-red flecks, and it's supplied in a choppy ribbon cut--no long strands. Perhaps it was brighter when it was freshly-blended. It has a fetid aroma, like a pungent cheese, with a slight natural tobacco sweetness.

The mixture burns very well---effortlessly, actually, without burning quickly. It also renders copious plumes of thick, rich smoke. In this sense it was somewhat refreshing since it's not often you come across a tobacco that isn't a nuisance in one sense or another in terms of preparation, lighting, and keeping lit. An 'easy' smoke.

The Orientals are at the fore, in lock-step with the Latakia. It's a little challenging to describe but this blend is very light in body and yet has remarkably complex and satisfying aromatic qualities. The Orientals were velveteen smooth, with a demure creaminess and a soft dairy roundness. Burying my nose in the bowl I detected a caramel toasted-sweet scent of fresh popcorn.

The Latakia gave the impression of having been seasoned slowly, rather than quickly or aggressively, as it gave the sensation of layers of depth suffused patiently into its Oriental matrix.

There was an unmistakable sweetness which proved elusive. It was not a Virginia or Cavendish sweetness which often carries with it a sensation of depth of body. I can only describe it as an aromatic sweetness, whether from the Orientals or the Latakia, which somehow did not burden the tongue with a sensation of weightiness. This levity of body kept the experience from becoming tiresome or tedious.

I have read elsewhere that Hermann Lane despised aromatic tobacco. I have also read in periodicals of the day that this blend, Crown Achievement, was intended to be the crème de la crème, and was priced accordingly. I can say with unblinking sincerity that this must be one of the best tobaccos (nevermind Balkan blends) that I've ever had. I'm convinced after having smoked it several times that the ingredients used in its fabrication were the best that were available at the time (and certainly much better than most of what's available now) and blended by the deft hand of an artist.
PurchasedFrom: a garage sale!
Age When Smoked: 50+ years, I assume
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 21, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The woody, earthy, floral, herbal, dry, and slight sweet, spicy and sour notes from the Orientals take a lead here. The Cyprian Latakia is smoky, woodsy, earthy, lightly musty with some sweetness, and is prominent in every puff in a support role. The Virginia is grassy and naturally citrusy, and is the base for the other components to play off. The perique is a background player, with a little plum, raisins and spice. Has a light sweet note from somewhere. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. Burns clean and cool at a reasonable rate (especially considering how dry the tobacco is) with a very consistent taste. Has no harsh or dull spots, but does have a rough edge here and there. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. Needs an average number of relights. Has a pleasant after taste. Slightly creamy, it produces lots of smoke when you puff, though excessive puffing reduces the nuance of flavors. Darn near an all day English smoke if you so choose.

34 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 24, 2014 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable
This is the new 2014 Lane re-introduction of this old blend, with the original Perique formula.

Description says simple but typical combo of leafs, without detail of Turkish varieties. A ribbon cut, English-Oriental blend or Balkan in my book, but the Perique I assume makes it stronger. The Turkish-Latiakia component stands out in flavor, but the Perique tips it into a spicier-heavier breed.

First half of bowl in a newer Northern Briar (large cobbleshell) is nice tasting English but something kicks at mid-way point to ramp up the spiciness. I gather the Turkish is meeting the Perique. However, in the my 60's Dunhill pipe, the blend tastes mellower for longer but it still has a strong finish.

I suppose without the original formula Perique added, the blend would have been something like a Rattray lighter Scottish blend, which vary from bland to good depending on your preferences. This is definitely more of an Oriental experience and certainly is not flat.

I smoked some of the old Lane English blends in the 70's (including Medal of Honor, Black Knight, etc.), and they were on the exotic-strong side for me then. I don't specifically remember this one, but it still taastes like it fits that bill.

Peterson's Balkan Delight is certainly lighter than this but I don't detect any Turkish in that one to make a fair comparison here. A Balkan is a fairer comparison, but this Crown Achievement is toward the heavier of the line (and not just due to Latakia).

This is my personal experience after smoking nearly a full tin which I will finish. I will age the other tins I have to bring out more mellowness, but for someone who like fuller blends this is ready to smoke now. Cool but spicy. Interesting.

Pipe Used: Dunhill 120; Northern Briar Special
PurchasedFrom: PipesandCigars
Age When Smoked: New (1/14)
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2014 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable to Strong
When CA came on the market somewhere in the mid-sixities, I began to smoke it in my initial english blend explorations. Although never my absolute favorite, I liked it and continued to smoke it occasionally. This went on up until the time of the sale of the brand to another company who, to save money in 2004, took the perique out of the formula. This riled a lot of english smokers, but I wasn't one of them - I thought it still made a descent english smoke. However, I never bought it in the numbers I had with the original formula and didn't hoard the second version - I would buy an occasional tin and smoke it to completion. By 2012 I had smoked three of the remaining four first generation tins in my stash and, at our 2012 NASPC show, Leonard Wortzel of Lane Ltd. bought my last tin. He told me that it would be used as the model for the new tinning design, and it was. Leonard talks about this on one of the popular pipe smoking sites.

