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MacBaren Burleys

Discussion in 'Pipe Tobacco' started by cakeanddottle, Oct 26, 2012.

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  1. cakeanddottle

    cakeanddottle Member

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    I like MacB Burley London Blend ok, but it feels like it's missing something. Thin on backbone, flavor and sweetness. I don't like it enough to buy more than I already have.

    I was wondering if Golden Extra and/or Symphony were worth trying given my feelings on BLB. Thanks
     
  2. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    You've stepped in it - not on purpose, but I'm going to be very careful answering you here. The reason is that I seem to be one of the few people that enjoy Symphony. Most everybody I've spoken to hates it. The reviews are terrible. Yet, I think it's one of the two masterpieces that Mac Barens has created. It's burley, yes, but it has a virginia sweetness to it. It develops. It's interesting. I can be a little bitey when fresh, so it must be sipped.

    So when I say you stepped in it, I mean that I'm giving you a recommendation that you may not get anywhere else. :D You'll be taking a huge risk if you try it.

    Golden Extra is more like the BLB. Not the same but much closer to it than Symphony. So I'd start with the Symphony - if you dare! :ngty: When someone buys a tobacco for the first time, I always tell them if they don't like it, they can trade it here. But I may be the only trading partner you'll find! Good thing I can always use more! :ohyh:
     
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  3. cakeanddottle

    cakeanddottle Member

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    Aw for $7.95 a tin it isn't that big a risk. I'll throw a tin on my next JR order and pass on the Golden Extra if it's a lot like BLB.

    I have 4 pounds each of Storm Front, Stonehaven, ERR and Epiphany. I guess I already have the bases fairly well covered, but it isn't bad to have some variety. I haven't smoked ABF yet, but I have some in the cellar, and I almost thought BLB was great, so it made me wonder if there might be a MacB worth getting a few tins of. Thanks!
     
  4. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    I think you'll find that burley blends have almost as much in the way of nuance as virginias, VaPers and latakia blends. The nuances are more subtle (nuance-ier) but they are there. And you have the bases fairly covered, but I find it amazing what a slight variation on a common recipe can bring to the table. Then again, it's not that surprising when you consider what too much or too little of a small condiment can do to a common beef stew.

    My burley recommendation is Uhle's Blend 00. For starters!
     
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  5. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    I just got done smoking some Symphony. I love the stuff, and have about four pounds worth in the cellar. You're right, DM, it's got to be sipped quite slowly and you need to let it develop. Starts off slow and subtle, but it's a fantastic blend by mid-bowl. Considering the wonderful interplay between the various tobaccos used in the blend, I think Symphony is a perfect name for this really well-considered blend. I think their Scottish Mixture is even better. There are some really nice burleys in there, but the Virginias they use really take center stage. Just great stuff, and I've got six pounds of it cellared.

    MacB blends like Burley London Blend, Golden Extra, Symphony, and Scottish Mixture are deceptively simple. If you smoke them to fast they can bite and taste like cigarette tobacco. But if you sip on them - like so slow that you need a relight or two - you'll find they have a very mellow and delightful character.
     
  6. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Also, try Old Dark Fired if you can find any around.
     
  7. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Definitely not a Scottish Mixture fan but I enjoy BLB once in awhile. And GE didn't hit me very well the first time I tried it but Ruff touts it so highly that it's on my list to try again.

    The thing about Mac B blends is they're ridiculously cheap in bulk. And the tins get an A for presentation. They spare no expense in making the tobaccos look good enough to eat.
     
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  8. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Active Member

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    I bought a tin of Symphony on a whim earlier this year, which I haven't opened yet. Watching this thread with interest.
     
  9. beammeuptothesky

    beammeuptothesky Member

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    Great thread, Folks! I, too, will watching this thread with interest ;)

    ~Aaron
     
  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Sales Account

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    I thought that Golden Extra leaned more toward Stonehaven than BLB does. A little more "woody", a little less sweet.

    For more strength, Solani Aged Burley Flake or the suicide solution: C-D Burley Flake #3.
     
  11. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    I know what you mean about Ruff pumping GE, He sent me some and swears by it. I'm kinda on the fence with it but am currently out. I'm debating weather or not I should order some more.
    I'm still looking for my "go to" burley, aint found it yet. ABF is great stuff but too expensive to be a "go to" smoke.
     
  12. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Have you tried the Uhle's Blend 00 yet?
     
  13. Goat

    Goat Active Member

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    No... Not yet, but just added it to my TAD list. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  14. RTOdhner

    RTOdhner Well-Known Member

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    If you don't mind experimenting with flake, try the MacB HH Old Dark Fired. Talk about a hearty and uber satisfying blend! I'm cellaring as much of it as I can.
     
  15. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    MB Symphony is a killer blend .. dmkerr aint steering you wrong . The MB GE is a great Burley but it's not a ballsy [ ballsey ] .. a burley with alot of balls :eek: ... it's an all day Burley . You can let your mind go w/ it a bit but it's not complex . The Wessex Burley blends are darker in flavor ... and the Kentucky Burley , well .. it's the limit for Man Burley . Just depends on where you want to go w/ burley , just like Va. [ Lemon Va , Reds , Stoved out the whazoo etc .. ]
     
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  16. dmkerr

    dmkerr PG- free since '83! Moderator

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    Exactly.

    Most "in the know" pipesmokers that were around when I started smoking - the ones I knew, anyway - were of the opinion that "burley is burley". That is probably the biggest issue they were wrong about. There are so many different burleys. I'm a newb with burley and every one I try seems different from the rest in some way.
     
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  17. TheLonePipeman

    TheLonePipeman Member

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    I had some BLB last nite and found it earthy, mildly sweet, and satisfying. I also love Scottish mixture, but have no experience with Symphony or GE. Sure there are some better smokes out there, but not at the price. Bulk MacB blends have really killed my desire to try more OTC's. A bulk pound of BLB, GE, Scottich mixture, (and probably some of these others) is cheaper than a 14oz tub of most OTC's. And unlike an OTC the MacB's are better leaf, and not drenched in PG. I'm not bashing OTC's. Some are decent smokes, and there is a big nostalgia factor. By all means smoke what you like. But why would anyone spend more money to buy a lesser amount of a PG soaked leaf? :msty:
     
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  18. ruffinogold

    ruffinogold Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large. Mayor

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    I hear ya ! A pound of MB costs the same or less of a pound of OTC or a cavendish bulk . PS products are priced like that too ... awesome
     
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  19. LifeOfRiley

    LifeOfRiley Active Member

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  20. OldSouled65

    OldSouled65 Active Member

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    The strength of Burley Flake 3 had no effect on me :xd:
     
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