Naturally aromatic pipe tobacco flavored with traditional West Country Cider.

Blended ByWessex
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Cavendish, Virginia
FlavoringApple, Cider
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
Mild to Medium
Room Note

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

Unique and tasty. I tried to buy a few tins of this recently but could not find it. Not sure if it is still in production. The bittersweet cider taste was complimented by some mighty fine stoved (lightly) Virginia leaf. It burned clean and rather quickly for a blend of this type. The flavored (lightly) black cavendish provided some further bottom to the blend. I liked it as a change of pace and it did take awhile to finish the tin. This one also has some strength, which I appreciated.


6 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wessex makes some great, often underrated blends, so I was excited to try the original. Upon opening the tin, I was reminded of my grandfather's wine cellar. While I have fond memories of that cellar, that fondness didn't transcend to this pipe weed. This blend just didn't work for me. I found it to burn on the warm side and the flavor was off putting. The tobacco is of good quality, but like most aromatics, if you are not a fan of the topping, it doesn't matter if the quality of the tobacco is good. So, if you like cider in your tobacco in addition to your glass, then it's worth a try. One other thing I noticed that lovers of aged tobacco should be aware of and that is the packaging of the older tins. I had a tin of original from 2004 that was labeled “Wessex Brigade” with “Classic Virginia” on the top portion of the label. If you are looking for an aged tin of the “Classic Virginia” this can be confusing at best. Buyer beware.

5 people found this review helpful.

gmgsydney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gmgsydney (4)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Wessex Original Fragrant Virginia is an excellent Wessex tobacco. Accurately stated as “Naturally aromatic pipe tobacco flavoured with traditional West Country Cider”. Tin purchased May 2019 from SmokingPipes SC USA, smoked fresh from the tin. Rich and mellow, this appears to be a golden/brown Virginia tobacco, thickish ribbon cut/rough shredded in the Wessex style. Lovely feel and texture, slightly damp on opening with a fragrant cider topping. I don’t see any black cavendish as a separate tobacco. I personally take a quantity from the tin and leave it to dry slightly for a day in an open dish and smoke it over a three-day period ..just right. Made in Germany. Very rewarding. Medium nicotine. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Castleford Dublin - Medium

Age When Smoked: fresh 2019

Purchased From: SmokngPipes SC USA

3 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Wessex - Original (Brigade).

Hmmmm, perplexing. It's description reads as ribbon cut yet my tin contains a dark brown broken flake! It looks brown but under closer scrutinization one can see some black Cavendish pressed in there. The moisture suits me, a touch damp but I like my tobaccos that way. The tin has a definite aroma of sour apples; cider.

The smoke suits the temperature in the UK today. It's warm here and this is a nice Summer Smoke. I identify, with the tobaccos, the most enthusiasm from the Virginia. I get more of a rich, succulent, Virginia flavour than a sharp one. The Cavendish adds a sweetness which counteracts the slightly bitter cider. The cider hasn't been added with enough fervour for this to qualify as an aromatic, but, nonetheless, it's a DEFINITE addition to the smoke. It's this which makes it more suitable for the summer months; to me. Piquant, refreshing, and zingy. Because of the coarser cut a bowl of Original burns slowly. And, is also cool in temperature. After a day smoking this I haven't had any more than a slight 'peck' to the tongue; and that's only when I puff with pressure.

Nicotine: maybe a speck above mild. Room-note: nice.

Wessex Original? A buoyant smoke for the hotter days! Recommended:

Three stars.

Pipe Used: Rattray's Celtic

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

1979 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1979 (62)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wessex - Original Fragrant Virginia

This is a light aromatic or crossover aromatic in the sense that while it has not been heavily topped there is definitely an added flavoring that enhances the taste and particularly the room note.

The base tobacco is a sort of chop, small portion of gold virginia, larger portion of brown virginia and largest share of what appears to be black cavendish.  This base has a warm, nutty, slightly earthy taste.  To this is added a very typical Danish style flavoring, possibly sugar water or honey, and a second flavoring that is somewhat distinguishable as apple, slightly bittersweet.  Not much nicotine.  Not a very complex taste.  Have not noted any bite ever but does tend to burn quickly. It's good but not outstanding by any means.  A peaceful, mild blend.  If you're looking for good virginia flavor, go for the Red Virginia Flake or Campaign Dark Flake instead.  More a two-and-a-half star blend than two even.

