Rattray Red Rapparee

Exhilarating and elusive, quaint and seductive. Prepared from choice red Virginias and heavily flavored with Orientals, giving it a red tinge. It burns in the pipe with the spontaneity of a fine cigar. New description: A charming, perfectly balanced dark mixture of Virginia tobaccos, Orientals, black cavendish and a luxurious quantity of latakia. The ash is pale grey and similar to that of a good cigar. A wonderful, spicy mixture.


Brand Rattray
Series British Collection
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type Scottish
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Mixture
Packaging 50 grams tin, 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

3.39 / 4





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Displaying 31 - 40 of 206 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I returned to pipe smoking about a year ago, after a 40 year layoff.

I was therefore smoking new tobaccos in brand new pipes. As a result my voyage of rediscovery was a compromised one. While I waited for the cake to build up, I made a few decisions on pipe types and shapes. Churchwardens weren't for me, neither were corncobs. I haven't tried meerschaums yet but I am a convinced fan of 9mm filters. Matches are my preferred form of ignition, I have a Zippo but only use it on the rare occasions when I smoke outdoors.

Regarding tobaccos I quickly rejected aromatics, then blends without latakia and eventually settled on Scottish mixtures i.e. the classic latakia/virginia/oriental with the addition of English type cavendish. I also bought a cheap pasta press and made discs of pressed tobacco form each new 50g tin I purchased. Pressed hard over 4 or 5 days the 4 ingredients above meld as the cell structures break down. A bit of warmth helps the process so I leave the press near the central heating boiler. I keep the discs in Mason jars. I am now smoking tobacco that is at least 6 months old and pressed into hard discs which I crumble out before each smoke. Compared with straight from the tin the difference is as chalk and cheese. The flavour is vastly improved, tongue bite is non existent and one light is often enough to see me to the end of the bowl. I cannot recommend this process highly enough.

I can now rank my favourite Scottish mixtures as follows:-

1. Red Rapparee 2. Tree Mixture 3. Old Dublin 4. Black Mallory

In reality I only purchase the first two, and 90% of my smoking is of Red Rapparee.

RR is beautifully balanced with just enough of each component, without any one ingredient predominating. The nic hit is low (I don't inhale but I felt the nicotine from MM 965 for instance, as I did from Erinmore Mixture) and it is just a really good tobacco. I raise a glass to Charles Rattray, a blender who knew exactly what he was doing.
Pipe Used: bent briars, varying bowl sizes, all 9mm filtered
PurchasedFrom: Barbers of Harrogate
Age When Smoked: 6 months
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 03, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Well..If I was allowed only one pipe tobacco, Red Rapparee would be it. I think the secret in this mix is the Black Cavendish because it mellows out the Latakia and Orientals. So if you are looking for an EM that isn't so strong on the Latakia-Oriental side with a natural sweet background, this could be for you too. This my personal opinion because I'm a newbie
Pipe Used: Gasparini Arpege
PurchasedFrom: Bollitopipe Turin Italy
Age When Smoked: weeks
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
What a treat! I can't think of anything bad to say about the tobaccos or how they've been blended. Red virginias that I have smoked have ranged from brightish and sweet to darker and richer. I love 'em all - the reds here are smack dab in the middle, which is perfect for this medium english and add a nice fruitiness that weaves its way through the smoke and complements the cavendish. I'm a big fan of orientals, so the fact that they are forward in the mix and of excellent quality is also a huge plus. The latakia is used more as a condiment, which lets the other tobaccos shine and shine they do. I think both latakia lovers and those who aren't fans can appreciate this blend.

Refined and smooth as silk to my palate. Just a little bit rich, but subtly so. I can smoke this all day.

Room note is pretty decent for an english. Well, the sidestream is incredible, and I get positive comments about its smell from nonsmokers, anyway; but then again most people I run into love the smell of pipe smoke in general, so...

As an aside, the effect of humidity and elevation doesn't seem to be discussed much, but as I found out recently, Red Rapparee tastes even more amazing at 8,500 feet in the high alpine. Crisp, like biting into a red delicious apple.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 08, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Popping open the 50g round tin,the tin note is slightly reminicent of 'Punchbowle' a sort of smokey/light creosote with a fermented mango sour fruit pickle.

Appearance of tin contents is a tan/gingery brown for the main, with some bright lemon flecks,dark brown flecks,and the odd small broken flake traces. Mainly a fine ribbon short cut/rough cut.

Inhaling through the as yet unlit pipe for a guess taste, i get a dryish, woody oak sherry barrel, tangy-tan tobacco clue,which tastes like a serious medium weight tobacco, not dissimular to Petersons Irish Oak at this point actually.(I had been trying a new tin of Irish Oak just before this trial).

Lighting up i immediately get a slight herby onions from the oriental/or turkish within.No applied aromatic properties are in this,it seems like a strait natural tobacco and the fruity tin aroma may just be an accidental scent of the natural ingredients.

