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Blended Virginia tobaccos suitable for both new and established pipe smokers. Flavoured with a special formulation to enhance the aroma.

Notes: Due to EU regulations this is now known as "Highland Mixture".

Blended ByJohn Player & Sons
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsBurley, Virginia
Packaging50 grams pouch
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Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A ribbon cut tobacco that has a nice Virginia taste that is ramped up in the flavor department due to the added casing of Whiskey. When smoked very slowly, I could detect the whiskey element, but whenever I drove my pipe over the speed limit, the Whiskey flavor went AWOL. My pouch was several years old and dry. Perfect smoking conditions for me and I really did like Player's Whiskey and would like to try another pouch some day.


4 people found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (70)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

50g pouch OTC

Pouch aroma:None really.

Appearance:Light tan and brown,broken well rubbed flake ribbons,quite dryish but smokeable.

Tried first in a Falcon bent with a brand new rustic Plymouth bowl;started off a bit steamy with no real taste,then tasted what i guess was a rough virginia/burley mix - it was roughish and seemed harsh - borderline bitey - and no whiskey came through either..At this point i was thinking that if you are not keen on whisky and are short of baccy;this doesn't seem to contain any real whiskey essence that was tasteable or would ghost a pipe.

I swapped to a vintage 'Airo',french aluminium stem system pipe similar to an early falcon made'alco'pipe(an ebay purchase): This produced a denser,smoother,cooler smoke;it has a narrower draught smoke tube near the bowl end which possibly works better for taming brighter baccies(Falcons work well on dark Kentucky's),but i think this 'Players Whiskey' was vexing the briar because this is a bit of a hot burner(typical of bright coloured mixtures)i thought i could taste the first stages of that 'smoking briar' taste - slightly.

For a second bowl in the Airo pipe i jacked up the bowl volume with some 'Wilson's-chalk philt pads'halfway,and loaded the top half of the bowl only,so any excess heat would be nearer the top for dissipation and easy escape,and that the freshly reamed briar beneath could collect some carbon deposit for a time before having to deal with a direct hot cherry contact.

Its the nature of system pipes when breaking in a new bowl; in certain cases the moisture condensor trap steals vital moisture that would otherwise collect in the heel of a conventional briar pipe(its just doing its job)that protects the briar from being too dry and exposed to the cherry heat where it is likely to scorch the briar.(but in a well broken in system pipe,you get no dottle,a dry smoke,and no tobacco wastage..baccy is expensive these days!)

Post pipe inspection revealed some heat vex again which could of been this session or from maybe usage in its past life(i didn't check the bowl before i used it).

Decidng that this pipe wasn't worth chancing with a baccy which wasn't suited to a fresh briar,and my own impatience to just get a good smoke without messing about,i grabed an old 'Colombo' brown bakelite system pipe with ceramic pop-in bowl(similar concept to the old 'Buttner' pipes);ceramic can take more thermodynamic punishment than a fresh briar and acts like a briar with a well built up cake already.

Packing harder this time because i am not breaking in a briar,but to keep some heat down as well and get a longer smoke duration;i am getting a better smoother smoke (less bite as well).

There is no soap factor in this blend for those that care,and this time i get a light whiskey perfume come through which is passable..Its a passable OTC at this point - i think i prefer 'Players' other 'Navy Flake'i thinks,but will give this 'Whiskey' some more chances now that i have a more sympathetic draught of pipe..

Its sweetish,sweet and dry - hayish - basic,with a slightly sweet vineous/winey tang which i am liking more,and its giving a soothing corn flour creaminess now which is healing the damage done by the first couple of abrasive trials.

This baccy joins a few others of my 'OTC' tobacco odyssey ,which since purchasing some vintage system pipes i have been able to tame quite a few lower rated hot or wet baccies into regular choice smokes..

Kind of prickly and earthy,Players Whisky leaves a mouth feel not dissimular to having had a Bells Scotch Blended Whiskey actually.The only comparable whiskey aromatics i have had so far are ,Petersons 'Irish Whiskey' which i wasn't keen on the first time but since a recent revisit,i think it has improved. Petersons is currently a more forgiving smoke but its a heavier Kentucky.