Age When Smoked: At least five years

2 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (251)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

Well, I can give this three stars. To me, it's a fun mild aromatic. It is not the greatest quality tobacco I've smoked by a long shot-smokes fast and hot, but since it does not bite me, I can find a way to enjoy it. My tin is from 2004, nearly six years old. I was going to wait before I popped it, but since I am drinking hard cider (one of my favorite libations) tonight, I just had to try a cider-flavored tobacco! I'm not sure if I would recognize the cider if it didn't tell me on the tin, but I taste a certain maltiness. I can taste tobacco too, so I don't consider this one to be gooped up by any means. Ash is dry at the end of the smoke. Again, does have a fault in that it smokes fast-a pipe that would take 45 minutes to smoke with a S. Gawith or McClelland Virginia smoked in 25 minutes with this. But hey, tasted nice and is good in the nose as well, like an aro should be. I do not plan to stock up on this one, but will buy it again if I can get it at a good price, or maybe just one more time, some time after I have finished this tin, for its uniqueness. Cider, who woulda thunk it?

2 people found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (337)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I fully expect to smell some damp hay from the barn when popping a Virginia tin, but I was not prepared for this one's added horse manure and rotting apple bouquet. The cider flavoring is quite real here, but be aware, these apples fell off the orchard some time ago. If you want to smell something earthy, look no further.

The shredded cut was perfect. Packing the bowl with nice long tendrils was quite satisfying (even if my nose was still in the horse's exhaust port). The bad smells didn't carry over to the lit product (as expected), in fact the cider takes on a light sweetness which is pleasant. The smoke is mild and bite free with some decent nicotine behind it. I kinda thought the Cavendish would be a vehicle to take this Brigade into the Aromatic side of the battlefield, but it really wasn't.

If you get past the initial odor, you get a good quality Virginia product, which for me, is 'fine', but not my go to tobacco.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Screaming Jazz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Screaming Jazz (6)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

A great smoke for the winter time. The cider topping is quite light. It is detectable though. In the retrohale you should catch just a faint hint of sweet cider. The cavendish is sweet. The virginias provide a very solid base tobacco for this blend. 8.6/10

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild to Medium Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Not many aromatics catch my attention - at least, not favourably so - but I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this mixture. Like a lot of aromatics (if one can indeed call this blend an aromatic), it will scorch your tongue if you puff too fast. But if you can take time to appreciate this tobacco, you'll be rewarded with the flavour of high quality Virginias and a hint of apple cider.

Although this tobacco packs, lights, and burns well, it does benefit from a couple of hours drying time before smoking.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

Wessex Original is long well-cut ribbons of Virginia and Black Cavendish with a unique and pungent fruity aroma in the tin. If I hadn't known, from the labelling, that the flavoring agent was "regimental cider," whatever that is, I wouldn't have been able to identify the aroma. There is a bit of musty hay-barn Virginia smell as well.

On lighting, you are treated to a uniquely tart and often sweet-and-tart smoke that bites like a badger and often turns grousy and bitter along the way. I have tried this in many kinds of pipes, large and small, briar and meerchaum, at every puffing cadence, and can't get it to work. Maybe you can. It is certainly a unique smoke and I think it could be delicious under conditions I can't seem to provide.

I plan to let this dry out drastically, which may take some months as we are now in steambath weather here in Dallas, and I'll try it again. Wessex makes some good blends, and I think they wanted this one to be good, so maybe it's worth another shot. Updates later if anything changes.

1 person found this review helpful.

Quiggifur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quiggifur (99)
Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Very light cider, even plain apple tin note, not much else. As with Wessex Sovereign, the smoke is ridiculously mild, spineless. Almost want to say tasteless. There is a flavor I find pleasant in the retrohale, maybe something bready, something beyond the ghost of cider which seems to be the only other flavor. I ask myself why I'm smoking this; I'm not going to kid myself, smoking isn't without some risk, and this just isn't worth the risk. If this is all I had to smoke, I wouldn't smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of the hottest tobaccos I have ever smoked!!! No matter how dry it is, what I cut it with, or what size pipe I smoke it in it burns like napalm. The flavor when you can taste it through the scorching heat is pleasant overall. It tends toward the tangy and bitter. I would not recommend this tobacco

Nobody has rated this review yet.