Mac Baren Golden Blend

Since Golden Blend was introduced back in 1952 it has gained many, many fans all over the world – rightly so. The special selected brown burley tobaccos, mixed with just a touch of golden Virginia, are carefully pressed and stored. The large slices are cut and partly rubbed up, which makes this blend easy to fill into your pipe. This slowly burning burley based blend is very satisfying and you will enjoy the slight note of chocolate – a note that all good burley tobacco produces naturally.
Notes: American pipe smokers will find this blend under the name of Golden Extra.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 100 grams tin, 50 grams pouch
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.03 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 95 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 28, 2007 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This is a favorite of mine in the MacBaren line. It is not too sweet and has a nice tobacco taste. Perhaps a bit bland for regular consumption on my part, but a nice change of pace.

One of the best tips I received regarding smoking Mac Baren's blends is to "take your time and puff slowly." A terrific article on Mac Baren's appears in the Summer 2007 issue of Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine. Most of these blends are extremely popular the world over due to the quality of the leaf and the attention to detail regarding curing methods and the cut of the leaf. Mac Baren's is one of the largest blending houses in the world and they obviously take pride in their product.

Again, as I find to be the case with most MacBaren tobaccos, a slow burn is necessary to get the most out of Golden Extra. It is nicely rubbed and will pack easily in any size pipe. Since the flavor and strength are not overwhelming, fire it up in a big Ben Wade or some other Danish freehand and enjoy a long, slow and flavorful smoke.
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 25, 2015 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
The burleys offer earth, wood, nuts with light sharp notes, molasses and a lightly more obvious chocolate as the lead component. The Virginia provides a bit of grass, tart and tangy citrus, and light bread and sugar as a secondary player. It acts mainly as a cooling base to contrast and smooth out the burleys. The mild honey comes from the Virginia. The chocolate and sugar toppings tone down the tobaccos just a little. The strength is mild, and the taste is a couple of steps past that mark. Has very little nicotine. It needs to be puffed moderately to avoid a slight warmness to the tongue, but it won't bite. Has a few minute rough edges. Burns fairly cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very consistent flavor. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. An uncomplicated all day smoke that does the job you require with a short lived, pleasant after taste and room note. Three and a half stars.

16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 05, 2007 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Although burley blends are not my favorite, I am a big fan of MacBaren's burley. Although GE can smoke hot, I usually don't have a probem with being bitten. Golden Extra is easy to light and the flavor is full so I don't have to puff too hard to be satisfied. The taste is dark, nutty and creamy. For burleys lovers, and maybe even some that aren't, this is an excellent choice.

ADDENDUM: For those of you who like this blend, but have problems with bite, I have found that if you rub this into thin strands and pack it loosely, the burn and flavor are enhanced while the tendency to bite decreases dramtically - Excellent
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 09, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Mac Baren-Golden Blend. Fantastic!

I fail to see how any true piper couldn't feel enchanted by the natural aroma from this. It smells like a blend of consummate class. Natural and untainted.

My pouch contains mostly broken flakes (I bought a pouch not a tin). Big enough to still require rubbing or can still be sort of folded.

From the pouch it's smokeable but if given a few days once the seals been broken it becomes perfect. Either way, I adore the smoke!

I get no nuances of underlying flavours. What I do get is a superb smoke that's pretty heavy with Burley. The Burley accounts for most of the flavour. I only get a very slight Virginia taste. It's a Burley lovers delight!!

The nicotine seems fairly present. It's not over the top but it stills airs towards strong though!

The burn is good; I started a bowl whilst writing this and haven't had to re-light it once!

This is a superb blend. Brilliant. Four stars.

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Peterson Founders 2015
PurchasedFrom: Spain
Age When Smoked: Three Month
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 16, 2013 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable
In for a penny in for a pound. I love burley tobacco; I read the reviews and ordered a full pound. Why not, JR has it for the same price as 14 oz. of Prince Albert?

The tin note is fermented tobacco with what I perceive as unsweetened cocoa. The light cocoa doesn't present itself in the smoke though.

