Mac Baren Original Choice

Original Choice is a new pioneering pipe tobacco which will appeal to "novice" pipe smokers and the younger generation. It has a mild, aromatic taste, and the truly remarkable thing about Original Choice is the fact that we have managed to develop a tobacco that does not smart on the tongue. Original Choice is made of specially selected tobaccos. It is a blend of Virginia tobacco from North Carolina and mild, air-dried Burley from Tennessee. One of the suppliers of the Virginia tobacco is Boyette Farm, where the Boyette family has been working since 1797 to produce the best possible Virginia qualities. Their success has been due in part to the warm and dry climate. It is now the fifth generation that has taken its place behind the solid oak writing desk to play roulette with Mother Nature, as the family puts it. Fortunately, thanks to generations of experience, the odds are stacked in favor of the Boyette family. That is why a plug of Original Choice is always a good idea. The packaging is made of an exclusive type or corrugated card, which not only looks good and protects the tobacco but is also completely environment-friendly. It is not every year that Mac Baren Tobacco launches new types of tobacco. That is why we have pulled out all the stops to make full use of our experience and our production of the new blends. That is also why we have managed to make sure that Original Choice does not smart on the tongue. Numerous test smokers have already given Original Choice their approval and have already made it their first choice.
Notes: Introduced in 1998.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By MacBaren
Manufactured By MacBaren
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 40 grams pouch. 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.76 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 30 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2014 Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant
Finally an "Aromatic" that doesn't taste like soap!! More than a few reviewers have said that folks that prefer Latakia Blends probably won't like this one. WRONG!! I love Latakia. I love Burley. I love Va and Ky as well as Orientals and Perique. When the tobacco is done right, I have a very diverse taste and enjoy many different combinations. Original Choice was done right, IMO. I am not a fan of aromatics and til now have not smoked any in many many years. I found this blend to be very pleasing to smoke, albeit a very light smoke. Nothing wrong with a light smoke sometimes. This one goes good with morning coffee and is a nice change of pace. Try it! You'll like it!
Pipe Used: Savinelli "Tignanello" 614 Oom Paul
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: New
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 29, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant
Mac Baren - Original Choice.

This has quite an intriguing description, so I was thrilled to try it! The mixture has a pleasing aroma to it: not particularly aromatic but more of a full tobacco smell with a slight fruity edge to it. It is of a perfect quantity with the moistness and appears to be predominately darker Cavendish pieces.

Due to the moisture level it lights up with great ease and once lit burns very even at a steady pace. The ash left behind is very pale and the smoke given off is a great temperature, not too hot nor too cool. The flavour is super! Although it is classed as an aromatic the aromatic side is incredibly delicate and doesn't mask the tobacco flavours. There is a VERY slight floral note but it is not at all omnipotent. The tobacco tastes are brilliantly balanced, I thought from the appearance it would be only a Cav' taste but actually they are all present at an equilibrium that is perfect. Vitamin N? Again perfect, and if you choose to inhale the smoke by exhaling through the nose the delicate aromatic side is embellished pleasantly. Tongue bite now: quite a surprise as unlike the expectation with Mac B's this one appears redundant in the bite department!

This one would make a stupendous first time aro' or a great choice for those of us that are sick to death of heavily cased cherry or vanilla ones!

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Peterson
PurchasedFrom: Smoke King
Age When Smoked: New
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 23, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Very Pleasant
What they say is true: this is a perfect smoke for a beginner. I thought I would move forward from Original Choice over the years, but actually I got stuck with it. It's my default if you like, something I always have in my collection. A lot has been sad about it here: it's a true rich aromatic, without any artificial taste, you can taste real tobacco. It has different layers of taste, different aromas while you smoke. It's extremely easy to smoke. All of this is true. But I have to add something.

I get back to Original Choice, sometimes for days in a row because of the after-taste. It has a very pleasant and long lasting after-taste that can make me dependent. I can feel it in my mouth (and beard) even 12 to 20 hours after the last smoke, and often it makes me covet. A sip of water can refresh it, and makes me want to light another pipe. And it has a wonderful beard capture. My family loves the smell of Original Choice in my beard, and when I smoke something else during the day, in the evening they will miss it. Where's your dad-smell?

