Rattray Red Lion

"Red Lion" is a traditional unique English mixture. The typical smoky aroma comes from the fantastic latakia which is combined with selected golden Virginia, aromatic black cavendish and sweet Greek Oriental basma grades. A pipe tobacco to remember!


Brand Rattray
Series British Collection
Blended By Kohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.70 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 10 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This fine ribbon cut is surprisingly light with lots of golds and reds freckled sparingly with blacks.

This very full tin is from February 19, 2014 and is probably from the first batch made available.

Upon opening the moisture seems just right to the touch, but it has actually a moisture level of about 19-20%. It dries quickly though and profits from a bit of airing before firing.

Tin note: Latakia, slightly leathery, slightly sweet, lightly sour, very inviting. No casing detected. It makes an honest impression. No top flavor.

Sipping through the filled yet unlit pipe confirms the aromas from the tin.

At the match the Orientals (not the Latakia!) make themselves known immediately with a lovely musty earthiness that leans more toward the sour than the sweet. Then the Latakia kicks in followed closely by the bright Virginias. By contrasting markedly the individual components work very well together as a whole. Eye-opening, this is a lively smoke.

Middle third: things settle down, the tannic aspect which emerged earlier has become a toastiness (probably the development of the Virginias). The Latakia is softly present in a fine fullness of oriental flavors, nutty, herbal and earthy. The black cavendish is only remotely present. This is a very well balanced blend. It has become relaxing without becoming less interesting.

Last third: the orientals emerge with impressive depth.

Burns beautifully and provides a moderate (noticable) amount of nicotine. Leaves a pleasantly clean aftertaste.

Traditionalists may have a problem with new additions to the Rattray's line, especially as not all of the original blends managed to make it into German production unscathed. However, some did survive quite well. (Some did!) Kudos to K&K for their sustained effort and their role in providing many fine blends that would have gone by the wayside had they not stepped in (or up).

Must confess, I had little hopes for this blend. What a surprise! This is (IMHO, of course) a very worthy addition to the Rattray's line.

If you're looking for a Latakia bomb, this ain't it. However, if you enjoy fine Oriental mixtures with a back of Latakia, this is a must!

3.5 stars for now. With time in the tin this may very well become a solid 4 star recommendation.
Age When Smoked: two weeks (just on the market)
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2015 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
This is Peterson's Old Dublin which I've been smoking for years already. The old recipes have been taken over by Rattrays and are now sold as a new blend.
Pipe Used: Various over a period of years
PurchasedFrom: Curiosity Hut
Age When Smoked: Unknown
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2016 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Rattray - Red Lion.

I wasn't to sure as to what I was in the mood for today; so I did my usual trick that I employ when struggling to decide which blend to review: I select a handful of tins, drop them on the floor and hey presto: the one that settles closest to my feet is 'the chosen one'! That trick can go both ways, but today fate was nice to me! By no means is this a remarkable blend, it's not a show stopper but it's a good and steady smoke.

The tin contains a mixture of different colours, black to brown, tightly packed together. Due to this, the blend's held too much moisture in it; a bowls worth needs to be aired, otherwise it just gives off a hot smoke that's difficult to keep lit and bites. That, however, is a problem that's easy to get past. I leave a bowls worth out for about an hour and that seems to be just enough.

Once it's lit the smoke has a very relaxed flavour. It's not a Lat Bomb, in fact, the Latakia is possibly the lightest addition in the flavour profile. I enjoy it when the Latakia behaves more like a condiment or seasoning instead of being like a smoky beast; it makes for a flavoursome smoke rather than an astringent mess.

I find that the Black Cavendish gives a wonderful sweetness that works impeccably alongside the slight savoury character from the Latakia; it gives the blend a touch of uniqueness.

The Orientals/Turkish make up quite a large proportion of the taste. I'd consider them to account for a lot more of the smoke in comparison to the Virginia.

The nicotine's about medium, it's the right strength to be an all day smoke.

I enjoy this, like I said, it's not remarkable but it's a good smoke. Three stars seems justified.

