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Since the 17th century, tobacco has been shipped from the Chesapeake Bay towards the Netherlands. This tobacco was called "Baai (Bay)-tabak". The "Echte Friesche Heeren-Baai" is an improved blend of this "Baai-tabak" and is manufactured the same way since 1918.

BrandEchte Friesche Heerenbaai
Blended ByImperial Tobacco
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Maryland, Virginia
Packaging50 grams pouch
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Very Mild, Mild, Medium
None Detected
Very Mild, Mild, Mild to Medium
Room Note
Pleasant, Pleasant to Tolerable, Tolerable
3 reviews
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neiaglov Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
neiaglov (1)
Medium None Detected Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco, to my knowledge, is available only in the Netherlands, but probably obtainable across Europe.

Its name, if translated, means 'real Frisian gentlemen's bay', where bay is an adjective and refers to the Chesapeake Bay—from there, historically, this tobacco was delivered to the Netherlands.

It is a modern take on 'Dutch style tobaccos' or 'baai', bay—typically, a mixture of very bright virginias, maryland type and burley. Unlike in the past, where the common form was shag, this is presented as ribbon in quite expensive 40g pouches.

As most tobacco products evolved in the Netherlands, the normal—or at least historically correct—humidity for this tobacco, I believe, is less than usual. In the past it was common to distribute tobacco in paper wrappers.

As a result, and much like other traditional Dutch offerings like Schippers, it burns quicker than most ribbon mixtures so choose a larger bowl.

It is an extremely mild-tasting tobacco that gets only milder and sweeter as it ages. Sweetness presents itself as a strawberry note that you would probably only feel if your baseline isn't built on aromatics.

In my view, such tobaccos are underestimated. If you're hunting for lightness and mildness of Early Morning Pipe, but in the virginia/burley spectrum, this tobacco is for you. I haven't tasted anything quite so relaxing in a long time. It's a good tobacco for a pub or any other context where you'd want to focus on something or someone else while still smoking your pipe and without the need to control your burn.

This tobacco doesn't bite and needs fewer relights than other ribbons. Overall, very highly recommended for its almost archetypal rendering of what tobacco used to be, and no longer is—a simple pleasure.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Qandale

Age When Smoked: New, 6 months

Purchased From: P.G.C. Hajenius, Amsterdam

Similar Blends: Solani Silver Flake, Coopvaert.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (310)
Very Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

Breaking the seal of the pouch, out comes the aroma of flowers and soap. Or floral soap. There is a pretty strong topping on this, which fortunately disappears for the most part after a few days. The ribbon in the pouch shows some birds-eyes and a few woody bits, the colours are medium to dark brown. The VA comes through just a little.

The thin, long ribbon needs to be stuffed pretty firmly, and burns fast and hot if not maintained well. Lighting is easy, and the flavour from the fresh pouch leaves a little to be desired. After a couple of weeks, when the topping is mostly gone and the ribbons have dried a little, the flavour becomes noticeably sweet and gently spicy.

The style of this blend is typically dutch, but on the less spicy end of the range. While it is not a bad smoke, I would have hoped for more spice (given the Maryland component), and the steamy, undefined flavours when fresh lead me to only somewhat recommend.

Pipe Used: MM cobs, Kürle freehand

Age When Smoked: Fresh from new pouch

Purchased From: Tabak Specialist, Groningen

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30057)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

To my taste, a rather neutral tobacco, very suitable to mix it up with others. Not only because it burns very well, but it has a pleasant nutty taste too. But it is a bit to bland to stand alone. If you want to smoke a true-taste Maryland tobacco,richer and deeper, then "Vier Heerenbaai" of Theodorus Niemeyer is a much better choice.

2 people found this review helpful.