Mac Baren HH Bold Kentucky

From the website in English: This is the strongest pipe tobacco among the blends in the Mac Baren range and is not recommended for inexperienced pipe smokers. HH Bold Kentucky contains a high amount of the finest dark fired Kentucky from the USA and Africa, and is combined with bright Virginias to soften the taste just a bit. Still the taste is of earthiness with just a slight nuance of sweetness as the underlying taste, which comes from the leaf itself and the hot press, which marries the different tobaccos together. Like all the other HH blends this blend has only an absolute minimum of casing and no top flavor at all.
Notes: Released in November 2014.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Per Jensen
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.69 / 4





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Displaying 31 - 40 of 116 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 14, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable
This is an excellent pipe tobacco. It smells strong out of the tin with rich and dark flakes. To me it smokes milder than it smells. Not good at describing what it tastes like except to say this reminds me of pure tobacco smoked a hundred years ago.
Age When Smoked: 2 years
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 21, 2017 Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Presentation is impeccable, thin and narrow hot pressed flakes of almost black color cut with precision. Tin note is also good, heady, deep molasses and licorice aromas with a stewed fruit note. Flakes rub out very easily but can also be folded and stuffed. Optimum moisture level to smoke straight away.

The tobacco has a deep juicy molasses/licorice taste combined with first class tobacco. It balances between sweet and bitter tastes and is strong but smooth and very tasteful. It is nuanced and complex, with earthy, bitter chocolatey tones and a mild smokiness. Yes, this is a strong tobacco which might give you an occasional hiccup, but I do not find it overwhelmingly strong. However this means that it cannot suit an all-day use. Room note is quite strong but I find it pleasant.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 15, 2017 Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong
This is a superb dark flake, in the vein of Sinclair's Highland Sliced, Peterson's Irish Flake, and G&H's Dark Flake.

Typical Mac Baren quality abounds in the packaging and presentation. The rows of razor-edged nearly-black flakes grab the eye, and the nose: I smell vinegar, creosote and wood. The flakes are pliant, and after a gentle rub with a few minutes drying time, are ready to go.

The flavour is strong and uniform, with the plentiful dark-fired making itself known from first light, and never letting up, You needn't be a burley fanatic to appreciate this blend, but it wouldn't hurt. The taste deepens and strengthens throughout the bowl, accompanied by considerable nicotine. There are cigar-like notes present, especially in the retrohale, but the flavour is not that of a cigar, simply a strong burley-forward-with-virginia combo. The smoking experience is rich and the flavour unrelenting.

Room note is old-tymey, and it lingers. For me, this is an evening pleasure, to be enjoyed at the end of the day. It rewards slow stoking, and you can fall into an easy cadence with it. I actually prefer HH Bold Kentucky to the blends listed above, and the fact that it is (thus far) widely available is a nice bonus. Pairs well with cold tea and whiskey. I also advise having something sweet at hand to refresh the palate.

The tin I have been enjoying has about 2 years of age on it. It would be interesting to see how (if) it matures, so I intend to order some and put it aside.

Recommended for lovers of darker fare and the adventurous smoker.
Age When Smoked: 2 years
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 21, 2017 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
As somewhat of a novice pipe smoker, I was almost dissuaded from buying this tobacco by the reviews stating 'not for the newbies'. However, I'm nothing if not adventurous, and drawn to strong flavours. Gorgonzola cheese, espresso coffee, rich fruit cake, 80% cocoa chocolate and so forth. When I smoked cigaretes I smoked Marlboro Red, so I'm used to a big hit, and even today I admit that I inhale a little from my pipe, and like a nicotine hit that would knock down a cow. Dunhill nightcap is my constant smoke, my go-to blend, if you will.

So, I took the plunge with this offering, and I'm super glad that I did.