Pipe Used: Peterson Harp #03
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Red Lion, one of Rattray’s newer offerings in the US, (I believe it has been available in the EU for a while longer) is another lighter English fare like Accountants, Professional and 3 Noggins. However, the flavor profile isn’t similar to those blends. My tightly packed tin presented surprisingly little in the way of a tin note. I think many will find the moisture content pipe ready right from the tin. I dried my bowls a few short minutes. I would put RL fairly low on the Latakia scale with Black Cavendish making up some of the dark ribbons. Rattray claims that there is no flavoring applied to Red Lion, but it seems to me to have a small amount of topping that I cannot attribute to the Basma. But I admit that that’s open to debate. The flavor is medium and I find that it burns hot if pushed. I am a fan of Black Mallory and Red Rapparee but only enjoy 3 Noggins and Professional after they have been aged. For me, age may be the only option with Red Lion as fresh from the tin, for me, it’s less than interesting and the fact that it can burn warm make it one for the cellar to retry in a few years.
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2018 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Tightly packed tin of mostly sand colored ribbons with a few pieces of black. Oriental forward tin aroma with just a hint of latakia and some grass underneath. I usually jar Rattrays tins as soon as I buy them, as I'm not sure I'd like to age tobaccos so tightly packed in the tins... but that may be just me.

At the match, this was a wonderful tasting tobacco that's missing just a bit of depth I associate with Rattrays. I'm told this is a rebranding of Peterson's Old Dublin, which I've never smoked (before). Orientals lead the way and they are incredible tasting! Juicy, sweet and spicy rather than floral or perfumey, and they meld with the light latakia brilliantly. This is a typical Scottish mixture and so fits into the Rattray stable quite well. It does remind me of a previous Rattray blend but not one I could place - 3 Noggins, perhaps, as I haven't smoked that one in awhile. A contemplative blend with just enough punch to satisfy in the morning or early afternoon. It has a slight sweetness that I associate more with cavendish than virginia but no discernible flavoring to speak of. I finished the tin rather quickly and ordered more but this will be an occasional smoke. I prefer RRR, Jock's, Black Mal and Highland Targe to this one but when I want to take a further step back, this will find its way to my bowl once again. 3.5 stars.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 14, 2015 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Got this blend By a friend.Opened the tin and smell was little bit like in Old Dublin or MM965.Yellow virginias,some oriental,latakia and some cavendish.The latakia is not so over powering like in Old Dublin,more aroma of orientals in tin note as latakia stays in background.After first light the oriental leaf and virginias give the sweetness with hint of bitterness.Latakia stays in the background.After half a bowl latakia lifts it's head while orientals,virginias stays on background.I couldn't taste black cavendish at all.It should be there...in old Dublin I can taste it but not in this case.It's a nice blend which reminds me of Royalty except it's stronger in every sense.For the smokers who can suffer from tongue bite,puff slowly and take your time.I found that usually I don't suffer from the bite this blend if smoked too hasty can cause that. A nice middle of the road Scottish blend.
Pipe Used: Savis Hercules and da Vinci
PurchasedFrom: a gift
Age When Smoked: 2 months
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
For my taste, the Black Cav is overdone here. The Basma is nice and salvages this to a certain extent keeping me from giving it one star. The Lat is light and that's fine. I really can't taste the Virginias and I get only a touch of sweetness overall. The BC just seems to smother everything with blandness. Just not my kind of smoke.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I can't detect any added flavorings. Burns very well.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 22, 2023 Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
I can say the following with complete confidence: Red Lion is a 100% Old Dublin clone.

Appearance: tin I opened was produced in early 2022. The blend is a neatly chopped small ribbon in which most of the tobacco is the color of milk chocolate, with flecks of slightly lighter varieties and a small amount of dark latakia. The tobacco is perfect in terms of consistency and moisture, it can be stuffed into a tube right away, the strips are short and have no need to be crushed somehow.

Flavor: Overall, a very smooth flavor of a “classic English” blend. A bit of suede, some wood smoke, a bit of tar, a slight hint of sandalwood, an unexpressed “wine and plum” portion of cavendish in the background, mixed with a slight note of baked fruits and a faint spicy note. No flowers or hay, almost no sweetness in the scent. Everything is quite subdued. It won't be much of an exaggeration to say that the overall flavor of the blend reminded me of Dunhill (now, by the way - also Peterson) My Mixture 965, but less bright. Naturally, another similar tobacco I can call Robert McConnell Marylebone, but that one is a little more fruity and has more latakia in the foreground. The tobacco is very lightly flavored. But I didn’t find a clue what (and why). At least the manufacturer doesn't give any information on it.

