Rattray Dark Fragrant

Dark Fragrant encompasses the need to relax. Rich in flavor, smooth in body, a high proportion of black cavendish is seasoned with a pinch of perique to enhance this sublime mixture.


Brand Rattray
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By  
Blend Type Cavendish Based
Contents Black Cavendish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ready Rubbed
Packaging 100 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.78 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 72 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2017 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Excellent original smoking mixture: Black Cavendish and Perique. This is a natural aromatic blend. No flavoring at all. Black Cavendish is pretty natural, toasted, unflavored. Only sugar is added with probably a very light casing. All in all it can be considered a natural unflavored Black Cavendish, tipically Scottish. Perique is strongly present and not only a pinch. There is a lot of Perique in the blend and you can taste it from the beginning to the end. Properly this mixture could also be considered a Perique mixture. Original idea, original taste, original mixture. Just right. I would say almost perfect (maybe adding a touch of Virginia?). Finally, in my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is 9 and three and a half stars .
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 13, 2016 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Virginia is processed into black cavendish and is the star component. It provides a fermented, stewed fruit and dried dark fruit sweetness, is slightly sugary, mildly tangy, and has some earth and grass, plus a touch of sour and wood. There’s a pinch of raisiny, figgy, spicy perique, though the spice is a hair less obvious than the other aspects. I’d say there’s just a little more than a “pinch” of perique present, but it’s a background player just the same. The topping is sweet, but what it is eludes me. The nic-hit is mild. Won’t bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a reasonable pace with a very smooth, lightly creamy, consistently mellow flavor from start to finish. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, and needs a few relights as the tobacco is mildly moist out of the tin. I don’t recommend drying it, though. Has a pleasant after taste and room note. It’s not a complex blend, but it is an easy going all day smoke.

28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 10, 2009 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The comparisons to McClellands Dark Star are abundant but, I think, invalid. To my taste, Rattray's Black Virginia is closer to Dark Star. This one has the addition of... something... perhaps orientals? The description says so, and there is something there that is not present in Dark Star but I can't make it out. A light dash of perique? If so, it's a VERY light condiment. The virginia tanginess is by far the dominant taste.

This one dries out and holds a light better than either Black Virginia or Dark Star, neither of which I could smoke easily. Consequently, I prefer this one. It's a mellow smoke with not a lot of mystery to it. The virginias develop slightly as the bowl progresses. I'm not one to assign fruit or wood flavors to tobacco as a rule but I'll be danged if this one doesn't remind me of the scent of freshly brewed coffee... er... the *taste* of this reminds me of the scent of coffee. Weird, ok, but that's the experience I had! I don't drink coffee but I love its aroma, and I suppose aromas create a bit of a taste.

If stoved VA is your thing, this is a must try. I typically only smoke stoved in a blend and this one is stoved in its basic presentation so I find it a bit mild to smoke all the time but it's a good tasting tobacco that performs as it was intended.
25 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 22, 2002 Medium to Strong Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Now here is an unusual blend. The stoved virginia is really stoved, almost looks burnt in fact. The darkness of the well rubbed out leaf indicated this blend would pack some punch. Instead, you get a very subdued virginia flavor.

The aroma emanating from the tin was similar to McClelland's Deep Hollow (light and sweet), but this is much more flavorful. There is some sort of casing added to the leaf which, I suppose, makes this an aromatic blend, but the casing was so light it almost passed right by my tongue without notice.

If you want something sweet, light and a little out of the ordinary, try this Rattray offering. I will not rush out to get another tin (it took awhile to get thru the 100 grammer I purchased), but a year or two down the road I'm sure I'll grab another. Delightfully different!
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2017 Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Presentation is a rubbed out flake of dark brown, with a scattering of medium brown tobacco. Tin note is darkly fruity, plums and other stewed fruit, dried cherries and figs. Delicious. Moisture content is just right and Dark Fragrant takes a match well.

It must be stressed that the black Cavendish in this blend is nothing like what many have come to expect from goopy American aromatics. The Cavendish processed Virginia in this blend are sublime: darkly fruity, deep, very smooth, slightly tangy, with only very subtle background hints of Virginia's grassy and citrusy side. The Perique accentuates the stewed fruit and adds only the slightest hint of pepper. The tang becomes more assertive by mid-bowl, with some deliciously sour notes.

