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 21 - 30 of 271 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2009 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I wanted to try a straight virginia and decided to give this a spin. Upon opening the pouch I was meet with nice aroma and was looking forward to the smoke. Afterwards my tounge felt like it had been run over by a mac truck, I was smoking way to fast and outside on a windy day. I took it a bit slower the next smoke. Not bad at all. Wont be smoking on a daily basis, but as the weather gets warmer its nice to expand the taste buds to the virginias. I am now mixing this blend with a little full Balken flake. The result is quite delicious.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2014 Medium to Strong Strong Full Pleasant
Rather a strange one this. I smoked the first bowl and thought 'Meh, a decent virginia smoke but nothing special' but over the next few days I found myself reaching for the tin more and more often. Ten days later and the the 50g tin is looking rather empty.

There is a sublety to this blend which does not emerge immediately, but it's mild enough to smoke at any time of the day. I found it tasted a little better in a meerschaum pipe for some reason.

It does smoke hot, as some other reviews have said, and there is a constaint threat of bite but I don't mind a tobacco which takes a little more work.

I would certainly buy again and regret not buying in bulk.
Pipe Used: Peterson 'Golden Princess' Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: liberté 56, Luxembourg
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 13, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Full Very Pleasant
Out of the benevolence of his good nature, a friend gave me this amazing tobacco. I fell in love with it. It was so hard not to constantly engross myself with this blend. It was down to earth and hearty. It reminded me of summer and wheat. It's a very simple tobacco, it consistently stays the same from start to finish. It burns into a a nice white/light grey ash. Simply put, sinfully delicious. I highly recommend.
Pipe Used: MM Mizzou, MM Legend, Savinelli ASH
PurchasedFrom: Gift
Age When Smoked: N/A
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 26, 2014 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
This tobacco is a solid 3 star tobacco. The taste was good, but more mild than I usually like. There is some tongue bite, but not too much. It smoked well.

Normally, a tobacco like this would be a one tin and done deal. However, there is one thing about this blend that makes it very worthwhile, the note. It smells phenomenal and this really adds to the flavor. The room note was very pleasant. This is a great non-aromatic tobacco to smoke around other people. If you are conscious about those around you and want them to have a good experience too, this is the tobacco for you. A Virginia with a room note better than many aromatics. It is for this reason I could see people smoking this blend all day every day, especially if they live at home with a wife etc. If room note is important to you, give this blend a try,
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2012 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
EDIT 2/5/2016

I just got around to finishing the tin that I opened a year and 4 months ago. I have decided two stars to be a good rating, but it is tottering on the three star mark. Here is my justification for choosing two stars. It is a fine Virginia, but it does have a light topping to it. I think this is what makes it such a firepot to the beginning puffer.

The topping is good, kind of a honey sweet type topping. I would prefer a bit more citrus ala a Dunhill Flake. The topping slightly reminds me of the topping that is on Peter Stokkebye's Luxury Twist Flake, but I like that Virginia better than this. This is problematic as that is a much more attractive leaf for several reasons. One of which is the cool flake presentation, another would be the price for that cool flake presentation. .

The topping of LTF is likely a little stronger applied than that of VA 1, but I find it to be a more pleasant smoke. I believe I only rated LTF at three stars as I prefer my Va's to not be topped or very lightly so, like a Dunhill Flake. Thus this will remain a two star in my book, but I did enjoy the experience in retrying it. I just won't be buying more.

EDIT 10/6/14

The dangers of writing a review when you are a new smoker. Three years into pipe smoking, I decided it was time to reevaluate this one. My earlier review tells you how this will effect the beginner's palate.

I had my first bowl of the new tin yesterday and it smoked fine. It is bitey, but did not do the harm as the bowls I had when I first started out. It tastes hay sweet as Virginia should. After one bowl, I can't really give it a three or even a four star as of yet, but I am adding one star as it is better then the one star I previously gave it.

Also, still not recommended for the beginner.

Original Review 2/21/12

The only thing good that I have to say about this blend is that it led me to this site.

My baby steps into pipe smoking started with some store blends in bulk from my local B & M that were terrible, followed by the popular OTC brands that had taste and aroma but nothing of substance. The owner of the B & M, who has little knowledge of pipe tobacco, suggested this as he said it was a popular one. He had a lot of it and I wonder if he was really just trying to get rid of it to a naïve fool like myself.

The appearance was that of hay. I rubbed it like an amateur and smoked away. It was ghastly and strong and it torched my mouth. So much so that I started to search the internet to see if I had a serious medical condition. And this is where I learned of tongue bite. In a narrower search for Tongue bite, I happened upon TR and the rest has been smoking bliss.

I tried blending this with several mild OTCs in hopes that I could somehow salvage this diabolic blend, but to no avail. Into the bin I pitched the remainder.