As to the smoking quatities of the new version, I found it to be just about as I remembered it to be originally: solidly a heavyish english blend comparable to many of its competitors both then in the old days and now. If anything, I thought it was actually stronger than the original with a little bit of bite to it - not tongue bite but a spicey type of bite on the palate. My first reaction to this was that I wasn't going to like it, but this went away with subsequent smokes. I then began to use it as my heavy component in microblending english blends and this worked out very well.

Never my absolute favorite english blend in the past but solidly acceptible at any given moment, I would have rated it three of four stars in the past and that is still my feeling and rating today. I have no problem recommending it and hope it will be around for a long time to be enjoyed.
Pipe Used: Ser Jacopo half-bent billiard
PurchasedFrom: pipesand
Age When Smoked: new
21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
This is for the new 2014 re-launch of Crown Achievement. In all fairness it probably deserves a brand new entry and a fresh start on reviewing. I tried the bulk of this in the mid nineties if memory serves me correctly and didn't think much of it but make no mistake, this is not that.

From the first puff of the first bowl I was drawn into this blend. This greatly surprised me as I approached it without a sense of hyped anticipation. The latakia and orientals seem to play like best friends with a smooth sweetness from first light and throughout most of the bowl. The perique is subtle and adds perhaps a whiff of spice. I like this new old blend a lot and intend to add tins to each tobacco order in the future.
Pipe Used: Ashton LX billiard, Northern Briars Lrg. Poker
Age When Smoked: 1-14
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is a powerful bulk Latakia blend. The leaf is of exceptional quality, and, in my humble opinion, very special. deep Latakia flavor that provides huge volumes of smoke. The Virginia and exotic Orientals add a depth to the blend no often found in tobaccos of this style. The Perique plays cat and mouse with the palate the entire time and that was a good thing. Man, this is good stuff!
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2011 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I think OldSage review below nails it. This blend may have some high end tobaccos, but they don't seem to be blended right and its just a sour mess. It's no surprise that this blend is now gone. Boring, flat and sour. Not Recommended.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2011 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I've sampled this tobacco off and on through the decades. First off, it takes a practiced hand at slow smoking to bring out the best in this blend; it's not for beginners.

Ultimately, I feel that Crown Achievement is what happens when someone without an understanding of true balance undertakes the task of blending a premium English/Balkan-style mixture. Lane used the finest Orientals and Latakia they could buy in this, but not in judicious proportions. A heavy hand with the Orientals turns it a bit bitter and "woody" in character, and a lack of finesse in the selection of Virginia renders the mixture a bit sour and hot. It's reminiscent of someone who, when they first strike it rich, goes out and automatically buys the most expensive champagne and caviar. If it's that expensive, it MUST be good, right?

It takes a great deal of time, experience and training to learn how to be a master blender, especially in the range of English mixtures. I am under the impression that, rather than using a master blander, Lane just threw money at Crown Achievement.

Actually, Lane A-100, far less expensive, is a better-balanced blend, and quite good.

Crown Achievement can, however, be the basis for some successful home blending; some people add various McClelland bulk Virginias to this with excellent results. Even a 50/50 mix of Crown Achievement and Virginia still has enough Orientals and Latakia to qualify it as a "Medium to Full Balkan" -- and it's quite a bit more smokeable.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 09, 2014 Mild Medium Medium Pleasant
A handsome medium ribbon cut, non-moist ready to smoke tobac, perhaps best aroma from the bag, bulk blend I have experienced. Evaluating Crown Achievement following another Lane Bulk blend, RLP-6 and finding a ‘favorite’ brings this CA blend a challenge to rate as high. A wonderfully constructed and balanced blend I had to learn to manage the burn characteristics – which proved to be worth the effort. The rich and rewarding flavor aromas get into gear the last half and deliver the wonderful top note and slip stream aromas that I need to have in an outstanding bowl. Just the right hint of perique to not overwhelm, CA reaches for and gets a 4 star.
Pipe Used: Greek Briar, Tsuge
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: Bulk Fresh
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This review is of the new tinned version.

This one frustrates me. It's muddled. I can get flashes of something good then it disappears as soon as it shows. No one component dominates they just show and disappear in random fashion. It also burns a bit warm regardless of the rate at which it is smoked. Can't recommend this one.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2009 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm not sure what planet I've been living on but I've only recently learned that this was sold in bulk... after Lane's dropped it! I've always smoked the tinned version and my review is of a well-aged tin.

This blend is the same as I remember it from years ago, memory being what it is, of course! Very smoky tasting with a light sweetness, it has a bit of "zing" to it - a mild sharpness reminiscent of 965 but I don't find they actually taste the same. Or even similar. But the mild sharpness is there. Hard to describe but you'll know it if you're familiar with 965.

Just the right amount of latakia, which drives the blend. The light sweetness could be from the virginia and/or in combo with the various turkish tobaccos. I don't smoke a lot of latakia these days but I do plan on spreading my one tin out over time to make it last because when I'm in the mood for latakia, this blend is an excellent "go to" smoke. I recommend this if you can find it in the tin, as it seems the bulk version is different, based on the reviews below. The tinned version sings!
7 people found this review helpful.
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