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 61 - 70 of 116 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 09, 2022 Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant
Definitely one of the best Va+Bur on the market. It has all the characteristics of an excellent stoved tobacco, added to a very high level Kentucky that makes up the flake. A light smoky from the beginning to end. Optimal burning and use of tobacco. Excellent humidity. Beautiful flake, well built and that can be enjoyed in many ways (particularly, I like to deconstruct the flake to fill the bowl). Notes of dried fruit/nuts, caramel (very discreet), and floral incense. Sometimes, a vinegar appears, that I suspect is from the casing. Strength: for beginners, it may be "strong", but for burley lovers it is medium-weak. Recommended for everyone.

- Germano @pipesnuffscience
Pipe Used: Several Pipes
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 06, 2021 Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong
Tingling in the nose, brain and soul.
I cannot start any different from this.
Really strong baccy as it has a considerable amount of nicotine.

It need a bit of dry out before packing your bowl. Sometimes it´s hard to keep lit. A medium bowl gave me almost 2hours of good smoke, after managing keep it lit, burns well till the end.

The flavor is not that complex once that delivers you the same flavor from the very beginning till the end.

3 and half stars.
Pipe Used: cob and briar
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 03, 2020 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Presentation: Typical slim, uniform and neat flakes arranged in three rows. Gold wrapper and nice vacuum seal. Dark brown, almost black flakes. Some plume was present on my flakes even only being a year old. Come a bit moist. Break apart easily. I recommend a dry time of about 10 minutes.

Palette: Very strong and molasses like smell. A touch of vinegar on the nose but nothing too much. A really strong stout earthy blend. Light up offers a very monochromatic smoke. Don't expect a complex blend by any means. This leaf contains a majority of Dark Fired Kentucky and a touch of Virginia to lighten the load. A singular flavor throughout with touches of floral essence and vinegar, a little sweetness. Mostly dark and rich BBQ flavor, but charred meat with a heavy coating on the mouth. A touch of wood and brown sugar here and there. Heavy on the nicotine. Even after a full meal I felt a bit queasy, but I am a fast puffer and have to remind myself to smoke this one slowly next time. Not an all day blend.

Performance: Smokes a a very cool temperature and at a pretty slow pace too. Leaves some moisture in the bowl. I smoked mine in a narrow bowl and one flake lasted me about 45 minutes, even with dumping the last 1/3. Doesn't change flavor that much so I think a wide bowl would be fine too, but a narrow bowl really concentrated the flavors a bit more.

Conclusion: A strong, stout blend for late in the day after eating. Be sure to have a sugary drink if you want to maintain a level head. A classic blend from MacBaren. I prefer Old Dark Fired to this, as ODF has more vinegar essence and sweetness, kind of like a tangy BBQ sauce. Still, you should try this blend at least once. I have a tin from last year that I'm working on and have just hit the 1/2'way mark on it.
Pipe Used: Moretti Morta Devil Anse
PurchasedFrom: SP
Age When Smoked: 1 year
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 14, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
HH Bold Kentucky

I tried this blend a few months ago at the pipe club, and did this stuff kick like a mule, to my defense I had smoked a few other Kentucky based blends and against my better judgement and young bravado I gave this a shot. It didn’t kill me, much to my wife’s disdain as we have a good life insurance policy.

Alas, here I am a few months wiser or however that saying goes and I’ve come to conquer the bold Kentucky, let me tell ya, it still packs a punch but damn is it a good one, this blend hits the no non sense tobacco.

Straight forward flavor, Kentucky and Virginia play together like two old best friends, no casing or topping just pure unadulterated yumm. Most of what’s said has been said, it tastes great, let it dry out, aging will hopefully make this blend taste better.

Seriously let this dry, i recommend rubbing this out vs folding and stuffing as I’ve had a hard time keeping this lit even with an hour drying time. I prefer a cob or smaller bowl briar to smoke this in.

Last tip buy the 3.5 oz tin it’s usually the better deal vs the 1.75, I paid 4 dollars more on tobaccopipes for 1.75 more. The presentation inside the tin looks as if I found wonkas golden ticket.

Smoke it on a full stomach, sip and enjoy with a cup of coffee.
Pipe Used: Mm cob
Age When Smoked: 3 months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 14, 2019 Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Strong, and flavourful.

I would compare it to Peterson's Irish Flake, Gawith's Bracken Flake (no longer available) that had Coumarin in it. Although a veritable powerhouse, it is more smoke-able than either of these other flakes. I must also say that it smokes better than Gawith's Lakeland Dark that I have also open at the moment.

There is definitely a sweet tone to it, presumably due to the Virginia content. The smokiness of the Kentucky is definitely there. Mac Baren has, however, refined and domesticated the beast.