This is a fantastic and interesting blend: a Perique blend for those who don't like VaPers, an old school aromatic for those who don't like aromatics, a black Cavendish blend for those who loathe what is currently marketed as "black Cavendish". Absolutely no bite. Mild but packed with flavor. Very smooth smoking, cool-burning, fruity and rich. Burns cool enough to be an all-day smoke. An excellent crossover blend for aromatic smokers looking to explore further. Dark Fragrant has a lot going for it, but doesn't have quite the complexity level to grab that forth star.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 05, 2014 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Rattray’s line of non-aromatic tobacco for me has been terrific at both ends of the spectrum, but with a big hole in the middle. On one end I like Black Mallory and really like Red Rapparee. On the other end, I am a big fan of HOTW, Marlin Flake and Old Gowrie. But 3 Noggins, Brown Clunee, Accounts etc. have all left me wanting. But what I have discovered is that those blends in the “middle” age very well and that seems to be the difference maker. So I started with Dark Fragrant by purchasing a seven year old tin. The age seems to have made the difference as I get a different tin note than those have described with a new tin. The aged blend gives up the typical scent of a well-aged VaPer. I would find myself in the “No Orientals” camp too. (But I did notice that the description on Smoking Pipes website claims Orientals in the blend) I just get a Virginia Cavendish with a smattering of Perique in the flavor department. I find DF sweet, and very mild. I would not compare the Cavendish here to that found in a typical American style aromatic. There is not a lot of complexity to be found either. That’s not a bad thing, but worth pointing out. Generally I smoke about 85 to 90% of the tobacco in my bowl, but with DF I didn’t like the flavor at the end of the bowl. I have to admit based on some of the reviews that I went into this blend being not very optimistic. My results could be positive due to the age of the tin, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Age When Smoked: 7 years
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2015 Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Rattray - Dark Fragrant.

When I smell this I could be sure it's cased with something, fruit and caramel perhaps? The mix is pretty much black in colour and it's of a good moisture amount, just enough to afford immediate smoking.

The smoke is really tasty, it's again reminiscent of having a fruity/sweet topping. I was expecting the nicotine to be a touch higher when I saw it contains Perique but rather than it increasing the nicotine amount it just gives the smoke a spicy character. It burns well not needing too many re-lights and as it goes it leaves a completely diametric ash to the tobaccos colour, it's a solid white ash. Throughout the flavour stays the same, a sweet black Cavendish lead with a spicy, fruity and sweet background. One of the few/if the only negative is the quantity of smoke in the room this one generates, it smells quite pleasant but it really creates a 'smog' in the room so I think it's a blend to smoke solo rather than in company!

For me that one negative is nowhere near enough to lessen the score, a definite four star blend.
Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula 03
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 02, 2016 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
When I see all the reviews of this tobacco I can´t help to get the impression that DF is a 'love or hate it' tobacco.

Well, I definitley belong to the 'love it' group. Being a proponent of the natural tobacco taste I only like the subtle addition of taste, love it if there is some spiciness involved and prefer the taste of dried fruits. And that is what I find in DF! Furthermore you can find here the rare taste of licorice (I mean a 'natural' taste, not a chemial) and this combination makes DF - in my eyes - to be a very special and unique tobacco that I don`t want to miss anymore.

It burning characteristics are excellent and my tongue never raised a complaint. I prefer to smoke it in chimneys, loosely tamped

highly recommended - 4 stars!!!
Age When Smoked: new
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 18, 2018 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
To be honest, ADHD curiosity usually gnaws at my OCD psyche until I finally sample from tins of tobacco I’ve set aside to age. This means I’ve lots of tobacco stored away in jars, but there’s relatively little in the way of really old tobacco in sealed tins in my cellar. Though I sometimes stumble across something I’ve misplaced or forgotten about, I generally have to plump for an old tin from someone else. And this is how I came by the ancient tin of Dark Fragrant under review. Perth blended, it (rather, the idea of it) takes me back to my early days of pipe smoking, when I considered Perth blended Rattrays to be the ne plus ultra of pipe tobacco. Oddly enough, this old tin is the first Dark Fragrant I’ve ever smoked; so I guess this is Walter Mitty Waxes Nostalgic. Whatever; I have now handled and smoked The Stuff, and my recent impressions follow:

Rattray’s Dark Fragrant is a “different” (if not unique) kind of pipe tobacco, being basically a sort of VA/Per Cavendish that’s made from highly processed, long aged VA tobacco leaf, with some Perique thrown in and re-pressed and re-aged with it for good measure. These varietals plus long fermentation under pressure should mean “dark fruit”, and, indeed, this was part of the musty mix when I popped the tin, only the fruit was decidedly under musty black bread, including molasses and some anise. The tobacco is quite dark, also moist, and it is well broken into crumbling small, clotted bits and chunks of moldering, short ribbons. As ever, I started by plucking some DF straight from its tin and loosely loading it into a bowl. Well, I’ve smoked moister tobacco with no problems, but smoking this DF moist is for me an exercise in frustration, and it’s also a waste of this particular, well-aged tobacco. In fact, based on experience with ET’s Kingsbridge (a similar blend), I decided to set the DF aside (in a jar) for a few weeks. After that I began to work with it again, trying to keep it as fragrant through the smoke as it is off the match, also simply trying to keep it lit through a bowl! Finally getting it right, the good is, DF is indeed dark and fragrant, brown sugar and molasses sweet and deeply, naturally aromatic, freshly baked black bread, prunes, plum pudding, dark roast coffee, and semi-sweet, dark chocolate, with an anise chaser. It burns OK dry. The “bad”? Again, like some fine, old wines, it took a thoughtful while to get the best from it. Now it’s consistently deep, fragrant and rich, with tastes getting more concentrated and sour as a bowl progresses, even as the scents grow subtly more complex. Because of all this, IMO, DF is the antithesis of an all day smoke. Though there is no mention of Orientals in the TR blurb, I did notice the smoke is blue, which is a tell for the Eastern weed. Not saying Orientals are there, but there are also exotic “baking spices” in the smoke. Strength is medium, maybe a tick over. Tastes are medium toward full. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is the best of the smoke. It works best for me from my VA/Per pipes.

All in all, I strongly recommend Dark Fragrant, at least this aged version, but only to those who are willing to spend the time and effort to figure it out. For me, lucky guy with much of an ancient tin remaining, it is as good as anything I’ve ever smoked, and I plan to check in on it regularly, to be sure it doesn’t go south in its jar.
Pipe Used: various briars; VA/Per pipes preferred
PurchasedFrom: private sale
Age When Smoked: 20-30 yrs + (?)
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
The uncommon combination of this blend triggered me to purchase a tin.once the tin pops up a sweet plumy and figs aroma comes out.the blend is as dark as it can be with some moisture.i noticed that drying is tonning down the flavours.packing and lighting is easy with some relights needed through the process.while smoking the flavours are simple and natural.the cavendish style virginias are in the foreground being sweet,grassy,with dark fruits and and some sour notes.the perique adds some wonderfull notes in the backround offering some plum and fig notes.rarelly some spices and sour notes are also detected.generally the combination is nice simple and natural though not something unique.burns medium speed and medium hot not to perfect ash with some moisture being created at the end of the bowl.no chance of tongue bite.the room note is pleasant and the nicotine level low.it can be an all day smoke.i would not name it as a light aromatic.genarally this is a simple and decent blend.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2018 Very Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
I must admit I had difficulty determining if this was going to truly be a Virginia blend (natural, no topping/casing) or an Aromatic (topping/casing; flavored) with a name including the word 'Fragrant', but after smoking the first half bowl I realize why the name is perfectly fitting for this richly aged Virginia/Perique blend. The Black Virginia Cavendish is a striking experience when opening the can; there's a cool blue/grey hue to the black leaf, but the scent is warm and rich - a hint of vinegar more akin with McClelland Virginias tells me this is a well-aged blend. It doesn't take much to open up in the pipe, and burns so cool it's almost hard to keep lit initially (user error I imagine!). Once stabilized, it continues to burn cool and even. Mild in body, but rich in flavor and scent. It leaves a pleasant, light grassy room note (hence the Fragrant) though it tastes more of rich earth and red wine, with a hint of peat (hence the Dark). I imagine the Perique is portioned on the heavier side to give it that punch of earthy flavor, mellowed out nicely by cool smoking Cavendish. It's a tantalizing experience, and while I'm familiar with Rattray's English blends (highly recommended for Latakia lovers), this is quickly making its way into my Virginia rotations. I'm even considering it as a blend suitable for breaking in new pipes dedicated to natural Virginias. I look forward to aging a few tins to see how the flavors marry with time.
Pipe Used: L. Viprati Bent Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Cup O Joes
Age When Smoked: Fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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