John Cotton John Cotton's Smyrna

John Cotton's Smyrna is a Turkish forward blend with plenty of rich latakia. Virginias add a touch of sweetness to a robust, smoky and earthy experience.
Notes: John Cotton's Smyrna was a favorite among connoisseurs. This was a rich, spicy and smoky classic that was a go-to for pipe lovers around the world...and then it was gone. The new owners of this classic brand approached Russ Ouellette to recreate their blends. Through diligent research and sampling vintage tins to help jog Russ' memories of the flavors, Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania is now ready to bring this classic back. A combination of carefully matured Virginias, fragrant and zesty small-leaf Turkish tobaccos and plenty of Cyprian latakia, John Cotton's Smyrna is deep and bold, and a perfect meditative repast.


Brand John Cotton
Blended By Russ Ouellette
Manufactured By Lane, Ltd.
Blend Type Balkan
Contents Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Cut Ribbon
Packaging 1.75 ounce tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.48 / 4





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Displaying 31 - 33 of 33 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 30, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
It’s sad to know that this blend won’t be produced any more, due to FDA regulations. It was one of my Favorites. It will be missed.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 27, 2020 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
This is my second favorite oriental, after Sobranie. Smyrna has all the incense-like notes from Sobranie, but just lacks a little depth of character. Hence the three stars.

Someone below posted that this is a "mild english." Sort of, I guess, but its not intended to be a straight english. This is very oriental forward with a mild latakia to balance. It does not have the spicy bite of Chonowitsch 17, nor the absurd "green apple" sweetness of Saisani. And the latakia is not overwhelming -- its there to smooth the orientals, not mask them.

All that said, when I want an oriental/balkan smoke but don't want to tap into my sobranie, this is a go-to. Lovely, balanced, and peaceful -- a great way to end a day.

Nic hit is low, moisture is acceptable out of the tin (but does better with a month in a jar). No complaints.
Pipe Used: Briars
Age When Smoked: Fresh - 3 mo
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 16, 2018 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable
I agree with PIPESTUD completely in his review of this blend. I also was fortunate enough to have smoked the original made by John Cotton. It was my favorite blend so I smoked plenty of it. When it was gone I was left aimlessly looking for a worthy substitute which to this date I have not found. I have even purchased blending Smyrna and tried to make my own substitute from scratch but to no avail. The unmistakable and mesmerizing aroma of the original has proven to be elusive and PIPESTUD'S review has provided me with an answer that I will accept based on the fact that he knows a lot more about pipe tobacco than me. I had also been suspecting for some time that the grade of leaf used in the original is just no longer available and that is why Russ Oulette's Smyrna is totally different in flavor and presentation than the original, as PIPESTUD puts it. Is it a very good blend? Absolutely. But I did not find in it what I was looking for. I do recommend it as a good blend in its own right but not as a worthy substitute of my all-time favorite blend, the original John Cotton Smyrna. I might add that I never found the original to have a latakia character or even presence but rather a refined oriental character with that mesmerizing aroma that I miss so much.
Pipe Used: Various bent
Age When Smoked: Less than six months
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