Regarding Tobacco Review .com

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Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large.
There's alot of referance to T.R. here at PSF . People will say check out whats said about a certain blend or maker etc .. Being that T.R. is an opinion poll , if you will , I thought I'd like to bring up a pont about using it as a "newbie" being we've had alot come aboard lately . I've been smoking a pipe for alot of years and when I first got on TR I looked at blends that were my favorite to see what was said . To my suprise every blend I looked at had almost polar opinions through out the review . So I thought " how does this help ? " The answer for me was reading the review and finding someone who liked something as much as I did , maybe for the same reasons ,and finding the same persons who didnt like something in the same way I didnt . I'm not talking about just one blend but in general . So I use those people as a benchmark when looking at a new [ to me ] blend . Basicly being familiar with a number of reviewers will help you pinpoint what the blend will be like . Honestly , some people on TR are Idiots . I mean way way off .... so you gotta find a benchmark or you might be getting the opinion of someone who thinks Latakia tastes like a flower dipped in merlot . I could write down a list of real good reviewers ..but ... That wouldnt help you .you gotta find yer own . If you've only had one blend then you're at first base . I'd wait till you've had at least 3 Differrent types of blends [ aromatic , vir , english ] on your own before seeking opinions . Or you can skip it all and just smoke Golden Extra . And while out and about if ya run across Three Nuns or edgeworth .... send them to me cause they're real bad and have been known to dammage peoples brains :velho:
I have been to t.r. and as a somewhat new piper It is and was confusing because of the split reviews. Your suggestion is a good idea once you find your cup of tea but that's the trick isn't it :) . There are so many tobacco's to try...... Heh that's not a thing to complain about though! When I find all that I like I will keep your tip in mind when I go to tobacco reviews! :yes:


Some rim charring is to be expected.
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That's sound advice. I actually do take certain reviewers words for it, only because they seem to follow the same track as me. The ones I dismiss are the ten words or less type of review...'course I'm guilty of doing just that myself. Paladin, anyone?


I found Frog Morton and a few others I like from T.R. but I also found a couple that I just don't care for. I think I would have found the blends anyway, apart from T.R.
The individual reviews are less than helpful to me because I don't know the palate of the reviewer. When something is weighted with hundreds of reviews I can go by the star ratings but even those can be skewed up or down.

What I have found more helpful are the sales popularity numbers from e-tailers, but even that was not enough to shield me from OGS.

What I would like to see are actual descriptions and comparisons of the blends. Like a ladder of sorts, each blend placed on the ladder according to its percentage of whatever in relation to other blends. There could be a Latakia ladder, a Perique ladder, and so on.


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I agree w/ruffino, that's the way to use TR, but the fact is, everyone's tastes are different (and change), and that's just life. I share my tastes with one guy, for example, (Zeaward at smokersforums) - absolutely everything I like, he likes, and vice versa. Imagine my surprise at DISliking Larsen Old Fashioned (and God I tried... how I tried!). But that's where we diverge.

All a newbie can really do is try a wide range of tobaccos, and that's where our new guy/old guy trade works so great = the new guy puts in a couple tins, and gets the world in return. What a fast track! Then you have your own baseline, having smoked a few latakias or a few orientals or a few virginias or whatever. And no Borkum Riff at all!

The only guy I'll vouch for at tobaccoreviews is Sasquatch, and even he's kinda dodgy.


I almost always will look at TR for a new toby. Usually it is just for what is in the blend or how it is cut or processed etc -in other words FACTS and not opinions. That said, sadly I have found inconsistencies even in the so-called facts. Its a very loose reference for me but I did find it very handy as a new smoker. If you don't make a couple of wrong turns in your search then you arent looking very hard.


Active Member
Hi All,

Having had to do it I can attest that writing about tastes is one of the most difficult things in the world to do - try to describe how a cup of tea or cofee might taste to someone who's never tried either and you'll see what I mean.

Unless the review provides reference frames for the type of taste then frankly I don't find it too helpfull.

Every review I found slated Peterson's Sweet Killarney saying it quickly lost its taste once lit up, was too mild, lacked body and twended to give anyone smoking it tongue bite. As I'd loved Peterson's Sherlock Holmes and Evening Breeze, despite its bad press I gave Sweet Killarney a whirl and found I liked it..a great deal. To me it doesn't smoke thin, keeps its attractive sweet flavour virtually to the end of the bowl and is a most satisfactory tobacco.

I personally think reviews can help but there is no substitute for trying for yourself and of course that means finding some tobaccos you really hate....

Best to all

I had this discussion with my tobaccoist at the B&M that I go to. We both agreed that while has some useful information, it's all basically a crapshoot. You lay down your moneys and you takes your chances.
That's one of the advantages of a B&M that will let you sample a bulk blend before buying. Too bad it's not possible to do that with every tin you buy....


Active Member
I find that I can sort the wheat from the chaff pretty easily on there. After you have read reviews awhile you can tell who is clueless and who has heavy biases. I always love reading reviews of latakia blends that are just absolutely awsome blends. If you read far enough you'll come across a couple of guys who give it like 1 or 2 stars and then say "I can't stand latakia." Ok, then why are you reviewing it? Hahahaha! Did you really think you'd like it this time? Did you really think your review would be helpful to anyone?