The strength picks up after the first 1/4"inch of combustion to deliver a vegetable soup tang akin to minestrone,,,swede?,,leek?,,vegetable stock?,, winter vegetables? which have maintained their natural raw rooty earthy mineral soil/tannin tangyness...

Comparisons at this point are somewhere between Dunhill LONDON MIXTURE,Robert McConnels's 'The Original ORIENTAL',but not quite as smokey or herbaceous(at this point).

Quite fullish taste,it doesn't taste airy,empty or gappy where i need to argue with it,or want to fill a taste gap,but light enough like an approachable soup compared to a full bloating vegetable stew(alegorically speaking of course).

I can't say i am blown away, but that doesn't mean anything is wrong,its just that the more brands i smoke,i feel i have met this one before and that it exists within certain quintessential discovered pillars i am already familiar with,and doesn't for me on this occasion offer any real new novelty.

Its a sensible smoke actually and what it says is interesting but not unique in this stage of my smoking exploration, but confirms like a 3rd oppinion of what i already think i know regarding what "Oriental" means as a type of pipe tobacco. When i rest the pipe for a moment i get a slight raw white cabbage finish in my mouth. It tastes mature and well fermented,age cured and leathery.

The nicotine maybe stronger here and obove medium(i have already been caning some Irish Oak before this test and am already nicotine filled,i suddenly got that warning cough which i don't think comes from Red Rapparee alone,but it has enough power here to be a finisher if i dont watch out!).

Without checking the ingredients my guess is Oriental/or Turkish with darker aged mature Virginia's,some earthy Burley body in the background which keeps the other dynamic duo in check and cools things down.

No bite,although it gets tangy in an onion/garlicy way. Yeasty-ish with sage and onion (paxo stuffing mix)... Being simular to a few contempories i already have ,its something i will reach for when i am in the general mood for an oriental like it,or when one or the other brands due to some hypothetical, unfathomable, atmospheric conditions (or just contempt from familiarity from overuse) is not delivering any novelty factor.

I am one who does like to do side by side test smokes of simulars for a comparible 'variations on a theme' in identical pipes.

Red Rapparee is not an underdog in anyway,just not a front man;its sort of enigmatic,reserved,smooth,quiet,mysterious,private, but with a full presence of pensive content like a silent teacher. (yet i could probably say that of my other oriental blends really).. It seems up there with the best of them..

Savoury is a better word,and that tannin tangyness;think of the tang of blue stilton cheese minus the cheese factor,slightly astringent,maybe a challenge but not unpleasant,earthy and real. Onion soup,salted butter,it melts in the mouth like a knob of warm butter. Truffle?

After pipe ;it leaves a memory in your mouth akin to having eaten a tangy salad of onions,spring onions,radish, that is felt and fades over a couple of hours.A complimentary food would be a ploughmans lunch(can't think of a drink really but jamesons scotch blended whisky has a certain tang factor).

Bubble and squeek,Irish colcannon,butter fried cabbage and herbs-it comes accross as a vegetarian smoke.It has a slight soap factor ala 'Wrights coal tar soap'which is the baccy and not an applied lakeland-esque essence, or result of curing with burned fragrence woods,its just an accident of natural occurance.

Just checking 'Tobacco Reviews.Com' for a compared oppinion, i know now why i chose this tin to try,its because of the 'red virginia and oriental' curiosity. This contains cavendish but its not really tasted, and this baccy is not really that sweet.The cavendish within is probably not a particularly sweet type, and may explain why i thought i was tasting burley in the mix. Oriental leaf is apparently unsmoked latakia anyway, so it might explain why there was a slight familier smokey association when sniffing in the tin.

I have tasted red virginia in Petersons Sherlock Holmes before and i think of sweet floral red onions. I wanted tangy and got tangy.

Its nearest taste competitors in my rotation are 'Dunhill London Mixture' and 'Robert McConnel ORIENTAL'. I have jarred this tin already in a kilner jar because i have no idea at this point how long i will take to smoke it (i have about 50 baccies on the go at the moment and am doing pipe and baccy combination trials to find the best mates.)

UPDATE;2ND DAY Comparison Trial 3x Vintage Duncan Delta pipes side by side test, with Red Rapparee, Robert McConnel ORIENTAL, Dunhill London Mixture. The short story:-

'Red Rapparee' is more salty buttery smooth than 'Oriental'.

'London Mixture' is a milder, smoother operator; 'London Mixture' feels slightly milder than the others and implies a slight touch of the smokey latakia in a condimental ghost sence,possibly due to the milder virgina or lesser quantity oriental baccy in the mix so that the spice factor seems augmented in the overal balance.

'Oriental' and 'Red Rapperee' have more of the herb garden factor with Oriental having the more significant herbal bias.

All three are within a gnats cock of eachother when smoked side by side in near identical condition pipes as a standard TBH, and could on a different day taste like one another.