(I am conscious that i have spent most of this review talking about pipes rather than the baccy,but that is the baccy fault)

A few bowls later:Having had a few more bowls in this more sympathetic 'colombo' bakelite pipe and having tried different packing and lighting methods,i am at the point where i can give it a 2.5 stars;its better than some aromatics i have had in the past,although a tendancy to burn hot,it is dry and burns to a fine ash and doesn't leave a mess,

Some more bowls later:Initially i thought this was a once only purchase but having had it jarred for a day or two it seems to be one i keep going for..I can't leave this baccy alone,although i think most of that is because i want to solve its difficulties than because i am really enjoying it(although its alright).

Sometimes it smokes creamy smooth and othertimes a little bitey.Obviously there is some unseen dynamic atmospheric variable creeping in to my preparation method;i would like to find a pipe that ultimately solves this for me mechanically(i probably have one but am wondering if the baccy is worth it,and if i will have any baccy left after all the taste trials), but i think this baccy will have to be tamed via active human effort instead to smoke around its quirks.Its got something likeable though,but i dont really want to use a filter pipe.

I have found as well that if i dont pack it 'too' hard that it burns down cooler when not tamped into a flapjack,otherwise i gets a hot central core cake with the bowl walls taking all the core heat;backing off on my tamping the heat is more able to dissipate vertically up through the baccy.(with hot baccies packing too hard just moves the same heat elswhere,best to let the baccy suffer itself rather than the pipe,packing less densely allows a venturi vent effect).

Also it seems that lighting this with matches just enough to get it going without a full surface area cherry and letting it burn down centrally,then relighting to catch the outer and bowl wall remant later in a two stage smoke is a much cooler and gentler delivery.

Rolling on a few weeks:Having this jarred and fluffed up a bit, and allowed to breath since leaving the pouch has made this gentler again,it could also be due to the fact that this bakelite and ceramic bowled pipe has built some carbon in it that is maybe neutralizing the bite factor(this was a vintage but completely unused pipe before this test);i have had a few gentle bowls now and think it has settled into a reliable consistant and pleasant smoke..

The bright virginia delivers a light creamy custard/earthy sweet new potato factor and lemony/cider apple zest,with the light malty whisky popping in and out as a surprise support rather than a full front headliner.

Patience has paid off and its now worth 3 stars* to me. I think its pipe sensitive and likes a tight draught pipe for smoothness and taste,and also probably needs an already broken in and well caked briar to remove bite.I havent got time to dedicate to this baccy alone because although i think its ok now,i have about 50 baccies on the go and havent got time to dedicate a briar for caking with this alone,the ceramic 'Colombo' pipe has solved that problem for me. When its good, its a mellow, easy, non-complicated smoke, good for breaks when i fancy something stronger than a roll up,it has that certain 'all day' and anytime factor which although its not my favourite smoke,i am more likely to grab this for its 'get on with it' ease.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (148)
Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

This could be just Old Fogey talk, but it seems to me that Player's Whiskey is another of those tobaccos (cf. Three Nuns; Gold Block) that is nowhere near as good as it used to be. I see from other reviews that I'm not the only one to think this. When it first came out in the mid-sixties, Whiskey was a baccy to be reckoned with: fascinating tin aroma; wonderful room note; slow burning; deep, rich, full, satisfying flavour. The point, if memory serves, was to produce something that was as distinctively tasty as St Bruno while being substantially different from it. It was a glorious tobacco then, with perhaps the fullest and most delicious flavour I've ever come across, and a room note to match. Back in the day I used to smoke more of it than anything else; used to go out and buy a month's supply each payday.

The ghosts of Whiskey's good points are still there, but IMO a lot of the early quality has gone, no doubt in the interests of cheap production. Also, it used to be available in a flake form that was much superior to the ready rubbed version, and the demise of this flake is much to be deplored. So too, of course, is the passing of the tin. So often when you buy supermarket brands in those plastic pouches, the tobacco has dried out to the consistency of tea.

I don't feel inclined to damn Whiskey comprehensively. Thanks to the remaining vestiges of its past qualities, it's still a nice enough smoke in its own right, and it's certainly a good option if you can't get anything more up-market. It's readily available in newsagents, supermarkets and what-not. For these reasons I'm happy enough to recommend it. The properties that would have made it a positive choice for me years ago have seriously faded, though. It's a terrible pity to see what used to be a first rate tobacco tinkered with and so largely spoiled.

In 2016 his tobacco was rebranded as 'Blenders Highland' to comply with an EU regulation governing the naming of tobaccos. The tobacco itself hasn't changed.