After checking it out awhile you will start to recognize some reviewers who give solid, helpful reviews. I see Sasquatch and Strongirish reviews on there a bunch along with a few other guys off here. I always give those reviews a more serious look because I am at least somewhat familiar with their opinions on a variety of tobaccos from this forum. And I know they know what they are talking about.

I tend to read the reviews and look at both the positive and negative reviews. If a guy is saying he doesn't like a blend because it is just too much perique or latakia for his tastes, hey, might be right up my alley. What I am saying is don't just look at the number of stars someone gives, see why folks like or dislike it and sorta get a feel for it that way. A negative review may actually be a positive recommendation for you. If that makes sense.

The other thing I tend to do when trying a new blend is sit outside and read thru the reviews on my iphone as I am smoking the first or second bowl of it. I find myself going thru and saying to myself "Yeah, I see that, no I don't really see that..." You'll figure out who has similar tastes pretty quick.

I have also read reviews based on stars. What I have found is almost without exception the 3 and 4 star blends are going to be solid smokes. Maybe not every one is going to be your favorite but the majority will be enjoyable. Likewise a 1 star blend, well, prolly want to skip those because they are likely not going to be great. I just try to keep an eye on the number of reviews. It is easy to have a 4 star rating when it has been reviewed by 5 guys. If it has a ton of reviews and is a 3-4 star, you can feel safe buying a tin to try.

It is just another tool, just like reading these forums. You just have to take it for what it is. I find it helpful.


Ruffinogold-Mayor, I.R.G.E.--At Large.
Everybodys on :groucho: . personaly , I like the idea of hanging out at a shop and the guy next to you is smoking something with a smile on his face and you say ... hey man what cha smokin ... and he turns you on to a blend .. etc . People make the difference
I always skip over the "this is the Grail we have been seeking" reviews as easily as I skip the "one bowl and into the flower-bed" reviews.
The only ones that attract my attention are the "if you liked X, Y or Z, try this.
I can already tell what type of tobacco it is from the Blender's description. Comparing it to other blends, whether I've tried them or not, gives me a better groundwork than just the reviewers taste.
Lucky some times...regretted others.

Whalehead King

Active Member
It's another way to pass the time on the computer. I don't put a lot of stock in what I read but I do find the reviews helpful in a vague way, especially if I want to point someone to a tobacco that isn't readily available. I don't do a lot of blind, online purchasing so I find it interesting. I prefer the B&M and snuffling around to decide what I want to purchase that day. If you're going to shop online, well, you'll find out if you like it when you get it. Good advice all around above. Thanks for posting this, ruffinogold.

Puff The Magic

Active Member
About "TR", you mustn't forget that everybody's tastes are different. Even if you and that particular reviewer/author likes the same toby as you do, you two may see another toby with polar opposite reviews. So, take it all with a grain of salt.

If the majority of the reviewers are saying a particular 'baccy is a 4 star and just a few say it's a 1 or 2 star, I sort of discount the "flyers" but still do read what they have to say that's "bad" about that toby. All taken in with a grain of salt.

I absolutely love some toby that's only rated 2 stars and don't understand why it's not rated higher but that's me and my tastes.

Use TR as a "comparo" of the same toby but just another piper's take on it. Don't buy just because it's a 3 or 4 star, you may hate it.

What I find sort of humorous are the "noids" that knock a 'baccy down because they couldn't light it....I guess they haven't mastered "fire" yet. :stretcher:

TR is a "resource" for pipers to use, it's not gospel.

Ed Puff!
cogito ergo puff


I think the negative comments can be a good thing. When people comment on a blend it is usually becasue they really like it, and thus the reviews can be sort of biased. The negative comments may provide some further insight to the blend.


Active Member
Great topic, Ruffino and as always, some very sound advice in the replies.

When I decided to take up the pipe, I used TR for a starting point. I discounted the obviously biased reviews (ex. aromatic reviews ending in "I hate aros!") and cross-referenced what was left with as much info as I could find here. One thing I noticed was a lot of OTCs tend to get short-shift on TR compared to more expensive blends.


I use TR just as a reference but not as gospel. If there are a majority of bad reviews for a 'baccy, then I'll probably stay away from it. But when there are a lot of good reviews that doesn't necessarily translate into me buying the tobacco and then finding it pleasurable. I may decide to try it, I may not.

As it's been stated, everyone's tastes are different. But not only that, I find that the same toby out of a different style briar may taste different. Do TR reviewers even state if they have smoked it out of a briar or a meer? Not usually. So if it is a briar, is the pipe fresh or are they getting some ghosting effects? They don't state that either. How old is the 'baccy and how has it been stored? They usually don't state that either.

So considering all of the variables, and there are even more than stated here, like I said before, I just use TR as a reference and take the reviews with a grain of salt, especially the glowing reviews.



The only ones that attract my attention are the "if you liked X, Y or Z, try this.
I can already tell what type of tobacco it is from the Blender's description. Comparing it to other blends, whether I've tried them or not, gives me a better groundwork than just the reviewers taste.
That's interesting, both the comparison idea and the blender's description. Honestly I have completely disregarded TR in the past for the reasons above. I've been relying on blender descriptions and picked up on anything that's sounded like something I've hit on before and enjoyed, or something totally new that sounds intriguing. For the first case, maybe TR could be useful after all.

But then again I think I have like 200 tobaccos on my shopping list, and when I end up in a shop or whatever I just end up buying something different entirely, so trying to put any logical thought into my tobacco purchases is merely an academic exercise.

(my first post in like 8 months or so...)
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