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A Virginia mixture spiced with choice cigar leaf.

BrandSobranie of London
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsCigar Leaf, Virginia
Packaging50g Pouch, 50g Tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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None Detected
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

One of the finest blends ever to hit the market, IMO. The deeply rich and ripe Virginia leaf is complimented but not overwhelmed by the exceptional oily and rip cigar leaf to produce an otherworldly smoke. As unique a blend as I have ever had the pleasure of putting into one of my pipes.


5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Found an old tin of this in a suitcase! Not stored in the best of conditions (attic) but that didn't seem to matter. I'm guessing this tin is from the mid-1990's.

I'm not sure why I had it, as I was never a big fan. However, time has been exceedingly kind to this blend. The cigar note that I previously thought overbearing is now extremely mellow, but still noticeable. The virginias definitely took over, although today they are less sugary sweet and more of a burnt sugar. Darker than I remember it when fresh. The taste of this is dark as well - kind of a stoved flavor but heavier. Very tasty stuff! The cigar flavor comes out with each puff but is very subdued. I suppose the blend would be fine without it but it does add some distinction and plays well with the condimental leaf (which I can't quite discern). I would have to say that this one ages beautifully and if you can find a tin that doesn't break the bank, it's well worth a try.

4 people found this review helpful.

Actonius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Actonius (1)
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was fortunate to buy this tin from eBay and estimated that it was 20-30 years old but this is only an estimate. Didn't know what to expect as it didn't appear to be popular as the flagship original balkan (white tin) or the venerable 759 and I had never smoked a bled containing cigar leaf before.

I heard the distinctive hiss upon opening the tin as it proved to have stayed sealed all this time. There were small crystals of sugar on the leaf that appeared to be deep in color and shiny/oily. The smell made me salivate and awakened childhood memories of the streets in my home city that stretched along the old tobacco factories. The leaf had also retained some moisture as it was pliable, but springy when I packed the bowl. Needed only one charring light and then it happened.... my jaw dropped from the first draws I experience from this stuff. The smoothest, fool bodied, coolest and fragrant smoke I had ever experienced in my life! It was divine! No comparison to anything I ever smoked in my 30+ pipe smoking explorations. My command of english is not good enough to describe this smoke, would be difficult to attempt to do so even in my native language.

Anyhow, about the specifics, #10 was full bodied and didn't feel as smoke, but something more substantial that fills your mouth in distinctive, tangible way, it just had more weight behind it. This was the perfect virginia, mellow but punchy, perfectly balanced sweetness and broad flavour. It was slightly peppery as if there was perique added to it and caused a very pleasurable tingle resulting in almost compulsory need to pass the smoke through my nose. The cigar leaf was subtle, I am not sure if I would have been able to identify it if I didn't know it was there. However, it may have contributed to the body and intensity of the smoke. I don't smoke cigars and am not familiar with their characteristics, but still wonder why are there only a few pipe blends that contain cigar leaf?

Nicotine level was medium to strong, and left me with complete satisfaction for hours. Because of the smoothness, this tobacco can be smoked every day and with almost everything from light tea to a single malt or cognac. It burned with a slow pace, very uniformly and left almost nothing in the bowl.

I couldn't fault anything, but there was a drawback I wasn't aware of. I canned a portion of it, but left the rest in the original tin. The rubber seal must have been already hardened from the age and when I returned from a long overseas trip that lasted almost six months, I found that the remaining tobacco had dried out. Unfortunately, it was not only dry but died completely as if its soul had departed. It was a completely different smoke and re-hydration didn't revive any of it's original attributes. Not sure if it's because of the age, but I suspect that some of the essential oils had evaporated as the leaf looked dull and not shiny any more even after dehydration. I experienced the same with another Sobranie blend, ready rubbed, this time the seal of the tin had dies god knows when and the tobacco was simply lifeless.

Despite I couldn't enjoy the whole tin, at least I tried what I consider to be the best tobacco I had ever smoked. Nothing ever came close to Virginian No 10 and the cigar leaf blends I tried after that were nothing to write about. This is the only blend I ever reviewed so far and would have given it 5 starts If i could.

Sighs with regret....

Pipe Used: Small and large pot biliards

Age When Smoked: 30+

Purchased From: eBay auction

Similar Blends: Nothing on earth!.

3 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (217)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

I am welcomed by a strong,musty smell from this 20+ year old tin. Transferred to a jar, it's now a definite cigar smell with some highly fermented Virginia undertones. There is a small crystal deposit on the thick ribbon cut that has dark brown to dark strands.

The tobacco moisture is perfect for smoking right away. There is a deep, earthy cigar main note with a mellow and creamy Virginia flavor, that is there most of the time in the background. A bitter interlude comes and goes but it doesn't bother me. A smooth and cool smoking experience.

As far as a Virginia and cigar mixture, it deserves maximum points, of course I prefer to smoke this after a hearty meal, or on occasion where something stout is required, without the gut punching effect of strong nicotine.

