Bengal Slices Bengal Slices (re-release)

A unique Latakia based crumble cake made with yellow and black Virginias, some of the most delectable Orientals available and a touch of unflavored black cavendish.
Notes: A recreation of the original Bengal Slices.


Brand Bengal Slices
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Sutliff Tobacco Company
Blend Type English
Contents Black Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring Licorice
Cut Krumble Kake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.33 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 11 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable
Reviewing the reviews of this blend, so far, it is clear that most reviewers are too young to have smoked the original Sobranie product nor, have most, smoked the subsequent versions; and, they have rated this blend very highly. I have smoked a pipe long enough to have smoked all versions of Bengal Slices; from the black and oily wax-like Sobranie version through the black and brown mottled and dryer Gallaher variant and most of what followed down to the blend's demise. I agree with reviewer DK 2015-09-14 that the current blend is weaker and less enjoyable that Fusilier's Ration and is not quite the older product either. I also agree with reviewer tobacco 2016-02-20 that it is more of a tribute style blend than a replica of old Bengal Slices. I concur with the critique of Hans and Franz 2016-03-02 that the current product is a bit of a let down and opening yields a messy presentation which, by the way, is the predictable result of placing slices in a round tin - they get beat up some. OK, now, how do I feel about this blend? I found that it looked like the Gallaher variant more than the original version and had a tin odor that was much stronger than I remember from either; an odor rather like Wintergreen, which I do not associate with Bengal Slices. On lighting up I got a taste and odor that, while reminiscent of the older blend, was much weaker than any variant I remember smoking. These thin smoking qualities continued right down to the finish. When I exhaled my puffs into the room there was always a falling short feeling in the aroma like something expected at the end but, unfortunately, absent. Now, I would not be so critical of this blend if it were offered as a tribute blend but the tins say Bengal Slices and it is susceptible to critical comparisons because of this. I love most of the English blends offered by Russ Oulette but, Russ, this one doesn't work - its weak, off center and less satisfying than even the post Sobranie versions. Never my favorite of English blends in the old days, I would have given the older blend three stars in our current system. However, this is two star material and I give it a qualified recommendation.
Pipe Used: Larry Roush lovat billiard
PurchasedFrom: pipes and cigars
Age When Smoked: current
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 20, 2016 Mild Mild Full Pleasant
In my view the current Standard Tobacco version is a tribute blend, not a replica although competent in it's own right; however, it's very different indeed totally different compared to the original British version moreover it's a crudely sliced crumble cake. I gather that Lane does not have the equipment nor the presses to manufacture slices as one sees in Penzance or Gawith's Balkan Flake for example.

Having recently emptied, a few weeks ago, one of my few remaining tins of the original British made slices it's time for comparisons: the topping is utterly different, the original was soapy floral Lakeland-like essence which ghosted like nobody's business. The new one reminds me of mild Tonquin slight Vanilla and some Anise, occasionally on the retro-hale a mild soapiness does arise albeit very mild and almost nonexistent, the former would be every puff and blend-dedicated briars a virtual necessity.

The original was more Latakia forward, the new one being more subtle yet still retaining a respectable Latakia representation.

Appearance, the original is much darker and waxy like shoe polish, mind you age plays a role. The appearance of the new one is exactly the same as Plum Pudding, don't rub it too much it turns to dust quickly. Gravity pack no tamping needed, burns great, very cool/slow and well behaved all the way down, consistent flavour and combustion. I did not notice vitamin N at all; however, the casing does coat the palate so last smoke of the day for me. All in all the new one is a competent blend albeit quite different maybe second cousins.

I prefer Russ' Fusilier's Ration it has more personality with bigger Orientals and more Latakia forward, the anise is also very apparent every puff. The best thing Russ has done in my books.

I'll finish this tin; however, I won't be cellaring any on the other hand a nice stack of Fusilier's Ration is slowly growing in the cellar.

PS. the new version of John Cotton's Smyrna is much much closer to the original. I close my eyes with a packed pipe and up pulls Doc Brown's DeLorean.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 02, 2016 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
To me, this is clearly in the Areo camp, Anise and Vanilla, not overdone, but noticeable. As I'm not an Areo smoker , so I do tend to rate these with fewer stars, but this one I can get by with. Areos all seem to have a background bitterness that I find distracting, however, the sweetness is the predominant player in this one.

The Crumple Kake flakes break apart very easy and leaves little "nuggets", that I find hard to pack in my usual "Air pocket "method and is more easily packed using gravity feed method instead.

I agree with reviewer , SteelCowboy 2016-01-29 in that this reminds me of a smoother , Fusiler"s Ration. Not a favorite of mine because of the Vanilla/ Latakia combo. I'm sure many will find this pleasant, but I won't buy again
Pipe Used: cob & Maple
Age When Smoked: 1 month
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2016 Medium Strong Full Tolerable
Bengal Slices was a bit of a let down.

The tin aroma is Play-Doh. The presentation in the tin was messy, with thick, irregular chunks on a bed of powdered tobacco, which was too dry. It turns to dust when crumbled, and I can't help but wonder if this is the shake and powder from the bottom of the blending pile, pressed and sliced. The smoke was decent but nothing extraordinary, like it's relying too much on the top flavor.

