Mac Baren Club Blend

A roll-cake tobacco, spun from rich, matured Virginia and choice cavendish tobaccos giving Club Blend its medium strength and delightful aroma. Edit: According to Mac Baren's website, Club Blend contains Virginia and Dark Fired Kentucky. Besides maple sugar and water, no additional flavouring is added to the tobacco.
Notes: Introduced in 1955.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Cavendish, Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Curly Cut
Packaging 100 grams tin weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.97 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 22 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2008 Mild Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Update. Initially underwhelming, this tobacco has gone to the top of my rotation. Spicey marshmallow yum. It IS best in a fairly large bowl, smoked slow.

Actually, I can't say enough good things about this tobacco. It is a Va/Per in disguise, or something. It compares favorably with Escudo - Mac Baren's patented spicey cavendish mimicing a perique-y flavor. It is just slightly sweetened, so if Escudo is a bit medicinal, or "dry" in finish for you, try a tin of club.

I'm hard pressed to pick between this and Dark Twist. If I was ordering 100 lbs of tobacco, club would probably get the nod.

Well, I like Mac Baren stuff, it turns out. Learning to smoke Mac Baren products allows you to enjoy them tremendously, as well as to enjoy other, more forgiving tobaccos more. Mac Baren tobaccos aren't particularly forgiving, and I feel sorry for people who can't get around hot bowls and tongue bite.

If you do slow down, fiddle with the packing, and get these blends to work for you, then they are just magical. The idea of more flavor, more spice, more latakia, etc just down't apply. You are looking for nuances of marshmallow, honey, plums, rum, or whatever, depending on the blend.

Club is pretty straightforward. A little peppery and fairly light and sweet. Nice on a fall day.

I rub the coins right out and dry it just a bit. Then just smoke it real slow. A big bowl of club leaves me very satisfied, but not wobbly, which means there isn't much nicotine, really, because I am fairly sensitive to it.

So, if you hate Roll Cake and Dark Twist, forget this stuff, but if other Mac B products have been enjoyable for you, then by all means, enjoy the coins and enjoy having people watch you rubbing and fiddling and setting up your pipe, old school.
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 03, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Mac Baren - Club Blend.

Lets begin with the opening of it: it has a similar aroma to the dark twist that I find pleasant. The rolls themselves are nicely sized and are very easy to rub out and fill with as they hold just the right amount of moisture.

It’s very easy to light and once lit it does not require many re-lights. The smoke is like a dichotomy between sweetness and spiciness which is very nice and it also doesn't burn too hot. The sweetness is one of maple syrup. I didn't get any bite but different tobaccos bite different people! The smoke is of a nice strength and I can detect the Cavendish in it which I adore! The room note gets much appreciation from all around. It really is pleasurable indeed!

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2010 Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant
This for me is an addictive blend. One of the mildest yet tastiest I've smoked. (Disclaimer: I'm not a cigarette-replacing, nic digging perfervid puffer of strong tobacco.) I like subtlety and nuance. And this one is incredibly nuanced. I rub the curly buggers thoroughly, let them sit overnight, and then light them up. It's complex and unpredictable. That I like. Sometimes it's subtle sometimes more in your face, but still complex and nuanced. A sphinx is what it is. The Sphinx of Copenhaguen. The Bloomy Dane. The Danish Relish. You get the idea. Excellent tobacco leaf irradiated with magic. This is from a two year old tin. I have two other tins dated last year. My mouth doesn't feel any untoward aftertaste whatsoever, just a lingering memory of sedate nirvana. No no no no bite whatsoever. Actually, I find it downright soothing. And I've just had four bowls in a 24-hour period, also known as one day. What a creeper baccy. Wait, wait.. where's it going?? Oh, yes. To the top of my rotation list.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 29, 2006 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Let me begin by saying that this has become one of my favorite blends over the past few years or so. I had shied away from MacBaren products when I started pipe smoking because of a dreadful throat and tongue excoriating experience early on with Virginia No. 1 before I understood how to smoke such tobaccos. I was a self-affirmed aromatic and drugstore burley smoker back then, and couldn't dream of what all of the fuss was about with all of these "fancy" tinned tobaccos. I had never paid too much attention to the tins of MacBarens at the local tobacco shop until one day I spied the red/orange can of club blend, read the description and impulse purchased. Soon afterwards I was hooked, and favorably impressed enough to sample most of the remaining macbaren tobaccos most of which I can admit that I enjoyed enough to send be searching further into the world of fine tobaccos. So, in a sense, I would say that MacBarens tobaccos paved the way for me to acsend into the world of good smokin'. Now, the thought of smoking something out of a sticky jar sends shivers down my spine. Club Blend is nicely packaged, somewhat moist on opening but stabilizing to a perfect consistency by the time the quater-smoked point is reached. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the bright virginia grassy dryness with the sweetness of the black cavendish. I can't detect any top-dressing but the cavendish is flavored with something that I can't seem to put my finger on. Some people have remarked that Dark Twist is the same thing as Club Blend, but I beg to differ. Dark Twist is another one of my favorites, but it is certainly darker and more somber and overtly sweet in both flavor and tin odor and has not the wonderful "bilayer" of taste that club blend puts forth. The bright virginia lays down a base, and then the black cavendish peeks out with it's velvety sweetness through the nose and palate. I like to stack pack the coins and then rub out one or two on top and I find that packed this way affords me about 45 minutes of constant smoking, usually without relights. For some reason, I have not been a victim of the dreaded "MacBaren Bite" with any of their roll cut blends like some reviewers have. It burns cleanly to a white ash and I have never heard a gurgle out of any of my pipes when smoking it.The room note is very virginia, less offensive to my better half than some of the blends I have endeavored to smoke indoors. I usually smoke at least one bowl of this per day, and I find that it makes for a nice "afternoon, after work, before dinner" smoke during that hour or two during which I like to have a hot cup of strong tea and read my mail or "weekend puttering around the garden or working on the boat" in a big billiard where the freshness of the breeze complements nicely the freshness of the bright Va. I save the evenings, though, for darker pleasures...
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 10, 2022 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant
The description in store said the tin was released in 2006, but I knew that Mac Baren had changed the tin designs at the turn of the Millennium, and design was old. I was able to find the period when it was imported to the United States. There was a great surprise for me: it turned out that the importer indicated on the tin was ordering Mac Baren before 1986! That, in turn, meant that the tobacco had been in the tin for at least 35 years. I opened the tin, poured the contents into the glass jar and let the blend rest for about a month, then decided to try it.