3 people found this review helpful.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (26)
Medium to Strong Medium Very Full Strong

I smoked this for a while when I was a young man at the drawing board, in the ubiquitous "Falcon" pipe. The "goo" removed the varnish from part of the board, and I had to take the afternoon off work in order to be violently sick.

3 people found this review helpful.

Contemplative Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Contemplative (29)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

You know, this is very funny (peculiar and haha). I used to loathe this stuff, previously smoked it at least 2 years ago - my views of it then were very similar to the reviews below.

However, a couple of months ago I was out of tobacco, dived into a local high street newsagent shop in desperation, and bought this, as the only alternative was that green pouch Condor, which is truly the most vile pipe tobacco I have ever encountered.

To my utter astonishment, I didn't just like the first pipeful of Player's Whiskey Ready Rubbed, I liked the subsequent pipefuls even more. Although ready rubbed, the strands are mostly quite thick, flat and dry - yet my pipeful smoked beautifully, slowly and steadily, giving a pleasant, full and rich flavour. I simply can't account for the change in my experience of this tobacco - it is exactly the same as the stuff I used to hate, it hasn't changed. Then you have, I hear you say - but I haven't! That's all I can answer, in true bewilderment.

I've bought 3 more pouches since, my newsagent/tobacconist has now run out, can't seem to get hold of the stuff anymore, so I'll order it online from, which is the website name for the old-established English tobacconist James Barber. In fact James Barber does his own loose weighed-out Highland Whisky tobacco, but I've found it isn't as good as the Players version.

3 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2976)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The Virginia provides some tangy ripe dark fruit and tart and tangy citrus, bread, earth, wood, grass, light sugar and floralness as the lead component. The very nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet burley is almost supporting player though it is not listed as an ingredient. The rich whiskey topping mildly sublimates the tobaccos. The strength and nic-hit are just past the center of mild to medium. The taste is slightly stronger. There’s no chance of bite or harshness, and barely sports any rough notes. The tobacco is more of a chopped, fish flake cut than a ready rubbed. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a mostly consistent, whisky, fruity, nutty sweet flavor that extends to the short lived pleasant after taste, and room note. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. An all day smoke. Three and a half stars.


2 people found this review helpful.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (94)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Dont let the name scare you too much, the whiskey is hardly detectable in the pipe or pouch. To me this is one of the better OTC ready rubbed VA blends going right now. Smooth, sweet and enough vitamin N to keep me interested. This wont blow your mind with complexity like one would expect from the high end tinned brands but it is certainly a fine blue collar ready rubbed virginia that doesnt bite or disappoint(for me).

Pipe Used: Largo Oompaul

Age When Smoked: current production

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

badders Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
badders (3)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have had 50g of this for christmas from my wife to break in my other christmas present from her, a peterson system 303. I have only had one bowl 1\4 full so far and considering the cercumstance of breaking in a new pipe it aint bad. not too much bite, not too hot and a pleasent taste with nice aroma. I'll add more when I've smoked some more of it. Jan 25th. Well it's nearly all gone now, all smoked in the Peteson and it didn't really change, a nice round smoke. it suits this system pipe aswell.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have to recommend this. Another old favourite from "back in the day" I smoked the flake version of this tobacco and remember it to be a very pleasing and full smoke indeed!!!!

Agree with everything DrDyson says in his review. sigh..

1 person found this review helpful.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (145)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Tolerable

Vile stuff. Please dont smoke it unless you like licking hot coals. This stuff bites like a bull terrier on crack, and burns hot as a furnace.

Its a ready rubbed mix of cheap virginia tobaccos, comes dry in the pouch, and doesnt smell of whiskey at all. Adding real whiskey does nothing to improve it. It maybe tastes of cheap virginia tobacco, but its hard to tell with a scorched tongue.

Not being the sort to throw things away, I gave this to a friend. Poor sod. Come to think of it, he hasn't spoken to me since...

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

What has happened to all the old favourites in the last 20 years? Is it me? This is certainly not as it was. It used to be wonderfull stuff, sweet and with a lovely whiskey aroma and taste. Not anymore.

1 person found this review helpful.

Lancelot Gobbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lancelot Gobbo (25)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I used to buy this as a flake, and trying the ready-rubbed in a pouch again now brings home how much things have changed. You can't go back again - is it because you have changed, or the tobacco has changed? I don't know, but what used to be a mild but rich Virginia mixture has become a hot and one-dimensional effort to smoke. Sad really.

Nobody has rated this review yet.