Rattray Macbeth

Macbeth is based on an old recipe, but the taste is still timely. Enjoy the natural aroma of pure, fully ripe Virginia the best quality in combination with burley. Sometimes the most delicious blends do not require many ingredients. "Macbeth" is the best proof.


Brand Rattray
Series British Collection
Blended By Kohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Fruit / Citrus
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.40 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 15 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 10, 2018 Mild to Medium Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
I quite agree with DK’s recent review you can read below. The tin aroma is sugary, fruity but I do not perceive any rum or cognac. The smell is certainly sweet but impossible to identify exactly. The tobacco burns very quickly and it seems to be a cigarette tobacco. It could be a RYO tobacco, although the cut is a ribbon/loose cut and not properly a shag. Anyway, for a better tasting you have to smoke slowly. There is flavoring, yes, but it is more topping than casing. Overall a slightly flavored blend, modest, that does not stand out. Not for Virginia lovers, not for Burley lovers and not for aromatic lovers. This blend is a compromise that could be appreciated by all those who have not too marked preferences. In my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 6 and two stars.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 22, 2018 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant
Sand-to dark brown ribbon cut with a tin aroma of fruit, although I think it's less "fruit" and more something like cognac or rum, with an OTC-like tobacco scent underneath. Easy to load and I found that a tight pack was best, as this stuff burned like dryer fluff.

I'm always saying that tobacco reviews should be based on AT LEAST an ounce in order to have anything resembling reliability. A smoker just has no clue about the blend after a bowl or two. There are a few exceptions (heavy aromatics)... and this one. I smoked the entire 4 oz over a month's time. I smoked it after breakfast, outside, before dinner, late at night, in bowls of all sizes, shapes and makeup. I DBT'd it, I puffed it fast and slow, I snorked and mouth-puffed. I smoked it every which way. At no time did it's presentation alter in the slightest. The cognac/rum (or whatever) topping was present in every puff, lending a bitter-sweetness that was clearly not Virginia-based. The tobacco flavor was non-descript... it may as well have been a Marlboro. It tasted "tobacco-y". Sweet Virginia lovers can avoid this one, as well as those that are looking for a nutty burley. All the overused reviewer adjectives were thrown out the window. This was simply tobacco with flavoring (and shame on K&K for claiming no flavoring in this one!). Not a bad blend, but definitely not British and certainly nothing from the mind of Charles Rattray. I have another tin that I'm going to use as a blender.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2014 Very Mild Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant
Called a 'loose cut' by K&K, the Virginia is a fine cut ribbon with somewhat wider and shorter ribbons of burley. This is very beautiful tobacco! Gold with gold! And very easy to work into the pipe.

Tin smell: fruity. They swear there is no top flavor, so this is casing, and very present.

The smoke is very light with a wee bit of tar providing the counterbalance to the light fruitiness of the casing which is the mainstay of this blend.

Surprisingly it does convey a bit of nicotine.

Innocuous at best, I find little to recommend this tobacco beyond its spectacular appearance and easy workability.

Although K&K produce many first rate tobaccos, this one is somewhat of a mystery to me. Many will question its inclusion in their British Collection.

Summation: harmless. One star.

After writing the above I bumped into an old acquaintance in town who has also been smoking 'English' mixtures for over 40 years. Gave him a sample of Compton's #21 which I was smoking when we met. He handed over a mixture he had just made and said he used a good portion of a new blend from Rattray's, Macbeth, that was just too flavourless alone. He had added some Latakia, a bit of Orient etc. Later I smoked his mixture and it worked well, so there's an argument. It has potential as a mixer and that ups this recommendation to two stars for now. Perhaps it will develop with age.
Age When Smoked: three weeks (new on the market)
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2016 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
This is a very attractive tobacco blend, with an overall mahogany hue. Closer examination reveals some darker bits, grading to light tan virginias, but nothing resembling black cavendish. Moisture is perfect for me, and the tin note is very fruity. The fruit aroma is more citrus than darker dried fruits such as raisins or figs.

Macbeth packs very easily using the three-stage method. I usually use the Frank method, which works very well with this. Two matches and it's lit.

The flavor is on the light side, and is primarily Virginia. I can tell there is some Burley in there but can't pick out individual flavors. This is definitely fruity, but to me the predominant flavor is tobacco. There is some essence added that I can't identify, but I would not call this an aromatic. There is also some bitey tingle, which I would attribute to red Virginia, as I am sensitive to the red. It is not distracting, though. Nicotine is evident, but never gets over mild-medium. Overall a very pleasant smoke that I enjoy.

