Mac Baren Virginia No. 1

In 1955 Virginia No. 1 was introduced to the world’s pipe smokers, and today Virginia No. 1 is one of the Mac Baren Classics. The natural sweetness from the carefully selected Virginia tobaccos, are to be enjoyed every time you light up this magnificent blend. In addition to a slow, cool smoke this ready rubbed blend gives you the slightly sweet smoke. Try the Virginia No. 1 and find out for yourself why Virginia No. 1 is reckoned as a Mac Baren Classic Blend.
Notes: Introduced in 1957, according to Mac Baren's website. Introduced in 1955, according to the tin description.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Sweet / Sugar
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 100 grams tin weight, 100 grams pouch weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.78 / 4





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Displaying 11 - 20 of 271 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 28, 2017 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I'd have to say this is my desert island tobac. My first experience with it was a 12 yr old 9oz tin purchased from a b&m that was going out of business. At 9 dollars for the tin I figured why not. It was sublime. Since then I purchase in 1lb bulk as I like it aged at least a yr. Fresh is ok also just not as nuanced. Smokes cool and burns well I have tried several hundred blends and have at least 50 in the cellar but this floats my boat.
Pipe Used: various mostly briars but a few meerschaums
Age When Smoked: 15yrs to fresh
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 25, 2017 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
As a beginner it was one of the first tobaccos I wanted to try, based on the different reviews and being one of the most popular virgina blends around. Of course as a fresh starter I managed to experience what bite is with this blend, but I assume other tobaccos would cause the same result at that time.

Later, as the time went by and became more experienced, managed to explore the different non aromatic tobaccos, I got to the point where I should give an other try to this blend. And what a good idea that was! What I remembered from the beginning, I liked the light casing on it and the pure tobacoo taste which I always serach for in any blends.

If you are able to find the correct briar for this blend and have the patience to smoke it slowly, you will get perect experience every time you reach for this tobacco especially outdoors. The taste of the different high quality virginias are in perfect harmony with the additional light honey/caramel taste. The casing has only a supporting role here - the main player will always be the belend of different virginias. Moisture level is quite good - in some cases it burns down without any religts. If puffed hard - it still can bite. Nicotine level not the highest - comparing to other virginia blends - so it can be a perfect all day smoke. Room note is quite nice - and could be tolerable for non smokers as well.

As being a Virginia blend I suppose it can age nicely. I will be able to find it out in a couple of years - I have different tins and jars in the cellar and will open one in every year to check the improvement.

If you get to to the point where you smoke at least a bowl or more/day and have a dedicated pipe for it, you can be sure that a perfect smoking experience is guaranteed for every day.

The bulk price is basically a gift.

Absolutely recommended.

ps. (for the home blenders - if you have some Solani Aged Burley Flake, give a try in a fifty fifty mix - heaven - )
Pipe Used: different briars - StanwellTrio207 is dedicated
Age When Smoked: fresh
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2014 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Wicked and nasty tongue bite, pH gone wrong and far too alkaline; a terribly grumpy Racoon with a sore penis.

My tongue noticed it first then my whole upper palate, cheeks too and this was just at the time of lighting. I swiftly dumped the bowl, the tin contents are now in the composter. Decades ago I would've soldiered on through the discomfort hoping for something good to arrive, much wiser now fully realising that persevering would lead to many days perhaps a week of no combusting due to an eviscerated palate.

New pipe folks please be aware when you encounter a blend which 'bites' upon lighting before your briar even rises to operating temperature, fire the ejection-seat. It's not your pipe, too much flame, nor your packing method simply the pH of that blend does not agree with you, this will differ person to person and occasionally your palate can change over the years: more sensitive maybe less. Blends often change too usually not for the better; however, off-batches do arise.

Overall I prefer the American style Virginias as opposed to these Danish blends many of which seem to have that unpleasant topping/casing, their style I suppose which is simply not for me.
11 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 05, 2018 Mild to Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
This blend is not only the definition of a 'Straight' Virginia, it's also the quintessential definition of Mac Baren's unique blending style in my opinion. This is not an aged, ketchup/vinegary blend, nor has it been rounded out with Burley, Perique, Kentucky, Latakia or any other such nonsense. It's straight-up Virginia for Virginia lovers, and there ain't nothing wrong with that! #murica *sips Kentucky straight bourbon*

All kidding aside, Virginia No. 1 is a classic, and I recommend it especially as a great blend to get familiar with in your early stages of pipe smoking as a way to learn & recognize the notes of quality Virginia leaf - grass, hay, and earth as well as honey, sugar, and vanilla make-up the bouquet. This blend will sweeten up your pipe a bit, and for this reason I often finish off my break-in process with a bowl or two of No. 1 in my new pipes to keep them smoking sweet. Similarly, I use No. 1 to freshen up older pipes which may have lost some of their cake flavor; nobody likes stale carbon cake, and I find smoking a bowl of No. 1 works better than alcohol, sweetening agents, reaming out the carb. No. 1 is not so sweet as to alter the taste of future blends (i.e. it doesn't ghost), but sweet enough to bring old flavors back to life, in my experience.