I'd have to say that my initial reaction upon opening the tin was "WOW, what a delicious aroma!" The tobacco is such a deep brown as to be almost black, with just barely a few strands of light Virginia. I have to say that, in contradiction of some reviewers here, I found it to be moist to the point of wetness, and requiring an hour of drying out on a sheet of kitchen towel in a warm, well ventilated room.

Once packed and lit, it smoked very well indeed, requiring so few relights that I'm fairly sure a more experienced pipe-er would go through the whole bowl in one light. Also, the tiny amount of excess moisture is most likely due to me and my packing/smoking style than a feature of the tobacco.

The taste is bold. Strong. Full flavoured. Earthy. Like eating a grilled portobello mushroom. Meaty, even. BUT. Not bitter. Not acidic. And the nicotine hit isn't enough to knock you down or give you head-spin. It's there, but in a manageable dose.

All in all, a very pleasant smoke. I've yet to decide wether or not I'll be buying it again, there are so many good (and bad) tobaccos out there to try. I'm sure this one would benefit from storage for a few months, so I might buy a few and keep them in hand.

So, in summary, if you like 'em strong and dark, not too sweet, and a bit 'off the beaten track' I think you should give this one a try.

Hope that helps.

Incidentally, if you don't drink, and you don't smoke.... you don't live longer. It just SEEMS longer(!)
Pipe Used: Classic (1967) Dunhill straight apple
PurchasedFrom: Burkitt's of Hove, actually
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 25, 2016 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is quite a strong tobacco. It gives a very nice Nicotine kick. It comes in very nice even flakes, which are a bit moist but they are very easy to rub out. When you open the tin it greets you with a very nice smell (at least for me) The smell reminds me of Old Horborn rolling tobacco. The smell could be coming from wine or vinegar.

The taste is very full. It makes you feel like you smoke a nice cigar. This is something you need to be careful with though. I smoked two bowl in one evening because I liked the buzz from it. After finishing the bowls it really disturbed my throat. After that I treated it with respect, and reduced the smoking amount and add a filter (which I really don't like) Also if you smoke too fast it can give you very little bite on the tongue.

I like to smoke this before bed, i can get a very nice sleep afterwards.

My favourite strong tobacco at the moment.

Pipe Used: Peterson POY 2009, Peterson Bulldog
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 06, 2016 Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant
This is a nice bold and full flavor tobacco that has no bite and is good from start to finish. I would even say that it has a hearty “meaty” quality that is satisfying. Works well in various size bowls and while it seems moist from the tin, it lights well and produces thick clouds of smoke. This one will join my rotation list and I’m planning on cellaring some to see how well it does with a few years of age.
Pipe Used: Several
Age When Smoked: 11 months
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 14, 2020 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
I have always wanted to try that old fashioned tobacco, the stuff that puts hair on your chest. I had been smoking through Old Dark Fired which is a reasonably strong blend, and I got the nerve to buy a tin of this. I didn't know much about this blend, so on an empty stomach I packed a full, large bowl of this and proceeded to light it. It was a mistake. I was so dizzy I thought I was going to loose my empty stomach. Learn from me and smoke this after a good meal.

When you get your tin it comes in 1 oz, 3.5 oz, or a 16 lb box. When you open it you will find nicely pressed MacBaren flakes. They are really dark, and show a nice mixture of tobaccos. The tin note is similar to ODF, but there are a lot more dark fruits, BBQ spice, Virginia sweetness. This is really easy to fold and stuff, but it takes a longer time to light than all the other offerings in the HH series. Leave your flakes out for around 20 to 30 minutes and you should be good. A few more than average relights.

As you light and after you will get voluminous clouds of white smoke, this is because there are lots of natural oils in Kentucky. Taste. For a blend that is strong it is really creamy. Ample BBQ and spice from the Kentucky. Dark fruits are in the foreground. There is a molasses note and a slight floral note. I can taste the Virginias they are sweet and bright. Smooth. This is well blended. With age it does get significantly smoother. I've been been cellaring this for a little over six months and I can only imagine the taste after a year or two.

