Tsuge Premium Pipe Tobacco Raijin - The Thunder God

Golden Virginias meld with a healthy share of perique; bold, double-toasted burleys, Orientals, and a helping of spicy dark fired Kentuckys for a blend that's a perfect late night repast.
Notes: Launched in 2014.


Brand Tsuge Premium Pipe Tobacco
Series Gods
Blended By Mark Ryan
Manufactured By Drew Estate
Blend Type American
Contents Burley, Kentucky, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States


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

Average Rating

2.67 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 12, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This starts with the Orientals and the Kentucky in the lead providing equal amounts of flavor, the Latakia lagging a bit behind and the Virginias providing a minimal amount of sweetness. By mid-bowl the Lat has caught up with the Orientals and Kentucky with the Virginias sliding even further behind. At this point it's a little too woody with not enough sweetness to satisfy my taste. It's a sour and smoky woodiness that would be fine if it only had a little more input from those Virginias. Not a bad smoke, but could be a lot better. Has some strength to it and it burns fairly well. Does need a few relights. Comes a little on the dry side out of the tin and is ready to smoke right away.

Body is medium to strong and taste is medium to full. Can't detect any added flavorings. Room note isn't the greatest, but it's tolerable.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Nording Apple
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 months
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 11, 2016 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Seeing how few reviews there are I felt like I ought to add a small comment on this blend.

Right off the tin, the tobacco smells like a regular English blend that's been packed in a box with dried seafood, it literally smells fishy, and of course Kentucky's medicinal notes that I grew to like.

The cut is annoying to say the least, this is my issue with Tsuge's Ryujin as well. It is cut in such an irregular way that makes packing a little difficult. You have some normal sized ribbons, some really long and thick ribbons, some twigs, and some large leaves; I had to tear them all to smaller bits just so I can pack a bowl properly. The tobacco is a little wet straight from the tin, which isn't a problem, even without drying it lights pretty well.

Once lit, it's flavourful and strong, packs a bit of a punch. You have that upfront rich and smoky Latakia; fragrant Oriental; and a little sweet Virginia in the background. Of course the star of the show is Kentucky, once again it adds that "medicinal" and "herbaceous" touch, which doesn't overshadow the other component. Overall the smoke tastes a little salty and tart, with no tongue bite.

When it comes to Tsuge's Latakia blends, I would say go with Ryujin if you prefer a more traditional strong English; but Raijin offers a more interesting and spiced up taste.
Pipe Used: Sasieni Four Dot Walnut 10
Age When Smoked: Fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 04, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Purchased a sampler of all 4 of the God series recently...

The St. James kicks in and doesn't let go here... Strong and spicy notes abound... Definitely a sipper here... I will be smoking this late in the day or at night as this one seems a bit rough for all day puffing... Hints of the burley here and there but the parish tobacco is the dominating factor here...
Pipe Used: Cob
Age When Smoked: Fresh
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 28, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Beautiful tobacco from the 'bag'. I was lucky enough to be given a sample of this tobacco from a friend who got his hands on it. Good mixture of light and dark tobaccos. The smell reminds me of hay and/or perhaps the zoo?! Perhaps that sounds strange, but it was the first thing that came to mind. Smells like a very fresh and not highly processed tobacco. There were hints of smokiness from the bag as well.

Packs and lights well and remains lit throughout the smoke. Ash ends up a nice white-gray. It's smoke is interesting. Light accents of latakia come from time to time, but are very rare and subdued. It seems that the Kentucky takes center stage. The flavor is smokey, earthy, and salty. Not much if any sweetness detected throughout the bowl from top to bottom. A good N-kick and leaves throat a bit scratchy at times, but almost no tongue bite. It has to be one of the most interesting tobaccos I have ever smoked, not like any other English blend I've sampled before. It is a good fresh, almost dare I say Organic, tobacco. With that being said, probably not one I would smoke often, but that is just my taste. It's worth a try for something unique.
Pipe Used: Churchwarden, Billard, Corn-Cob
PurchasedFrom: Gifted
Age When Smoked: New
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 17, 2020 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Because the spice content is so high, it’s hard to pick out which varietal gives the most kick in this blend. I tend to believe it’s the very spicy, raisiny, plumy, figgy, earthy, woody St. James perique. The perique’s non-spice aspects are continually noticeable. The spicy, earthy, woody, vegetative, herbal, floral, very sour Orientals (Izmir is one of them) are a second lead that occasionally takes the top spot. The earthy, woody, floral, lightly nutty, dryly sour, slightly sweet and overly spicy dark fired Kentucky sits in the third position. The earthy, woody, rather nutty, lightly spicy, dry toasted sweetness of the double toasted burley is just above being a condiment. The golden Virginias provide some tart and tangy citrus, grass, floralness, bread, light sugar, and a few pitches of spice in a condimental role. The strength and nic-hit are in the center of medium to strong. The taste is a step past that mark. Even though it can be a little tongue tingly, it won’t bite, but fast puffing may result in a harsh note. Has some rough edges. Burns a tad warm, quickly and very clean with an inconsistent, complex, very spicy, savory, sour and mildly sweet, punchy, rich flavor that extends to the pleasantly lingering after taste. The room note is bit more potent. Barely leaves any dampness the bowl, and requires few relights. Not an all day smoke, but the veteran smoker will find it more repeatable than the lesser experienced one. It’s obviously a Mark Ryan production.