The tobacco lights easily and stays lit without effort - just fire it up and smoke. The broken flake cut (and a beautiful presentation it is) gives a decently slow burn. The broken flake really doesn't need much, if any, further attention. It produces billows of smoke. The flavor is very full and round in the mouth and while I don't really pick up the typical burley nuttiness it is definitely a burley forward smoke. There is very little sweetness and what there is may be attributable to the Virginia. On the bitter/sweet scale, it seems pretty neutral.

A point where I disagree with most of the reviews is the strength of the nicotine. At first I thought it might have been the bourbon I was sipping that put me on mellow street but subsequent smokes have shown it to be the nicotine. I don't think even 1792 has anything on this. That alone would keep this from being an all day smoke for me. I find it best just before bedtime - beautiful nicotine hit for sure. When I smoked cigarettes, I smoked Camels so I'm quite familiar with the feeling.

It is not a completely smooth smoke. It has just enough harshness to make it interesting - you know you are smoking something but the only time I pick up on it is when I exhale through my nose. Granger, I think, is harsher but still a very good smoke.

Regarding bite, I'm a moderate puffer so I don't get tongue bite from this but I'm sure if you got aggressive with it, it would get aggressive right back at you. It kept my tongue warm but pleasantly so.

Room note - I can't honestly tell since I'm the one smoking and I usually smoke outside if anyone is in the house and I like the smell of burning tobacco so I can't be a good judge. I expect it is at least tolerable though.

I prefer burley to any other tobacco and enjoy a number of drug store tobaccos. I've tried Virginias and just can't make peace with them - they are just too tangy for my taste unless blended generously with burley. I used to smoke English blends primarily but eventually tired of the overpowering Latakia. After 40 years of pipe smoking I've come to peace with traditional American burleys. They are simple, flavorful and easy to smoke and Golden Blend fits into that category nicely at or near the top of the genre.

For all day smoking, I generally prefer a milder tobacco with a bit more sweetness, Sugar Barrel or even Granger perhaps. Unlike tobaccos where you need to concentrate on the complexities or nuances of the weed, GB presents itself, in full, quite well without intentional focus on the smokers part. I suppose I would call GB a robust smoke.

I smoked Edgeworth Slice occasionally back when it was a drugstore tobacco ubiquitous in Virginia where I grew up and this is about as close to ES as I've found. From what I remember of ES, I like this better although I really miss those neat little blue tins with the hinged lids.

I'm giving this three stars now but will likely come back and revise it to four after I've gone through three or four ounces. I believe burley lovers will really like this one. Virginia guys maybe not so much. Also, new pipe smokers may want to avoid this one for a while as it requires a bit of puffing finesse for quiet enjoyment not to mention the prevention of oral meltdown.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 27, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
One of the best Burley's out there. I thought it would have that honey-on-toast sweetness, typical of many Mac Barens (and which some fellow pipe smokers abhor). But to my surprise this was a wonderfull natural tasting tobacco, very discreet yet flavorsome, easy to light and easy to smoke. Nothing spectacular, but very reliable, simple, and easy going. Strongly recommended to those who wish to try natural tasting tobacco or expand their Burley experience beyond Prince Albert and the like.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 20, 2013 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable
I have a pouch of Golden Blend, and I have been quite hesitant to smoke it. It has been on my deck for more than a year. Something made me go for it, and I must say: what a surprise! Strong burley presence through the whole smoke. Smokes good, no tongue bite, medium palate warmth (unlike the London Blend Burley) and taste is preserved all along. Voluptuous and straightforward in the same time. I definitely recommend it for a nice cool afternoon.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2012 Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
King Tut had a butt and, well, lets just say the color was Gold just like this Golden Blend.

I remember the day that I first discovered the color of King Tut's butt. It was many, many years ago.

Me and some of my old friends from the club in London had decided to go on an expedition to Egypt to look for lost treasure in the late of 1922. It was really more of an all inclusive vacation where we gave native children candy, shot exotic beasts after luring them in with bait, and committed adultery with young Egyptian women half our age, but we did decide to waste time and money searching for lost treasure of ancient kings. There was one thing that we were after, a treasure rumored for centuries by the natives; The Butt of King Tut. The legend had it that King Tut had a butt and that the color was unknown. There was much conjecture in the folklore; some said it was red, some said yellow and some even said blue. But the main-line legend went that King Tut's butt was made of pure gold and that he was buried with it. So we set out to find it.