Taste: quite even, complex, however, as subtle as oriental tobaccos are in the flavor, so obviously they are in the taste, giving off soft, but perceptible sourish-spicy notes with a slight peppery tone, combined with woody, slightly astringent notes and a smooth earthiness. A little less noticeable, but distinctly smokiness and meaty latakia juice are present, although its density is lower here than usual for English blends. Some sweetness from the Virginia blend quickly comes down to a minimum, the tobacco taste becomes denser, but without bright tones, not counting the occasional burst of Oriental spice, which is already somehow prevalent. The tobacco smokes smoothly, cool and dry, forgiving the novice smoker of overheating without changing in taste. By the way, the shape of the bowl also does not affect the tobacco flavor - in bents and straight pipes it is almost the same. But the wider bowls more clearly reflect the taste of orientals. The blend burns into a dusty light gray ash, of which there is little left, and leaves almost no moisture. The strength of the tobacco is medium, in a very large pipe a slight nicotine hit is possible. The aftertaste is woody and slightly earthy, not persistent.

The smoke is faintly discernible in the room, it has the smell of smoldering wood and is easily weathered.

What's the bottom line? It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Rattray's Red Lion belong to the same family of old English blends as My Mixture 965 and Marylebone. Yes, MM965 is richer in taste and flavor, but the composition of all the blends is very similar, taste and flavor too. Anyone who tastes more like a slightly brighter latakia will take the MM965. Virginia and Cavendish are more prominent in Marylebone, which tastes sweeter than some Scottish blends. And Old Dublin and its clone, Red Lion, give credit to Oriental.
Pipe Used: Peterson 69, 106, 999, POTY 2007
PurchasedFrom: Smuggled through the EU border
Age When Smoked: 2021
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 09, 2017 Mild None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Was not a fan of it, old Dublin even tho very similar has more life into it or maybe the one I have just didn’t set well in the pipe. It’s worth the try, it might not WOW you but a cheaper alternative to Old Dublin. I will definitely finish the tin however unless I am 2€ short from old Dublin I don’t see my self buying it again.
Pipe Used: Peterson 150th
PurchasedFrom: Peter Henrichs köln
Age When Smoked: Current
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2023 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I gather that this was a rebadge of Old Dublin, when K&K stopped making the Peterson blends. To investigate, I've smoked this and (recently made, STG) Old Dublin side by side. They are very similar indeed, but not identical, but this isn't a surprise as they are blended in different factories in different years. Old Dublin apparently contains a flavouring, which I can't say I'm able to perceive, and I assume Red Lion may have the same. It's also worth noting that Peterson Old Dublin is sometimes compared to Dunhill My Mixture 965 - to me they are similar but not identical, Old Dublin being smokier with Latakia and with a treacley sweetness in contrast to the yeasty sweet aroma and flavor of 965. I prefer the latter.

On cracking the tin, the leaf is mid and dark brown with a little black leaf, in a short, even (more even than Old Dublin which contains some finer) ribbon cut, with crystals on some of the leaf. No pressed tobacco is apparent in either. Moisture content is perfect - low but not bone dry, in slight contrast to the Old Dublin which was a tad moister and did not dry out even in a poorly sealing metal tobacco tin I decanted it to. Old Dublin had a small proportion of bright leaf, Red Lion did not.

The tin aroma is sweet, pungently yeasty in the freshly opened tin, with brioche, smoke and quite subtle spice. Red Lion actually sits closer to 965 than does the recently made Old Dublin, to my nose.

The flavour is richly sweet at the light, with creamy smoke and toasty bread flavours. It remains rich throughout, gaining just a little oomph towards the end - on the richer side of medium in flavour, but no more than medium in nicotine. The smokiness of Latakia is slightly more restrained than in the Old Dublin, while the sweetness is somehow lighter and less treacley.

All in all, it's a satisfying smoke. I'm not sure how it fits in the Rattrays line up at all - the originals are perhaps THE comprehensive selection of "Scottish" mixtures (ie with Cavendish), spanning a wide range of flavours and intensities. Personally I'd rather some of the more obscure of those (such as Professional mixture or Highland Targe) returned rather than a rebadge of Old Dublin which may or may not be a knock off of My Mixture 965... That said, Red Lion is a little nicer than the current blending of Old Dublin so I can't complain too much.
Pipe Used: Various Meers and Briars, and a Calabash.
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