The one caveat with No. 1 is the same for all Mac Baren blends - remember how I said it's a defining blend for the brand? It's because Mac Baren is (in)famous for adding sugar water to many of their blends; No. 1 is a prime example of what this does: adds a nice boost in sweetness, though it comes at the price of smoking a degree or two hotter than a comparable mixture from another blender. You gotta like the way Mac Baren does things and know how to smoke their blends in order to enjoy No. 1 over the long run, but you won't be disappointed if you put in the extra effort to keep it smoking cool.

Being a straight Virginia doesn't help No. 1 smoke cool either because there's nothing to mellow out the warm Virginia varietals out like a Burley would. This is the risk with smoking straight Virginias (much like drinking straight bourbons!), Mac Baren or otherwise, but No. 1 won't bite you unless you let her. Like I mentioned earlier, it takes a bit of finesse and patience to not let the bowl get too hot and runaway on you, but it's so worth it. When you get the temp right and puff slowly, you can smoke No. 1 any time of day. It's not overtly heavy on the nicotine or body, and it will keep your lips smacking with sweet grassy flavor, similar to a sugar-tipped cigar.

For me, No. 1 is a must have on hand at all times. I recommend rubbing it out a bit more before loading a pipe, and don't let it get too dry or it'll be much more difficult to keep it cool. There's gold in them hills (i.e. this blend), if you know how to find it. Cheers!
Pipe Used: Castellos, Dunhills, etc.
PurchasedFrom: Briar Patch in Sacramento, CA
Age When Smoked: Fresh, bulk & tin
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Another classical, old-style Danish blend by Mac Baren. Light, typical Mac Baren casing with the Mac Baren honeyish signature aroma, and a quite pleasant roomnote.

A very sweet sugary start that develops into a more subtle sweet and grassy, haylike, overall round taste with the honeyish aroma always (safely stored) in the backseat. Not adventurous, but safe and nice. Somewhat like your favourite candy: nothing interesting about it, nothing new, but you always crave for it.

To me, this one was a surprise. Deeply hidden in the shadow of it's bigger brother, the Mixture Scottish Blend, this little sis has it's own merit. A light and very pleasing smoke. Everything fits a sunny day -whether winter or summer- to lift the mood - as I said, like a treat with your favourite candy.

The Virginia No. 1 goes very well with a Darjeeling first flush or a fruity (more greenish) Oolong tea. It's a good morning smoke, and also nice durig the day, maybe not the right smoke for the late evening.

This one is supposed to bite very hard, but surprisingly, I didn't have any problems with that. Very easy to light, easy to smoke, just very few relights, reasonable amount of moisture in the bowl. Smokes quite cool and slow, if you don't rubb it out further.

Overall definitely a recommendation for the sunny days in life.

A remark for my fellow German countrymen: in my opinion this blend has to be smoked without a filter. A filter kills IMHO the taste and joy of this tobacco as well as you'll tend to smoke it to hot.
Pipe Used: different briars, falcon
PurchasedFrom: local B&M
Age When Smoked: very fresh (about 2 month out of the factory)
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 10, 2008 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I can't agree with the negative reviewers of this tobacco. I find this tobacco to be delightfully tasty and sweet. According to Mac Baren's website the tobacco is naturally sweet and not cased with honey as some would tend to believe. I personally enjoy this sweetness and the toastiness that develops towards the middle of the bowl.

The consistency of the rubbed out flake is perfect in my oppinion and I have not been bitten anymore than any other virginia tobacco out there. Go slow and enjoy and you won't have any problems.

This tobacco stayed lit remarkably well and I had no problem in getting down to the bottom of the bowl.

My particular batch was an attractive golden-amber colored.

I highly recommend if you like the more sweet virginias.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2017 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
This is a dangerous tobacco: it can turn anyone in a dedicated pipe smoker. Anti-tobacco people must have nightmares with this kind of tobacco and if they could they would ban this from the Earth.

It's easy to understand: the broken flakes are beautiful, smell great and are easy to deal with. Come's in perfect moisture, so no trouble loading your bowl and once lit, just enjoy untill everything turn to ashes. It's not a complex or layered smoke, but it's a relyable, pleasant, simple and delicious one. This reminded me very much of Old Gowrie, wich is also a masterpiece. But OG cost more and is way harder to find.