Perhaps I set my expectations too high. I was expecting something like Penzance, not in flavor, but in presentation; more refined.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 07, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant
Meh.....Not a lot going for me. Dry, grassy and not very complex. The room note is amazing. I wish the flavor came even a little close. Too many relights as well. I've given this several chances, hoping it would improve for me and it hasn't.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2022 Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable
Not sure if the topping/casing for Bengal Slices is licorice or anise, they both taste the same so it really doesn't matter. For this review I'll refer to the flavoring as licorice. When it comes to flavored tobacco, licorice flavoring is one of my favorites. Sir Walter Raleigh is one of my go to tobaccos because of the very mild licorice flavoring. There's not a lot of tobacco blends that I'm aware of that have both Latakia and licorice flavor as components. Bengal Slices and Fusiliers Ration may be the only two. For me the combination of Latakia and licorice is a match made in heaven. As a matter of fact I use to take an eight oz bag of Esoterica’s Margate, a one and a half oz pouch of Sutliff’s Mixture #79, mix it all together and stuff it into a mason jar. That was my favorite smoke for a quite awhile. I guess without realizing it, I was kind of making my own version of Bengal Slices.

Now onto a discussion about Bengal Slices.

First opening the tin, licorice and Latakia comprises the initial tin note. Kind of a smoky licorice aroma. I received three wide slabs of dark brown with tan/yellow striped krumble kake slices. The slices were stuck together and somewhat flexible almost rubbery and a bit on the dry side. Peeling one of the slices off, I rubbed it out and filled my pipe. The Latakia is definitely a main player and for my taste the licorice flavor might be just a tad heavy. When I first start smoking it’s delicious, but then after awhile I get weary of it.

When discussing Bengal Slices, mentioning Fusilier’s Ration is almost a must. Fusilier’s Ration for me is a lighter version of Bengal Slices and I actually prefer it.

I have no complaints about the smoking mechanics of Bengal Slices. It is well behaved with no bite, bitterness or gurgle. Required no relights and stayed lit with a normal to slow cadence. If you enjoy a tobacco heavy on the Latakia and licorice flavor then Bengal Slices might be a good choice. If you prefer something a little lighter, then Fusilier’s Ration might be a better way to go.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 04, 2020 Medium Medium Full Pleasant
I'm old enough to have smoked the last generation of Bengal Slices. There were two versions, the regular one and an aromatic one (same tin, just had an "aromatic" sticker on the corner). The regular Bengal Slices was very similar to Balkan Sobranie White, these two tobaccos were my mainstays for many years until they became unavailable and I moved to McConnell's Oriental and Dunhill Durbar.

Bengal Slices had more sweetness and less saltiness, and more of a BBQ flavor, which at the time I chalked up to the extra sugar as it burned, and was much more creamy than Balkan Sobranie which I chalked up to all the cavendish. The aromatic version of Bengal Slices had a very strong lakeland type soapy perfumey note that would ruin a pipe as bad as Erinmore, when I heard Bengal Slices was no longer made I went around to all the tobacconists in my city and bought out their stock, and accidentally acquired several tins of the aromatic version. I smoked them, grudgingly, using an Ashton I thought I could part with if necessary.

What is in this tin is neither Bengal Slices nor Bengal Slices "Aromatic".

It's definitely reminiscent of the old Bengal Slices, it has that sweet creamy Balkan Sobranie flavor, but has an aromatic component, yet not the same one as Bengal Slices Aromatic. Just to be on the safe side I hauled out my old Ashton Bengal Slices Aromatic pipe, which still smelled of latakia and soap and perfume, to give this new blend a try.

After smoking a tin of this it seems to have dispelled the lakeland from my old Bengal Slices Ashton. I smoked a bowl or two of this in another briar and fortunately, it doesn't ghost a pipe as badly as the old Bengal Slices Aromatic did, and with a few weeks of airing out the anise smell dissipates quite a bit and its a pretty good smoke. It's just not Bengal Slices, at least not the version I fell in love with.
Pipe Used: Ashton 2x bulldog
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes
Age When Smoked: fresh
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 17, 2020 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Bengal Slices 2oz tins come with a couple of slabs of dry crumble cake. It breaks apart nicely and packs easy. The blend is topped with a nice licorice/vanilla/incense-like note. The scent is wonderful and the overall smoke is creamy. It's pretty close to a lat-bomb as Latakia is mostly all I taste here aside from the candy-like top note. Everything else is almost too subtle or doing something in the background. The problem I have with the blend is that it gets way too hot on me no matter what pace I smoke it at. I seriously could not get this to cool down at all, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the unique flavor of this blend. Probably won't get this again because as great as it tastes, I don't enjoy waiting for my mouth and tongue to recover before I can get back to smokin'. Could be my technique or the pipe or the alignments of the planets. Your mileage may vary.
Pipe Used: Roma Pastor, MM Cobs
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: New
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 07, 2020 Very Mild Medium to Strong Mild Tolerable
IF YOU DON'T LIKE BLACK LICORICE PASS. This was not one of my favorite blends but it being a reintroduced blend i said what the hell why not. After smelling the tin note i thought to myself well this is not going to be for me and i was correct not a fan but you might be. The tobacco behaved well and burned perfect after 10-15 minuets of dry time. I hope this information helps.
Pipe Used: Dunhill Bulldog
Age When Smoked: 1 year
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 24, 2019 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
As has been said in many other reviews, the latakia is prominent, a very pleasant woody smell and taste. It is perhaps too strong for those not fond of latakia. The cavendish compliments nicely, adding to the base in a soft way. Overall this is smooth without a overly dense smoke. It may require some drying/relights depending on how it is prepared/packed.
Pipe Used: Savinelli 915KS
PurchasedFrom: P&C
Age When Smoked: Freshly opened/purchased
1 person found this review helpful.
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