Virginia lover

3 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Arriving in the pipe world after the demise of Sobranie of London, it would hard to believe that anything produced by this famed blending house could be sub-par as it is held is such reverence by so many pipe smokers. I have haven’t found a bad one yet, but maybe that has all changed with Virginia #10. Sobranie’s Virginia #10, is a different kind of cat being a Virginia flake with quite a bit of cigar leaf. My tin was from 1985 (if the hand date stamp is accurate). The flakes are now covered with sugar crystals. I have smoked about three fourths of the tin and alternated by rubbing it out and stuffing broken flakes into the bowl. I prefer the flakes broken rather than rubbed The Virginias hold their own here, matching the cigar leaf with a nice bit of sweetness. Virginia #10 isn’t very complex and became a bit boring after several bowls. I have to believe that at the time the blend was tinned, the cigar leaf likely dominated the smoke. So, based on that theory, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this blend even though I enjoy cigars. Based on what it is today, it would be a weak three stars for me, but as it was intended….not so much.

Age When Smoked: 29 years

1 person found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (221)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

The tin I tried was supposed to be from the early 80's. It tasted like a cigar shop smells, which is to say not very strong but very earthy. I enjoyed the several bowlsful I had, but would not buy this if it were brought back into production, as it was too bland and generic cigar tasting, Key Largo is much more nuanced and has a pronounced Maduro flavor that I enjoy more.

1 person found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (178)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I got some sealed packages of this old venerable blend. A old virginia from the 90's with a nice punch of high quality cigar (cuban?) leaf and a little condimental leaf added.

This is ribbon cut. It tastes like a sweet virginia underneath but reved up with cigar leaf. Cool. Dry. Not as heavy or dark as Dominican Glory Maduro but more elegant. Still should be puffed deliberately.

I can't say light due to body of the cigar leaf, which is more than a note in the taste. But the virginia is very smooth and more than supports the cigar ingredient.

If you want heavy, go for Dominican Glory Maduro. This #10 has real cigar flavor floating up from refined virginias. Yes, more refined even than Bankers, another top quality va/cigar leaf blend. Of course, age helps.

I puffed slowly on my back pourch in the mornings on my 25 gm pouch from Christmas to near February '06, just consuming a bowl every day or two in an old Dunhill Crosby dedicated to cigar blends. I thought what must the old timers had thought when they could smoke something this good whenever they wished. I was alone with singular quality such as I have seldom experienced before, realizing, really realizing that we have lost an era.

And I could have bought this easily in the 70's, 80's, etc., had I known what it was. But there was no Serads, Gages, pipe professors, tobaccoreviews, or P&T magazines back then. There were some mags and a good tobbaconist here and there, but there was too much stacked around to know what to ask. #10 after all must have been a special treat. Sigh.

I recommend this as not everyone, nor I, wants cigar leaf in their pipe all of the time. But if you can get a pouch or tin for a not too ungodly price, go for it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Mild None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Notes: Long gone. My tins have been from the 1970's. It seems to smoke best in a smallish billiard.

Appearance: A partially broken flake of light brown, reddish brown, and black leaf in equal proportion.

Aroma: Cigar leaf, spice cake, smoke, grilled charred figs, bread crust, honey, fur coat.

Taste: The familiar round sweetness that pervades every mixture by the house of Sobranie rears its head immediately upon lighting, but this sweetness fades rapidly to an echo and remains subdued for the remainder of the smoke. The flavor of Upmann cigar leaf dominates, figs, Virginia tobacco, dry paper, walnut oil. Brooding strength. Smoldering bitterness.

Comparisons: By far the most well-integrated of the cigar leaf blends, inasmuch as it is difficult to pick it apart into its components. It is also rather smokier than the rest, at the expense of the Virginia flavor, somewhat.

Bottom Line: For cigar leaf blend fanciers who seek a dominant presence of smoky flavor and cigar leaf, this is one to try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (345)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Quite smooth, but also imho rather unexciting. I am smoking a 15 years-old tin, and I find it comparable to Dunhill's Cuba but slightly more cigarish and spicy but just as creamy). The Virginias (now rather dark due to aging) are not very sweet. Overall it burns well and is finely balanced, but I feel that a Virginia lover will miss some sweetness, while a cigar lover will certainly prefer GLP Robusto. Me, I'd rather pick the sweet Banker's from Fox. Not bad, but for me unmemorable, although I admit it grows on you in time, and the second half of the bowl can be very pleasant indeed if still lacking in some substance: yet many people mourn its disappearance.

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30116)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Ahhh, the number 10. the tins i have smoked have been old and expensive but oh so worth it! a sweet almost brown virginia taste with the cigar leaf always there with a touch of Sobranies latakia and super high quality orientals. i love this stuff because after all these years the virginias sing to me in the pipe with all the condimental leaf whispering behind the cigar leaf. tastes are all subjective but to me there is nothing like this being produced today. I think it is closer to hearth & homes Virginia Spice than robusto or Bankers. Such balance, such finesse. I like to sip this in high grade horn shaped pipes. I dont understand why current manufacturers make a cigar blend and load them with latakia and weak orientals, but put in virginias that cant be tasted. maybe someday somebody will come out with a cigar blend that replicates this taste, but i doubt it. one can hope.

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