Appearance: over the years, the tobacco has turned into a tightly pounded, tin-shaped puck consisting of coins the color of a well-baked apple with slightly lighter streaks. Each of the coins was about two centimeters in diameter and a millimeter thick. The fresh coins could be stuffed into a tube in a stack, but over time the mixture dried up a bit and the fibers lost their flexibility. Now they could only be turned into ribbons and stuffed into the tube in the usual way.

Flavor: in one word, luxurious. A soft and dense note of figs clearly dominates, despite the complete absence of perique in the recipe. Apparently, red Virginia, fire-dried Kentucky and Cavendish twisted into bundles, glued with maple syrup and cut into coins, over 35 years in the tin produced an awesome result, similar to the flavor of a very good perique. There was a woody note with a slight smokiness through it, along with a faint scent of orange zest. I took a couple of coins in my hand, kneaded them a little, and over the fig base came the aroma of fine muffin bread. After a few seconds, it all came together to form a wholesome, calm and very pleasant aroma.

Taste: It would seem that with such a flavor, Virginia should have led the way. But to my surprise, once smoked, the flavor is dominated by a smoky, woody and nutty - but extremely smooth! - Kentucky note, shaded by the sweetness of baked fruit, candied orange and a subtle bread crumb, which is given by a mixture of Virginia and a small dose of Cavendish. Gradually, the smoky Kentucky note recedes into the background, leaving the woody and nutty component to dominate, the Virginia adds a little sweetness, the various notes weave into one dense, but light flavor. The tobacco, left in a tin for such a considerable period, has become much less demanding to the smoking temperature, and the harshness in it is pretty diminished, it doesn't bite and has only a little roughness in taste. Nevertheless, I don't advise to rush with it, because despite its age it smokes quite warm, burning out into a light gray dust and leaving almost no moisture in the pipe. By the way, the shape of the pipe does not affect the taste of the tobacco. The strength of the tobacco is somewhat below average, even in a extra large pipe I did not get a nicotine hit. The aftertaste is sweetish-woody, with an emphasis on the woody note, short-lived. The smoke from the tobacco has a faint woody smell and dissipates easily.

What's the bottom line? To be completely honest, mixed feelings. On the one hand, tobacco has become an excellent blend over the years, with Kentucky playing a major role, but this strangely doesn't bother me at all. I would be more than happy to smoke this kind of tobacco every day. On the other hand, to smoke such tobacco every day in modern times, back in the early days of my acquaintance with the pipe, I should have stocked up on it at every opportunity. To be honest, I know what a fresh Club Blend is, and this tobacco is obviously not for everyone. It's quality, moderately bright in flavor, but slightly pungent on the palate and burns hot enough. I'd be interested in getting my hands on a few tins and putting them on the far shelf. However, I recently had the opportunity to try a 20-year-old Club Blend and compare how much it has changed in the 15 years that make up the difference between the two tins.
Pipe Used: Peterson 80s, 106, System 314
PurchasedFrom: Online
Age When Smoked: at least 35 years old tin
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 31, 2019 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
It is a Curly Cut with a dark brown, almost black core of Dark Fired Kentucky (according to Mac Baren’s homepage), NO Black Cavendish as stated in the description above. Virginias in different shades of brown surround this dark core. The medium sized rolls look pleasant and it is effortless to rub directly into the pipe. Ideal moisture in tin, very easy to light, steady and cool burn, no tongue-bite.