Perhaps, this flake should be savoured and sipped in a smaller bowl, in my humble opinion. I have tried it in medium-sized and smaller-sized bowl pipes, an I find it to be very well behaved in the smaller bowls. Also, a day's conditioning after crumbling or folding before smoking may mellow it out a bit more.
Pipe Used: Many pipes
PurchasedFrom: Casablanca, Toronto, Canada
Age When Smoked: Tin labelled Jan 2016
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2019 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
A very strong, very full, very satisfying straight tobacco blend. The flakes come quite moist in the tin, but they seem to burn fairly well straight out of it. This is my absolute hands down favorite tobacco. To me it’s neck and neck with Irish flake. I had one tin of each at one point, and I couldn’t pick up much difference really. BK seemed to be the better one, being a tad more refined I’d say. But that can be arguable I suppose. The Kentucky flavor is just perfect and in your face here, but in the perfect way. I can handle very very high nicotine and I usually have to take a break mid pipe and come back to finish my bowl. I don’t want to put the pipe down, but I just am so satisfied nicotine wise, that I usually need. A 10 or 20 minute break to “ rest my eyes” .....I experience zero tongue bite from this blend. You can easily get two to three smokes out of one full pipe load. The flake chars nice and slow , but you can really get big billows of thick rich smoke if you wanna freight train it. If ya do that , it will knock ya off the tracks most likely. What a fine job Mac Barren has done here. I’ve been smoking this for just over a year and I now know that I don’t want to play with any other ordering or tobacco purchasing to chase down that perfect blend. I’ve got her, here with me, on the couch on this late October night. The pipe never seems to end and a medium or larger bowl can easily produce 60 minutes of smokin. Personally I take one full flake, roll it in my palms just a bit, and stuff with some bigger strands in tact. Even pushing it down tight into the bowl, the draw always seems like it should be restricted more, but with BK it doesn’t ever seem to be. Although I do smoke this all day, the very best time to enjoy this blend is later at night before surrendering to bed. But I also really enjoy this one while drifting streams with my centerpin float rig for fall and winter steelhead fishing in the Lake Erie tributaries. And I have been blessed to enjoy some of this Bold Kentucky very early in the morning, on a cold foggy one at that - while fishing my favorite secret trout stream under a gray drizzling sky. I remember the smoke that morning, it didn’t seem to rise. Each puff seemed to slowly sink down onto the flowing water, and be swept away atop the current , and disappear into the fog. I will never forget that.....
Pipe Used: 4 3/4 “ Leonessa straight pipe with large bowl
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 18, 2019 Very Strong None Detected Very Full Strong
To call this tobacco strong is putting it mildly (pun intended). I think I rubbed this out too small.

There is a cigar-like kick of nicotine and it is not for the inexperienced (me). Definitely bring along a favorite carbonated beverage to keep this from causing hiccups. The flavor is full and the taste is strong. I quite like it, but a half bowl is enough for me. I will keep it around for when I am feeling the need to get dizzy. It's slightly sweet and surprisingly free from tongue bite.

The tin note is sour and beefy, like a simmering pot of tomato-based beef stew with a hint of Bay leaf.

Let it dry out and it burns easily. If a strong pipeful is what you seek, then look no further. Quite enjoyable until the nicotine gets overwhelming (Personal experience).
Pipe Used: Peterson Spigot #69 smooth bent Briar
Age When Smoked: Tin stored since 2015.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 19, 2019 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Upon opening the tin, I was immediately hit with the most pleasant aroma of a slightly-fruiter wine than a Zinfandel. I could barely fathom the scent - it is the most outstanding tin aroma I have ever smelt.

The flakes were neatly presented within the tin, of perfect moisture: rubbed -and filled the bowl easily. I lit the tobacco, sat back in my chair, listening to a podcast, and was really intrigued by the palate of this just-slightly-less-than-full-bodied smoke.

Much of the tin aroma is preserved for the palate as well: dark, fruity, and wine-y with a tangy-twist that is in no way unpleasant. It progress to a more earthy side down the bowl, and leaves a dry, woody and milk chocolate taste on the tongue. It burns easily to a white ash that is easily removed from the bowl with a slight tap. It is rich and round, and without a doubt the best tobacco I have had thus far.
Pipe Used: Stanwell Royal Danish 83
Age When Smoked: From the tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Strong
Not the strongest tobacco I've ever smoked, but certainly strong enough. The thing with really strong tobacco's is that they often taste like burning tires and tar. This falls short of tasting like tar, which is a good thing. It's a smooth smoke, despite its strength. The flakes are very thin and fragile. A hint to the smoker that a XL sized pipe may not be the best choice for this one.

I really like this one. This is a very nice treat to give yourself on special occasions when you want to delve a little deep into excess. The room note will not make you any friends. Best smoked outdoors. The smell is pungent and will linger and stick to your clothing and furniture indoors. Still, I give this a full recommendation. It is tasty.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2019 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable
This is tobacco at it's absolute best. Pure unadulterated tobacco flavor. Exactly what tobacco is supposed to be. Superb blend of Virginia's and Kentucky expertly proportioned into a wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable smoke. Sweet, strong and "Bold"! This is a sipper. Sit back, relax and slowly let the experience envelope you. Plenty of nicotine for a kick but not overpowering. This is for experienced smokers looking for that full bodied long lasting session with the pipe. I love this stuff. One bowl a day and I'm a happy camper. Gives me the diversion I need from my steady diet of Vapers and pure Virginias. If you're hard core for why God created tobacco try this one. You will be in pipe heaven.
Pipe Used: Carey's
PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: New
3 people found this review helpful.
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