So ;strengths of nuance differentiation:-

London mixture;- more spicey. Oriental;-more herbacious. Red Rapparee;- more salted buttery.

All three have that slight 'wrights coal tar soap' taste but are not smokey in a bonfire latakia sence,more closer to the grilled herbs taste.

I can't be arsed to pick a winner because they are equal substitutes in my mouth and either satisfy the oriental urge.

I would easily buy Red Rapparee again if i ran out,more for the red virginia than anything,even though its more imagined than tasted probably,and doesn't taste much different overal compared to my other Orientals already. It burns quite cool and slower than average. Creats a bit of wet in the moisture trap which needs wiping out a couple of times a session which might creat gurgle in a conventional briar maybe (if you don't pre dry it before smoking).But it smokes ok and dry in this pipe and down to a completely burned fluffy ash.

Worth 3 Stars ,its up there with other good medium orientals.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 25, 2010 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
Every so often a tobacco comes across my pipe that it's love at first puff. Many tins later the love affair remains. I find it "somewhat" like Early Morning Pipe. I generally smoke this fine blend as the first pipe of the day. It's smooth and creamy with beautiful Orientals setting the tone. Red Rapparee is slightly sweet and somewhat complex. I enjoy it most in a smaller bowl. Highly recommended!
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 04, 2002 Medium to Strong None Detected Full Very Strong
Red Raparee is undoubtedly a great tobacco, albeit a bit powerful. Very pungent, its Latakia/Oriental components tend to overwhelm the Virginias, which IMO barely touch the flavour registers. Visually the tobacco is very attractive, and it is easy to pack and light. However once you take a couple of puffs it snaps at your taste buds, producing quite an hypnotic effect. In a way it has the same density of the old Balkan Sobranie Original Mixture, but it is less sweet and rounded. To me it tasted at times almost salty as well as sweet and sour, with a very penetrating tanginess, similar to certain Chinese dishes from the Shezuan region. Strong and potent, it is a smoke that demands all your attention, and I find it advisable to be seated---and with a full stomach---when smoking it.

The aroma of Red Raparee really got me into trouble with the LSW, who has never liked the scent of Latakia mixtures, but found this one completely unbearable (I was propelled out of the house in order to finish the bowl, for not even the opened windows, which I invoked as a palliative, seemed to be enough to dissipate the smell). It took ages to finish that bowl, and by the end of it I felt transfixed. My taste buds, my palate, my clothes and hair were all suffused with one of the strongest Latakia/Oriental smells I can remember, which lasted for days! I do not know if Rattray?s use a particular type of Syrian Latakia, or if they also use the Cyprian variety, but boy is this stuff ?heavy? (in the 60?s sense of the term). Compared to RR, My Mixture 965 seems a medium tobacco and Squadron Leader, pale.

All in all, a very peculiar smoke, full of flavours and complexity, which is very enjoyable for Latakia/Oriental smokers, but should be approached carefully and IMO smoked only from time to time.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2022 Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
maybe the first English type blend I smoked in recent years as my palate developed. called a Scottish blend. really good stuff and I keep several tins of various sizes in the cellar. even though I have moved on from this I still come back from time to time for a bit of change. others have given an accurate description. just a really top-notch smoke.
Pipe Used: Peterson system
PurchasedFrom: tobacco pipes
Age When Smoked: fresh and aged.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2021 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Can't believe this has no flavoring added, I sense distinctly a ginger-like topping throughout each bowl; not that I dislike it, it serves instead to distinguish this tobacco among the crowded class of english mixtures, and the quality of the leaf used is excellent, as always with Rattray's. So it won't probably replace my favorite english blends in my normal rotation, but I think I will revisit it from time to time...
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 06, 2021 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
One of the first blends I've ever smoked was the EMP. Though on revisits to EMP, I found it to be a lacking alot of flavour, compared to heavier, more full body blends.

The red raparee is a step up from the EMP, providing much fuller tasting notes. It's sweetness translates more into aftertastes of floral essences for me. A solid, solid 4 stars. Must be my new favourite blend
Pipe Used: Dunhill Bruyere White Spot
PurchasedFrom: Turmeaus/C.gars London
Age When Smoked: Brand New
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
I'll just go ahead and say straight off the bat that this is a very, very nice blend. Earthy, warm, and packed full of flavor. The Latakia is present (Cyprus Latakia, I'm guessing - Syrian tends to be sweeter), the Orientals are present, and the Virginia gives a nice sweet backbone to the blend. Never burns hot, never bites. A very well behaved mixture.

Tin note is earthy and sweet, and the moisture out of the tin is absolutely perfect. Lighting and maintaining is also easy as can be. Light, tamp, light, then forget about it.

It's one of those blends that you can just enjoy without thinking about it too much. However, if you want to focus on it, there are plenty of subtle nuances you can pick up.

Very enjoyable tobacco indeed, I'd buy it again. Not quite enough oomph for me, but still very, very enjoyable, high quality tobacco.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: New
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