It is worth noting that this is purported to be K&K's version of Peterson's Sherlock Holmes after Peterson switched blending houses from K&K to Mac Baren a couple years ago. The tobacco looks and smells identical in the tin to SH, but the taste is a little lighter with a tad less nicotine. The bite, to me, is a little more evident in Macbeth than SH, but it is not overly so. If I had to choose, I would give the nod to SH, but I enjoy both. 3.5 stars.
Pipe Used: Sorn Dublin
Age When Smoked: 1 year
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2018 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A light brown thin ribbon, just shy of being a shag cut. It has a pronounced fruit topping which I think is raspberry. Fortunately this burns off fairly quickly and doesn't intrude too much on the actual smoke. It might be fairly considered a light aromatic, and yet again K&K is caught telling fibs about what goes into its blends.

Despite this it's actually a pretty good smoke. I can't taste any Burley but that doesn't mean it isn't there. I think of it as a Va that has been touched up a little, rather than a VaBur.

Burns ok and is relatively uncomplicated, and, aside from the topping, has few faults. Seems to me that the constituent tobaccos were quality stuff.

Somewhere between a 2 and a three, but I'm rounding down on account of the nonsense in the description from K&K. So 2 stars.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
A very nice VaBur. The Virginias are sweet hay. The Burley is a little sweet and a shade more nutty than earthy. More Burley here than in 40 Virginia making this a little more fuller and rounder. It can burn just a little warm if you puff like I do, but it maintains it's flavor nicely. Solid 3 stars.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. No added flavorings. Burns very well. I notice some folks aren't getting much flavor from this. I get plenty in a cob. That may be the difference. Haven't tried this in a a briar and I probably won't. Burley suits me better in a cob.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 26, 2016 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Rattray - Macbeth.

The tin contains a perfectly medium brown tobacco, that's all there is to say about that! It's of a good moistness, just ready to be smoked straight-off. At first the blend seems 'no nonsense', that is, until I put my nose to the tin; I have to concur with O'Confrere from 11/03/14: it smells quite heavily of fruit.

Once it's in my pipe and burning, that's when I get nonplussed; there is a fruity edge, but it's nowhere near as strong as the tin note had implied. Actually, there's not much more than the usual citrus/fruit flavours that would normally hail from Virginia, without the addition of any toppings.

Aside from the superbly loud and brash Virginia, I also get a very good taste of Burley: it's nutty, slightly toasty, and it sort of brings the blend back down to earth and stops the Virginia being a show-off!

Regarding strength, I feel comfortable putting it in the mild-medium category. I wouldn't quantify it as mild alone, it gives me just a bit more than that.

Problems? Well, I'm starting to think that this may arise from my style as it's a common issue for me lately: speed of burn. With my first bowl of Macbeth, I put the tamper to the bowl to adjust the smoke, and it shot to the bottom; I was tamping ash! It had all burned in no time at all!

Forgetting my rubbish style of piping though, I somewhat enjoy this; I don't 'four-star-love-it', but I do 'three-star-like-it'!


Pipe Used: Levent Meerschaum Claw
PurchasedFrom: My Smoking Shop
Age When Smoked: Four months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2019 Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable
Perhaps I was expecting too much from this being Rattrays an' all. I mean the tin aroma is incredible, you'd think this was an aromatic.

It is somewhat reminicent of Dunhill's Royal Yacht. That blend is no more of course, and has one thing in common with Macbeth, and that is they are both utterly tastless.

There's nothing wrong with the tobacco. It's got a rich golden hue to it, loads easily, and retains it's cake as you progress through the tin. Relights are infrequent and it burns really nicely, but it desperately needs a topping of some kind.

I'll finish the tin easily enough as, despite the lack of flavour this can be smoked at anytime of day, all day long without danger of the dreaded tonguebite.

This blend hasn't done anything wrong, it's just devoid of taste.
Pipe Used: Briars
PurchasedFrom: Smoke-King (Greens Leeds)
Age When Smoked: New
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2015 Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable
Upon opening I encountered a nice looking tobacco with a slight tin note , this looked like something that I would enjoy . A high quality Virginia , nicely cut , with an acceptable moisture level . And a Ratray's no less . Wow . But that's all folks . Almost no taste . Toward the bottom of one bowl I achieved a little Virginia taste , but very slight . But the can proved very valuable after all . I used it to cut my favorite Samuel Gawith tobaccos ro cut through their extreme moisture and add nothing to their fine flavor . As a mixer give this one 4 stars but on it's own , 2 is a gift.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2022 Mild Mild Mild Pleasant
I am pretty sure that Rattray's Macbeth is clone of Peterson Sherlock Holmes.

