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BrandVan Erkoms
Blend TypeAromatic
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging100 grams packet
ProductionCurrently available
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Medium, Medium to Strong
Very Mild
Medium to Full
Room Note

Favorite Of 3 Users

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Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Again like Boxer, this review is entirely possible due to the kindness of Mo from South Africa.

First a bit of a story....

For many years members of my family were missionaries, in Papua and Africa mainly. I had an aunt who ran a school and medical mission just outside Bulawayu in what was then Rhodesia. She never married and the African children in her care were her life and she was utterly devoted to them. Sadly she was thrown out of the country when the regime changed, and the children lost the love and care of one of the most gentle Christian women I have ever known. However the point of this story is that she used to send home pipe tobacco to my father who really appreciated fine African grown of which was Jock. Named after the famous Jock of the bushveld, a dog who faithfully travelled with his master through southern Africa in the late 19th Century...this pipe tobacco was supposed to be a pipe smoker's friend along the same lines.

So...back to Mo's kind gift.

I love this tobacco; not just because of the story above, but because it really is one of the finest I have smoked.

It is a typical African grown blend. There are absolutely no common attributes to American grown blends as far as I can tell. On opening the plastic 100 gramme pouch you are greeted with a scent reminiscent of SG's FVF..but drier and more Malawi tobacco here as far as I can tell. It does have a scent, unlike Boxer, but it's teases your nose rather than surges at it.

It comes in a ready rubbed form of 3 colours I think and packs easily into the pipe. Not anywhere near as dry as Boxer, it still lights well with clouds of blue grey smoke. It burns gentle on the mouth, absolutely no roof of the mouth abrasion or tongue bite. There is complexity here, nowhere near as much as American virginia's, but you would not come to African tobacco's to find that anyway...maybe the climate is too hot for that to develop in the growing leaf; but I detect creaminess mixed with a vanilla like warmth. Its fleeting, but it is there.

Unlike Boxer, you can smoke it will let you sip at it. That's one of this blend's many's able to be contemplative and puffed through while you are out or working at some task. The room note is mild and pleasant enough and I've had no complaints at all.

As far as strength goes...I would imagine that our American cousins will find this pretty powerful stuff. I say that because American tobacco's all seem pretty mild to me and I can only imagine that as we Brits have been raised on African grown weed, we have got used to far more powerful varieties grown in the hot African sun than the USA Virginias. But to me, it's not strong at all.

To sum up...this is a superb tobacco. I would venture to say that it is better than almost ANY blend available in the UK today..some SG and G&H blends equal it (just about) but do not surpass it. Maybe it appeals to us UK smokers because it comes from the parts of Africa that historically supplied us with many fine tobacco's...but to the discerning pipester from the USA, it should give you the authentic, definitive experience of African tobacco at its very best.

13 people found this review helpful.

Room Note Professor Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Room Note Professor (44)
Medium Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Others have described this tobacco well: full taste, earthy and very tasty.

What fascinates me is the caramel. It's a dark caramel made from brown sugar and spice, and it's subtle, but it is there. This sweetness on top of the full, earthy taste is simply delicious. It comes through in the room note too. The room note is strong, yes, but there is a sweet presence - just a hint, to be sure - which gives this tobacco a strong yet appealing aroma.

One word: satisfying.

8 people found this review helpful.

mo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mo (81)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I will give this blend 4 stars for what it is. Probably the best African blend. Like we as pipers get an English, a Balkan etc, African blends too have their own distictive flavour.

I find this blend very easy to smoke and this is probably the base tobacco of most of the house blends one finds in South African tobacconists. It is a very rich smoke and full of spice and flavour, it is a smoke that one needs to sit to enjoy as the layers of flavour and taste as the bowl progresses changes all the time.

It burns slowly and a bowlfull lasts a long time, esp if one is used to smoking straight VA blends that tend to nip.

I do not smoke many English/Balkan blends but i will award 4 stars when i come across a good one. This is a great African blend and deserves the same respect.

Mo, South Africa

6 people found this review helpful.