What began as a short trip, quickly became a year long pursuit and dead end after dead end. I remember that fateful day when we stumbled across a door with an Egyptian inscription that roughly translated to "Golden Ass." We knew that we had finally reached our destination. My colleague, Harold and I wanted badly to open it, and couldn't wait to tell the others, so we had a native assistant (or "trap bait" as we called them) open it up, knowing full well that there was likely a lethal booby trap waiting to kill the one that would walk in first. And sure enough, after he pried it open, spikes shot down from the roof and skewered him in the similar fashion of a Kabob. We proceeded into the room and merely moved his dead, lifeless body off to the side... we had gotten what we paid for.

Once inside, we saw treasure beyond our wildest dreams filling the room to the ceiling in a chaotically organized way. And there in the middle we saw King Tut's butt. The butt was pure gold. The legend was true. King Tut's butt was real. Both Harold and I rushed towards it, hands touching the golden apple bottom at the same time. At that point we looked at each other and knew that only one of us was going to leave this place alive. Both of us reached for out knives and set 10 paces from each other to begin our battle. Harold began to come forward at me, but then I remembered the gun I had holstered at my side. A gun was something that Harold lacked. And since I was much richer than Harold, I had one. So I took it out and shot him in the leg. I wanted to savor my victory.

After shooting him, Harold begged me or mercy and begged that he might have the Butt for himself. He gave me a pity story about how he was penniless and needed the money to save his children from starvation. I merely told him that i had more important things to think about; like glory and egyptian prostitutes.

After removing the Butt from its sacred resting place, the room began to shake and the doors began to close from the inside. At this point I truly was faced with a choice. My friend Harold, or the Legendary Butt of King Tut. Naturally I chose the butt, glory and prostitutes. Harold's bones I'm sure are rotting there to this day.

Everytime I smoke this blend I gaze once more upon the butt that sits above my mantle and remind myself of the glory days.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant
This is another packet MacB I will be adding to my rotation. A nice burley in the continental style. This is not Old Joe Krantz, a great strong classic burley, or Barbary Coast! But none the less a very nice mild one, without any casing, just that honey on toast taste you get from all MacB's. They don't mention any of their Cavendish in this blend, so I guess they can add that 'honey' taste to any blend. It is nutty, but one of the least 'nutty' burley's I've ever smoked, it's more Brazil nut than walnut.

This gets a strength level of 3, according to their own rating. I find all MacB's fairly mild, so the other level 3's I smoke are Plumcake, Dark Twist and Navy Flake. The only exception is Mixture which is a level 2.

I love MacB because they set a benchmark for price and quality when it comes to Drugstore packets. I love the hassle free nature of the packet, and the price being mostly 30% cheaper than a tin is a bonus, hence I'm always ready to try another MacB. I'm glad I did on this one. I find she DOES have that MacB bite, take care and you will have a nice all day smoke that won't break the bank and makes a nice change from aromatics and VA/pers.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2008 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I am surprised at how satisfying this blend is. And the quality of the leaf is noteworthy.

This tobacco is pleasant; it's not wimpy and it doesn't overwhelm. The light honey casing complements the burley tobacco quite well.

I had been smoking VaPers, VAs, and English & Balkan blends and had the urge to try something else. So I turned to a one-year-old tin (labelled "Golden Extra") sitting in my "cellar." Maybe the small amount of aging has something to do with it, but for whatever reason, this burley blend really did the trick!

I enjoy many types of pipe tobacco; this hobby seems to offer a veritable smorgasbord of options. I had in recent months smoked few burleys. But Golden Blend out-did several really good Virginias over the past few weeks.

A creamy mouthfeel, along with a hint of honey and chocolate, accompanied a natural tobacco taste...when I dried it a little and "sipped" without puffing too vigorously (a technique properly advocated by many learned reviewers on this site, particularly Sasquatch).

Golden Blend (a.k.a. Golden Extra) gets a gold medal. Four out of four stars.

Govern Yourself Accordingly,

SmokeKing David
5 people found this review helpful.
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