Appearance: both blends look the same, except that the Macbeth was a little brighter in hue. It's a quality fine ribbon cut of three varieties of Virginia, dominated by orange, added a small amount of burley, which may well get lost in such an abundance of Virginia. The tobacco in both tins was a little moist, which I mentioned to its freshness, but did not contain excessive glycerin or propylene glycol. Judging by the sample I have from the 2015 tin and the year difference between the Sherlock Holmes (February 2021) and Macbeth (summer 2022) tins, the blend darkens rather quickly as it ages, taking on a milk chocolate hue.

Flavor: Sherlock Holmes and Macbeth have an almost identical flavor from the tin, except for one minor detail that I will mention. When I opened the tin, I felt an unobtrusive but quite perceptible flavor of topping. Its composition is unknown to me, but the topping gave off an aroma consisting of notes of apricot, anise, and a slight lemon note. In the case of Macbeth, a bit of corn molasses was also nailed to these notes, and the presence of extra sugar listed in the formulation of both tobaccos suggested that it was indeed present. Why molasses is less in Sherlock Holmes than it is in Macbeth, I don't know. But after a couple or three minutes, its flavor in the Macbeth weakened so much that in a blind test I would hardly have picked up the difference. When the flavor of the topping dissipated a little, the tobacco notes came through, clearly indicating that I had the most common Virginia blend with a very small amount of burley in front of me. The wheat, hay and especially the woody notes came through a little more brightly, the nutty and earthy burley notes were muted. The blend, while very simple in composition, was equally uncomplicated in aroma.

Taste: I wasn't particularly surprised that both tobaccos were also similar by taste, so I'll describe their taste without remarks to one or the other. The sweetish flavor of the topping is present until about the middle of the pipe, but is especially noticeable in the beginning of smoking, where it is represented by the lightest apricot note, anise spice and sweetness. In addition to the topping, you definitely feel the Virginia bread note framed by dried fruit, wood tones and a slight nutty, almondy, cocoa notes of burley, which is barely enough to add density to the blend and smoke. And here I must mention one minor flaw in the blend. Unfortunately, in fresh tobacco, the overall flavor doesn't add up to a unified ensemble until about the middle of the pipe, the birch and Virginia exist on their own. To understand this, I had to smoke a pipe of seven-year-old Sherlock Holmes, and its taste was more whole and the topping less obvious. Like all blends dominated by Virginia, this one requires attention to the smoking rate, overheating the pipe quite easily and giving the smoke a bitter aftertaste that turns smoking into torture. But even so, the blend doesn't bite. If you smoke it slowly, towards the middle the taste begins to be dominated by woody notes, through which sometimes a fruity sweetness of Virginia or a light nutty note of burly comes through. Some may not like this kaleidoscope, but it didn't bother me at all. The strength of the tobacco is mild, only smoking it in a extra large pipe at the end of the day I felt something akin to a slight nicotine hit. The blend slowly burns into a fine gray ash with some slightly darker large fractions, leaving some moisture in the pipe. There is virtually no aftertaste from the tobacco.

The smoke has a distinct woody note and wears off almost instantly without irritating those around you.

What is the result? First of all, I will note that Sherlock Holmes is copied very precisely by the Germans. As for the overall impression of the tobacco: it is a quiet, predictable blend of low strength, which allows you to consider it as a good everyday tobacco. It has almost no brightness in flavor and aroma, and by that it may seem boring to some. Other things being equal, I would prefer Laurel Heights by Gregory Pease with just a little bit of latakia for the fullness of flavor, and someone might like Montgomery blend with a little Kentucky for the same. However, fans of Peterson products can be calm - if the rumors turn out to be true, you have Macbeth.
Pipe Used: Peterson 80s, 106, 150, 999
PurchasedFrom: Smuggled from EU
Age When Smoked: 2022
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2022 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Second Rattray's from my list and I must admit it is better than my first one. It is a nice combination and there are pure flavors in this blend. Not a complex smoke, but it is possible to enjoy for a long and relaxed period, even without variations of aromas. It burns very well, however it can get high temperatures easily, especially at the end. I agree with other reviewers, even when is pleasant like it is, also can be useful to complement another mixture.
Pipe Used: John Aylesbury - Billiard Dunkelbraun
PurchasedFrom: Cigarworld
Age When Smoked: 1
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