This tobacco is my base, maybe it's not passionate love, but it is a long and warm friendship.
Pipe Used: Peterson bent Dublin, Szabó Ambiente large
PurchasedFrom: any better tobacco shop in Budapest
Age When Smoked: new from pouch
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 12, 2010 Mild Medium Mild Very Pleasant
A previous review discerns "toffee, figs and almonds" in MacB Original Choice, but I also received a whiff of something close to the cherry topping in SG Celtic Talisman, although much more subdued and almost vestigial, together with a bit of warmed up butterscotch. An extremely sweet smoke, thanks to the casing and the virginias. But not cloying, thanks perhaps to the burley. The base tobacco is extremely good and the general effect is one of a pleasingly sweet, rich and tasty smoke, right out of the tin. (Well, let it air a bit, as one should all MacBaren blends.) I wonder how it will taste with some weeks in the jar. Nicotine level is low, which I prefer, so YMMV. I smoke slow so I never get bitten by any MacBaren blend or few others for that matter. Again, YMMV. The ribbon cut should be filled loosely, not packed or jammed, and smoked in a size 4 at least for the maiden voyage. This and MacBaren Dark Twist Roll Cake would be excellent choices for the fall and winter months. I dare say the OC room note would give it an edge during the social commitments of the holidays.

02/13/2011 Update: I can't believe I only gave it three stars orginally. This baccy has "legs" and along with Dark Twist has become my favorite MacBaren blend. Time in the jar just makes it better.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 31, 2013 Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
First off, I am a lover of aromatics and have been smoking pipes for over 20 years. I was never a big fan of MacBaren blends, but my local tobacconist had an open tin of this mixture. I never buy a cat- in-a-bag when it comes to pipe tobacco (too many BAD experiences). I liked the tin-note, so I asked for a sample. I enjoyed this tobacco so much, that I bought a 100g tin. Here is my review:

Tin note: fruity, but not overpoweringly so,so that the aroma of the natural tobacco leaf is also detectable.

Moisture content: unlike many aromatics, which are too moist to smoke out of the pouch/tin, MacBaren Original Choice is ready to smoke. The tobacco packs well without plugging up the draw. If it dries out, however, I would recommend remoisturizing it. Otherwise the tobacco cannot be packed properly, resulting in a quick burn with tongue-bite.

Room note: A real crowd-pleaser, this tobacco is one that even anti-smokers will be tempted to love. My daughter, who usually complains about my pipe smoke (even though I never smoke in the house, only outdoors), exclaimed that this pipe tobacco smells really pleasant. I did smoke this in a pub, and after leaving the room, then reentering it a few minutes later, I noticed a pleasant, slightly fruity scent, reminiscent of "grandpa's pipe".

Smoke: You will need to perform 2-step lighting, with a charring light followed up by a 2nd light. No tongue-bite (unless you let the tobacco dry out - see "moisture content"); pleasant, slightly sweet, typically aromatic taste; no dottle; smokes to the end of the bowl; no "wet draw" (a.k.a "tobacco juice"), though moderate residue in smoke channel after pipe has cooled down (recommend using 6 or 9 mm charcoal filters, if your pipe is fitted for them).

Overall, I find this a very pleasing smoke, and it has become my go-to-tobacco when I want to please non-smokers in my vicinity. Despite contrary information in the product description above, I would not necessarily recommend this for novice smokers.