The taste of this blend is full but not in the way you'd expect. It fills your mouth with smooth flavorful smoke. Every puff brings a little nuance. Lady N is here to take you in her arms and keep you in your chair. This is strong tobacco, the strongest I've had the chance to try, but I would say even with its strength it is repeatable for me, so I must be building a tolerance. If you are not used to strong tobacco don't be afraid, I reccomend a meal and a smaller bowl for your first time with this blend. This is a great blend, one which I hope to keep in my cellar, and it is perfect for these cooler autumn months.
Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Birkshire Large Billiard
PurchasedFrom: B&M
Age When Smoked: 6 months
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 01, 2020 Very Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable
This is how I start my day - MacBaren hits it out of the park with this blend.

Dark, rich and sweet. Great smoke from first light to last draw. Fruity, nutty flavours and full creamy smoke. These perfectly cut MB flakes are a slow light, and require a few re-lights. It keeps the full rich flavour right to bottom of bowl.

For the rookies, this has a meaty nic hit, so be prepared. Not an all day smoke, just due to time contraints, a big bowl takes me about 2.5 hrs to get through. Can leave the bowl a bit damp, so dry to taste.
Pipe Used: Peterson / Butz
Age When Smoked: 18 mons
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 08, 2018 Strong Medium to Strong Full Strong
My elocution is not quite as refined as other reviewers since I'm just an old Southern Country Boy. I'm going to give another review on this later in the coming weeks as I smoke more of this tin. Everything I find about this particular tobacco is four stars. As I open the tin and take my first sniff it reminds me of a Beggin Strips for dogs it has that Smoky beef jerky smell that I find very pleasing. I have only smoked 5 bowls of this in my pipe. I'm comparing this to War Horse bar. This particular tobacco when they say is for the experienced pipe smoker there is a lot of Truth to that. Both the War Horse bar in this tobacco are so close and flavor I'm having a hard time at this point distinguishing it. so far the only difference is with this tobacco you have to sip it slowly or it will bite you. The flavor in my opinion is fantastic it is exactly what I'm looking for in a tobacco. The War Horse bar in my opinion does not bite you as quickly as this one will. The flavors are very very close. The more I smoke this I will update a little later. Like I said the only complaint I have is it has to be smoked slowly if you try to smoke it like a freight train you're going to get bit not bad but you're going to get bit. This is a very good tobacco with very good flavor lots of smoke the room notes are pretty good. I don't recommend this for a new pipe smoker. This is an update July 28th 2018. This is a rich smokey tobacco it has lots of flavor the further down the bottom of the bowl I get the nuttier the flavor. It still Burns hot if you sip it too fast. This is a smoke that's mean to enjoyed slowly I will be making another purchase of this.
Pipe Used: Missouri meerschaum Country Gentleman/Legend
Age When Smoked: Jan,2016
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 23, 2017 Very Strong Very Mild Very Full Strong
As a big fan of HH Old Dark Fired, I had to try Bold Kentucky right? They are cousins to be sure, with Bold Kentucky being decidedly stronger.

In the tin, the smell is quite robust. I get more of a vinegar note from BK than I do from ODF. To the point that BK starts to smell a bit like barbecued meat. Not sweet molasses sauce barbecue, more like smoked meat. Perfectly shaped flakes, neatly arranged.

On lighting, you know it's gonna be a powerful smoke. Big, robust flavor. There may be other tobaccos involved, but it screams nothing but dark fired Kentucky. Very little, if any, sweetness. Despite it's strength, I didn't find myself getting bothered by the nicotine level, but it was on the edge of what would start to be too much.

So given it's big bold flavor and almost mono-dimensional character, I find myself liking Old Dark Fired a lot more. This is good, and despite the strength still very enjoyable. But it sets the volume knob just a notch or two higher than my tastes care for, where Old Dark Fired gets it just right.
5 people found this review helpful.
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