5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 11, 2017 Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
The first thing I noticed on opening the tin is pungent, earthy perique. That's a good sign. There's a neat motley of different colored leaf, and straight off I can tell it will be perique heavy. The leaves are not over-processed, so you get a mixture of everything from small ribbon cut pieces to larger portions of leaf that unravel. I find this impressive and usually a telltale sign of quality tobacco used.

After lighting I'm met with a heavy volley of perique and dark fired kentucky. The perique is earthy and peaty and just very mildly sweet, while the DFK lends a very dark tea note with a smokey finish. There's some nasal spice on the retrohale. The latakia is not as noticeable, but it's there, and I feel it struggles against the smokiness of the DFK to make itself known. Unfortunately, this battle of smokiness leaves a kind of unpleasant aftertaste. If it were Syrian latakia, I bet they'd work together a lot better. Damn the dwindling supply of Syrian. The orientals are perceptible throughout the smoke, adding some sour and tart high notes to counterbalance the darker aspects.

Raijin is just about right to pack a bowl straight out of the tin. It burns cleanly, I never have been bitten or had to relight. It definitely tastes better in a cob. Strength is medium to full, as is the taste, and there is no topping that I can detect. If it weren't for the aftertaste that I attribute to latakia vs. DFK, I would give it 3 stars. I believe with some age the flavors will mellow and meld together better. The blend just seems a little youthful. So I'm giving it 2 for now and will return to update once it has matured some.
Pipe Used: Stanwell Rusticated HCA1 unfiltered
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: Fresh tin
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 14, 2017 Strong None Detected Full Very Strong
Tasting Notes: Tsuge Raijin

Component Tobaccos: Uhh.. This depends on who you ask. Smokingpipes has Orientals and Virginias, while P&C has Burley, Cavendish, Perique and Virginia. Tobacco reviews has Kentucky, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish and Virginia. There seems to be no consensus as to what's in it.

Cut: Coarse ribbon.

Tin Note: Tangy, like the elephant enclosure at the zoo. There's an underlying hay or grass mustiness. Interesting, complex and a bit off-putting.

Body: 9/10

Strength: 8/10

Nic: 7/10

Mechanics: Have trouble keeping it lit. Has a tendency towards harshness upon lighting it up. Overall a cool, dry smoke


1st half At first light you get a hit of oriental tanginess. A bit of spiciness from either the Kentucky or perique but I don't get any flavor from them. Definitively some Cavendish, it raises it's sweet head from time to time. I think I get hits of Latakia but I can't be sure. The star of this show are the superb orientals. They are deliciously tangy and help give the blend a nice full body.

2nd half As I get down past half-way in my bowl I am becoming more confidant that this is Kentucky leaf and not perique but there is a note of fig, so I could be wrong. It may very well have both. At this point the orientals are starting lighten up and the smoke becomes more mellow through to the bottom of the bowl. Nearing the bottom the smoky nature of the Kentucky really starts to come out. The Cavendish is definitively there, but not in abundance. It makes a few puffs through a bowl sweet.

Thoughts: I first picked this up a couple of years ago when I first started pipe smoking and the complexity of this blend was lost on me. As I revisit today man I realize how great this tobacco is. They are really asking you to search this blend and pick out the component tobaccos. There is oriental tang, a bit of sweetness, some smokiness, some earthiness, a bit of fruit and undertoned with a musk that I can't place. It leaves a spice in your mouth, a smile on your face and you longing for another bowl.

Overall: 8/10

PurchasedFrom: Pipes and Cigars
Age When Smoked: New Tin
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 24, 2020 Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable
Wow, this blend has a lot going on. I agree with Gentleman Zombie that this could use a little more Virginia and the smoky elements do seem to dominate, but I did have some really good bowls. The problem I had in addition to what GZ pointed out was the consistency between bowls.

This blend has a lot of elements and when you are packing a bowl you will invariably encounter large clusters of any one particular leaf, that unless broken down and mixed in will have a large impact on the taste of the bowl you are packing. I have had many different tasting bowls as I worked my way through and as mentioned some were quite tasty.

The one thing that is consistent is that the Kentucky and Perique is always there, but not in any annoying way. If you do not taste them you will certainly feel them as this blend is quite strong. I think that those elements have been applied quite well as they never truly overwhelm. There are times though when those two elements get combined with a little too much of the oriental and/or latakia it just takes it to a level of bitter smokiness that is not necessarily to my liking.

There are other times when the balance is just right and you are treated to a panopoly of great flavor. I do tend to enjoy these blends that employ so many leafs, but In the ones that I enjoy the most, burley and/or virginia make up the majority of the mixture with all else being condimental which creates a nice backdrop of nutty sweetness as the smoker navigates through notes of spice, citrus and smoke. In this one it seems the latter tends to dominate more times than not, so I will also put two stars on this, but for someone who likes the deep dark notes of Kentucky and Latakia/Oriental leaf, this could be much more to their liking than it is to mine.
Pipe Used: Scottie Piersel Author
Age When Smoked: 4 yrs 5 mths
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 02, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I found a jar of this while doing some cleaning during the famous lock-down of 2020 (COVID-19)

I remember buying these for their tin-art (still some of the best ever) and jarring what I didn't smoke at the time.

I'll base the review on my impressions now, as I don't remember much about it originally. The moisture content was still good and it was easy to pack and light being a ribbon cut.

The taste is peppery and spicy with a woody background. The orientals pick up in the 2nd half of the bowl. It's a balanced smoke with a medium/full body and a moderate nic hit to my tolerance.
Pipe Used: Various bents
PurchasedFrom: gift
Age When Smoked: 2 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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