Althoug I still like to try new tobaccos (who don't?) or revisit some old friends, this is the one I like to always have near. Now finally I understand that "desert island tobacco" talk.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 11, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Went out on the back porch this evening and smoked a bowl of it in a Captain Black billiard that I just refinished last weekend. I watched a spectacular thunderstorm while smoking with my dog at my side. I smoked it right out of the tin. The first third of the bowl was very light tasting but yet substantial. I'm not good with comparing smoke to other foods or substances, but I thought I smelled or tasted a hint of honeydew melon along with the proverbial Virginia hay aroma in the first third. This first third was very refreshing to the palate; kind of the way you feel after taking a shower after a long, sweaty day at work. The smoke really came into full glory in the second third, like the sweet spot on a cigar. The light, subtle smoke of the first third slowly changed to a full-bodied delight. Virginias have a tendency to bite my tongue when I smoke them, but this tobacco is very mellow, yet tasty and satisfying. This tasted so good that I couldn't slow myself down, but still didn't get bit! This is my first experience smoking a really old tobacco and I was skeptical about the hype, but I must say that this was an exquisite smoke. The second third was so tasty I didn't want it to end. I didn't feel too great of a nicotine hit, but just what you'd expect from a typical Virginia. The third part of the bowl was almost as good as the second. Still, I couldn't put the dang thing down it was so tasty. It smoked all the way down to ash; I only had to relight one time.
Pipe Used: Captain Black billiard
PurchasedFrom: Ebay
Age When Smoked: 35-45 years old
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 05, 2015 Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Hello everyone this is Jose Ruiz I hope your all having a great day.*:-h waveHere's another review for you to enjoy in your pipe smoking adventures. Today I'm going to be reviewing :Mc Baren's Virginia No.1 ready rubbed.

Cut: Small pieces of pressed tobacco Tin note: Raw honey comb/faint scent of bourbon/herbal grass notes Tin size:3.5 oz. Rating: 3 Strength: medium light/medium Room note: Pleasant to moderately pleasant/grassy herbal/citrus notes. Taste: Slightly honey sweet from the aged Virginia with a hint of bourbon/rum notes in the background, like a very lite caramel after taste. Nice herbal notes as it smokes Smooth cool burn. Notes: Ready to light right out of the tin, not to moist or dry. Has a dry hay/herbal note to it which I find pleasing to the palate with the natural sweetness. Stayed lit through out the bowl. Have a very nice richness coming through it without getting to strong at the end, has more complexity, robustness half way through the smoke with out much bite. I find coffee works well with this smoke for a good drink. This blend I personally think is great with a good corn cob to heighten the natural sweetness of the Virginia leaf and the natural sweetness of the corn cob. If you never tried a good corn cob I highly suggest you get one for your rotation of pipes to enjoy!!

As an added review from a non pipe smoker, I have my wife add her review as to the Room notes as I think most reviewers never actually add a opinion from a non pipe smoker. I personally think this is important *;) winking

Virginia #1 This pipe tobacco burns light and airy compared to others I've smelled. My husband lit this one and it reminded me of burning dry grass on a hot summer day as a kid with a magnifying glass. It also had hints of honey in the comb, an almost citrus odor. I would classify this pipe tobacco as summery for those reasons. So put some freckles on my face and plaster an old fashioned Hee-Haw straw hat on my head and I will still be, The Pipe Smokers Wife
Pipe Used: sav bent briar
PurchasedFrom: Sutliff
Age When Smoked: new
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 16, 2013 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
I really enjoy this tobacco. The more I smoke of it, the more I like it.

TIN: Smells a lot like dry hay, but not terribly strong. The tobacco has a perfect moisture level...I only needed one light.

TASTE: A mild/medium blend, naturally sweet and pleasant. It isnt complex. It isnt groundbreaking. It's just plain good tobacco. Puffing too hard may deliver some tongue bite but relaxing and taking it slow is a good remedy. I'm pretty sensitive to nicotine, and to me this was a medium nic blend. The flavor also wasnt sour like some VA's tend to be. I have to say, when you puff this slowly, it produces some wonderful room notes. This is also one of those blends that gets better as you smoke through the bowl. It developed a rich quality not unlike dark chocolate or toast.

This for me is a great all-day blend. It is terribly consistent through the entire bowl, which is much appreciated. I will say though, you will smell like smoke after enjoying this blend, so if you dont want to communicate that you're a smoker by your scent, you want to smoke this after you're done for the day.

Oh and in closing, if you want the best experience, smoke in a cob.
Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum
Age When Smoked: New
7 people found this review helpful.
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