BTW: Both MacBaren and Stanwell have reduced their pouch content from 50g to just 40g, of course without reducing the price. This is rather unfortunate, and I felt duped once I noticed this fact!
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 03, 2018 Very Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant
This was my second tobacco purchase ever back a year and a half ago. It was actually the reason I have grown to like smoking a pipe and why I still smoke today. To me it is a perfect begginers smoke. I remember the transition through the smoking habits and the mistakes that I and probably every begginer made within the first year of smoking. The point is that MB Original Choice is the perfect tobacco to start enjoying the tobacco without big repercussions on the tongue. You can pack a pipe tight AF, you can severely overheat the tobacco or even puff like a locomotive but the smoke is going to be enjoyable for a newbie. I bought a 50g pouch few months ago and with all the experience that I have now, the MB Original Choice is still an aromatic delight. I found it to be the most satisfying as a slow early morning smoke since I can't stand the pipe getting hot to the point I can't touch it, which happens at the third quarter of a bowl if I smoke at a bar or café(bad habits). The lovely fruitiness of this blend is a delight which I can't compare to any aromatic I have tried, but it's also a reason I can't imagine to smoke it regularly. I get satiated quickly, and 50 grams lasts for about a month which is rarely the case with other blends. Nevertheless this is a 4 star tobacco which everyone should at least try.
Pipe Used: Multiple Briars
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 13, 2009 Very Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant
This is clearly one of my most favored dailies.

As the day dawns with a whiff of a quality blend of sweet virgina from North Carolina augmented by Burley from Tennessee, one can immediately qualify it as a typical Mac Baren blend - smooth, flavorful and delightfully mild.

Our friends who normally prefer to dabble in latakias, orientals and perique may not necessarily associate themselves with this one, but the lovers of virginas and burleys may find this quite irresistible.

The corrugated look of the packaging is incredibly avant garde will turn heads before you even get an opportunity to light it.

As a matter of fact, I have noticed on several occasions that it remains a topic of discussion and fascination.

Hats off to Mac Baren to have chosen such a packaging gimmick, that adequately retains its natural moisture and flavors.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2020 Mild Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I'm writing this one while smoking it during a sunday morning. It was a great kind of “dessert” for breakfast. For this COVID19 times it is a “merry smoke”, since it has a little nicotine and brings a sense of peace and silence because of its buttery caramel flavours.

This blend is not strong, it is not sweet, but it is creamy with some wooden maple honey flavours. The burley and cavendish adds mild but noticeable an almost butter kind of taste.

I smoked it when it was dry and I did not humidify it, for this kind of tobacco I feel it was a good idea since normally it is a wet smoke probably this was the reason why I did not need any relighting. It burns evenly during the whole time. Almost no tongue bite.The after taste is pleasant and fresh being with me for a long time without feeling cloying.

I have been a pipe smoker for more than 5 years now, and, thanks to the universe I still consider myself a beginner, and I sincerely hope I never quit being a beginner, so I can be open to discovering new, fresh and diverse flavours and experiences.
Pipe Used: briar block pipe
PurchasedFrom: Amsterdam airport
Age When Smoked: 4 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2017 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
The flavourings used provide a unique & well rounded taste that blends well with the natural tobacco taste (which is there but very mild). Not a very "spicy" or varied taste, but not weak or flavourless. Just mild. Very sweet but not absurdly overpowering. Smells almost only sugar, but the taste is far more honest that that. You can't really tell what flavourings are used, what is flavouring and what is the tobacco itself. It just tastes Mac Baren Original choice. Some aromatics taste like taking a cigarette puff and then eating a piece of candy (during the exhale), without the flavourings meshing well. Like pouring sugar on a steak. This is not one off those aromatics, and also the best "pure" aromatic I've tried. I've despised most off them, including some that get decent reviews here.

Burns well. Small pieces and rather dry so pack lightly.

Must try for aromatic lovers, but also for people who hate them as I think this one might change your mind. At least as long as you don't have fericious hate for sweet blends.

Edit: After having tried even more aromatics I'm just continually convinced off this blends superiority. It's the only aromatic I smoke even somewhat regularly.
Pipe Used: Ratos Old Briar 915, unidentified briar
Age When Smoked: 27
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 26, 2014 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
I can´t get tired of this tobacco. Despite im an english mixtures smoker mostly this is one of those aro you must always have. You can enjoy the full taste of virginias and burley and a little sweet flavour has been added (Honey/mapple syrup?) to the black cavendish.
Pipe Used: Amadeus bent brandyglass, Lorenzo bent apple
Age When Smoked: new
2 people found this review helpful.
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