The overhead description of this page mentions that there is a flavouring of “other / misc”. Again, this is in total contrast to Mac Baren’s description on their homepage. There is only maple syrup added for sweetness, and NO flavours whatsoever, according to Mac Baren. I cannot find any flavouring myself, I only get a palette of natural tobacco taste.

In my perception, the backbone of this blend is mainly Virginias, together with a rather dominant aroma of Dark Fired Kentucky. It is also possible that the boost comes from a robust Virginia. I’d say, for a Mac Baren this blend is quite strong, not in nicotine though. Sweetness is in the background, just right for me. I would call “Club Blend Roll Cake” a pleasant everyday mixture, strong enough to enjoy, without being too strong to smoke several pipes in a row. There are no outbursts of fancy aromas to dig for, it’s just a pleasant one to smoke. I will add it to my rotation, together with Mac Baren Dark Twist Roll Cake.
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 11, 2015 Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
This is one of the four curly cut tobacco blends Mac Baren currently produces (Roll Cake, Club Blend, Dark Twist, Stockton) and is on the milder side, very similar to Mac Baren's Roll Cake, but without the honey topping. There was another curlie from Mac Baren - Latakia Blend, but it was discontinued due to people not liking the small amount of latakia it had. This blend consists of Virginias and black cavendish tobaccos. Mapple sugar has been added to the blend to sweeten up the taste. Upon opening the tin I'm greeted with toasty aroma with a some grassy notes from Virginias. The coins look very neat with bright Virignias surrounding darker kernel in the middle which appears to be black cavendish. Moisture level is almost perfect for smoking it right out of the tin.

I usually pack the coins in the bowl without rubbing them out. I take 5 - 6 coins, stack them together and roll them up, then insert the roll into the bowl of the pipe. I love smoking them this way because, until the middle of the bowl it's just basically VA tobaccos, but when the mid-bowl hits, I'm getting this smoky taste from BC. Then after the mid-bowl it's mellowing out again.

Lighting this tobacco is a bit of a challenge. From the start it needs at least two charring lights, but when that's done, it burns pretty well.

I really love the taste, its toastiness. At the beginning I get the sweetness from the Virginias which mellows down as the smoke progresses. This is really satisfying smoke. Can give tongue bite if smoked too fast. I can get an hour and a half of enjoyment out of a bowlful of this blend. The strength of this blend is on the medium side. Nicotine level is on the low side.

The room note is noticeable, but is not offensive. Actually it's rather pleasant.

Would definitely recommend this blend for all pipe smokers.
Pipe Used: Stanwell No. 95 "The pan"
Age When Smoked: 6 months
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 15, 2003 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Club Blend is a delicious treat for Virginia fans. It has a fairly narrow dynamic range but is never tedious. The roll cake cut is easier to deal with than flake cut. The little disks rub out readily and you control how fragmented it is. I suggest you want the first couple of disks pretty coarse, the next couple a little more completely broken up and the last one or two thoroughly rubbed out. This treatment ensures that your pipe will be easy to light and keep lit.

If you smoke slowly, Club Blend has a sweet disposition. No Virginia is going to be bite free if you rush. Virginia tobaccos have a natural tanginess. The usual Virginia/perique blends are tangier. By comparison, this blend (Virginia/cavendish) is very smooth and mellow. There is a nice natural sweetness to this tobacco and it may get some artificial help, but if so it is very subtley done.

Non-smokers will likely find this unoticeable or will comment favourably on it.

When Canadians are considering the price of Club Blend they should bear in mind that it comes in 100g tins.

I like this tobacco and will keep it in stock.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I got lucky and bought a Batch from 2009, upon opening it i smelled the classic Mac baren aroma and another smell that reminded me of dried figs. this tobacco is thinly sliced rope , sticky , darker tobacco colors dominats the lighter one and it was a little wet some may find drying it makes it better i just smoked it as it is and worked out fine.

picked 4 discs roled them and stuffed them vertically in my bent billiard pipe , lightly rubbed another 2 and filled them above and it was a perfect smoke for me i enjoyed it for around 2 hours sipping slowly , it tasted sweet, bready and it had this lovely spiciness, sometimes the spiciness dominates other times the sweetness dominates keeping you entertained. this tobacco is mild to medium in strength nothing is overpowering here. it burned completely and needed around 5 relights to finish the bowl . 1 point for taste (subjective)(don't bore you) 1 point for not biting at all 1 point for quality 1 point for price.
Pipe Used: Chabôt bent billiard
PurchasedFrom: locale store
Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin (a batch from 2009)
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 19, 2020 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a nice easy smoking, tasty tobacco, the black Cavendish seems to be nicely dispersed throughout each coin and the Virginia is there too of course. This is a cousin to Dark Twist, except is seems to have less of the dark fired leaf in it. it's quite tasty, a little sweet, a little spicy, a little smoky and burns well. I rubbed about 4 coins out and let them dry for about 20 mins. before loading up my pipe, I find that doing this with most Mac Baren blends staves off that dreaded tongue bite. I'm going to cellar this to see what a little age does to it. 3.5 stars.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Bent Roma 614
Age When Smoked: 4 months
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