I have since learned how to puff lighter, but I can't imagine it would have much of a difference with this weed. I have also smoked much finer Va blends and have realized that Va does tend to irritate my tongue a bit so, although I enjoy them, I must restrict my use not to exceed one bowl a day. For that bowl, I would prefer something much better than this. Right now that something lies in the Esoterica Line by Germain.

I see that some other reviewers do enjoy this. I imagine you must have mouths like leather. Perhaps the types who could down a gallon of tabasco and not feel it. People much tougher than me. lol
PurchasedFrom: local B & M
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 02, 2010 Mild Medium Mild Pleasant
This baby is Suh-weeet! Yeah it's a MacBaren's and it'll smoke hot on ya. However after 'learning' how o smoke VA it's wonderful. When I first opened the tin I was impressed. The stuff smelled realy nice. I'm not very good at labeling aromas but after reading several reviews on different things I have to say it's a sweet, dreamy, haylike aroma in the tin. The really nice part that I like is when firing up a bowl of VA #1 I get a nice full feeling/atmosphere, calming and very pleasant and comforting. Continuing to smoke 'er slowly/sipping/breath smoke style, this blend just keeps on giving. VA #1 needs some drying time in my opinion, almost to slightly crispy then she'll spark to life. I'm giving this one a strong 4 STARS.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 01, 2016 Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant
I purchased a 3.5 oz. tin of the ready rubbed variety a few days ago. I'm really trying to like it, but I don't think it's going to happen.

First the positive...

Presentation upon opening the tin gave me high hopes. I was greeted with light brown pieces of ready-rubbed flake. The aroma is sweet, reminiscent of fresh-cut hay with a light note of honey. Perhaps just a touch of molasses as well.

Here's where it went downhill...

I loaded it into my briar and lit up. I noticed immediate biting that did not let up. I did the best I could with it. But it was a losing battle.

My second attempt today was somewhat better. But it still smoked hot and had noticable bite. It improved about 2/3 of the way through the bowl. I managed to get a little bit of airy sweetness. But I had to baby it so slow that the reward was hardly worth the effort.

I have decided to try drying this a bit to see if it helps. But I would find it hard to recommend this tobacco to someone I liked.

After further research I learned that Mac Baren blends are reputed to smoke hot and bite. And to be fair, Virginias are notorious for it as well. Perhaps it is just my personal chemistry.

I hope this improves with time, but I'm not optimistic.

Happy Puffing,

Pipe Used: Briar and Hardwood
PurchasedFrom: Feerick's Candy & Tobacco Joplin, MO USA
Age When Smoked: 3.5 oz. tin produced 10/2015
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 15, 2010 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
After reading certain bad AND good reviews about this tobacco, I decided to make up my mind about it and to give it a try. I must say that I was very satisfied with Virginia No.1. It's a straight, mild and sweet Virginia of high quality and thats exactly what I'm looking for. The moment you open the pouch, you are welcomed by a decent, slightly sweet, hay- like smell. Very sympathic and somehow very present, but not overwhelming. Packing goes easily, as being a ready- rubbed one. Just don't stuff it too tightly! Beautiful, medium blonde, broken flakes. Its moisture level was very good, not really dry, but not too moist either. Despite all the negative reviews concerning its burning qualities, I had no problems to light it (twice worked pretty well) and to keep it lit. It burned down evenly AND COOL. I didnt have any problems with tongue bite, but I didn't push it too much, as I'm a slow smoker, smoking the pipe for relaxation and enjoyment. Taste is medium, rather sweet and full, giving the distinctive, natural- sweet note of a beautifully selected Virginia. I detected some flavouring, but it matched the tobacco taste very well. It offers a pleasant room note, reflecting the smoking taste beautifully. After smoking, I wanted one more bowl, which is unusual for me, as I dont smoke for nicotine. I find it a bit strange that some smokers have problems to handle it. I experienced it very positive. Seems to be a more demanding blend. Might become an everyday smoke for me. Now I know why this is a Mc Baren classic. 4 stars.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 22, 2002 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
See lustra's review above, but stop right before the part about this being irresistable. There is obvious quality in this tobacco, you just can't get near it. Picture a really nice bottle of red wine, from a Grand Cru chateau, a great year. Now add some really nasty blackberry brandy to it. Get the idea with this? This is just about the hottest tobacco I have yet experienced. The wonder of it all is that MacBaren hasn't put out a non-cased version of this, since everyone seems to think this stuff would be better in its natural form. I actually threw this tin away, a very rare thing for me (that was before PIF was around...)
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 30, 2021 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
If You wanna try siple, straightforward , sweet Virginia, then Va no.1 is perfect. My favourite non-thinking blend. No bite, simple, sweet, creamy, burns to ash and leaves little moisture in a bowl.
Pipe Used: MM Cob, Stanwell Royal Prince, my own pipes
PurchasedFrom: Local shop
Age When Smoked: Fresh to 1 yo
4 people found this review helpful.
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