Mac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mac (20)
Medium Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I was gifted a sample of this blend and i love it. Not available here in Australia so if any members from SA would like a trade let me know. If i could get this all the time it would be in my top three tobaccos to smoke.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: Sample from a fellow Pipe forum member

5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable to Strong

This is my staple tobacco for daily use. Not too dry, not too wet straight out of the new packet. It does become a little better with a few minutes of drying before smoking. As I am a constant pipe smoker that has given up cigarettes, I regularly take a deep drag or three and put the pipe down to go out. This tobacco relights easily so that I may enjoy those frequent short smokes. Good taste, not too strong. The room note maight be a bit strong for the liking of some. Very well priced. My favourite! I inhale my pipe and this inhales fine!

5 people found this review helpful.

Papa Koala Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Papa Koala (12)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Crickey! What can I say? I read the two reviews, and as soon as I could went down to my local tobacconist and purchased a 100g pouch. Got home and prepared for a good 'ponder'. Cracking the pack the first thought was of really heavy sweet loam or mulch, a very earthy and pleasant aroma. Filled the bowl and lit up. This is NOT going to win you any friends in the 'room note' stakes. It reminded me of a cigar, not the cheap OTC variety but a big fat Cuban. The taste was at first very much that of a cigar then as I puffed away sweetness came through, a musky sweet marshmallowy taste. The billowing smoke around my head added a rich loamy earth like background note. It is rather difficult to describe. The other description I suppose would be of the smell you would get from a good campfire built on rich damp earth. I like this a lot. Unless your partner has no sense of smell at all do not expect to be able to get away with this indoors. They will not appreciate it. Instead kick back on your stoep (in South Africa) or veranda (everywhere else) light up and enjoy. About half way through my mouth started to dry out so I poured myself a BIG glass of Cabernet and alternatively sipped and puffed. From my point the perfect combination as opposed to more usual glass of whiskey or brandy. I will be getting this tobacco again and it will be fixture on my shopping list. One liner Review? " Big, bold, manly, fantastic stuff. Not for the chardonnay sipping fraternity."

5 people found this review helpful.

twaksak Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
twaksak (54)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

OK, up till now, I was very unpatriotic and harsh about our South African blends and the general availability of imported tobacco. I started a YT series on South African tobaccos (or as mo put it, the African blends) - with this I do not mean the SA tobacconist houseblends like Wesleys or JJ Cale, but the inexpensive 'unaldultered' tobaccos from Van Eerkoms - Jock, Assegai, Fox etc.

I was pleasantly surprised with this blend although I would not yet give it a 4 star. Lets start describing typical African blends - less sweet, spicy and earthy, probably more on the stronger side of the spectrum.

Tin: surprising, fresh smell of tobacco with notes of vanilla & caramel. First Light: at first light, something of a caramelish taste comes to the fore, but the earthy (like the smell of a fresh winters morning in the bushveld), is more prominent. As you puff away, every now and then, a slight spiciness calls your attention. A real surprise as this tobacco awakens your senses throughout the bowl.

Overall. Every time I lit my pipe, I got that immediate earthy tones which was very pleasing. As you smoke it, the spiciness (cloves ?) became more evident. The aroma around your head is a very pleasant earthy mouldy aroma. The caramel is less evident as you continue throughout the bowl, but this tobacco is never boring. Inexpensie, yet good. R65 for 100g ($5 for 4 oz).

Pipe Used: Savinelli, Peterson

4 people found this review helpful.

Wikguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wikguy (11)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

If you look past the cheap packaging and you're looking for nothing but a pure, well-rounded tobacco, then Jock is your man (or dog).

I can see why this has been a firm favourite in South Africa for generations.

It has an earthy taste, like pure bushveld. One cannot but want a campfire whilst smoking Jock.

As has been said in the other reviews, this ia not a tobacco to be smoked indoors.

Like the Fox, this leaves a very pleasant aftertaste and can be smoked regularly throughout the day without having a 'raw' tongue or tiring of it.

If you can get your hands on it, make sure you always have a supply on hand.

If there are any international pipe-brethren who are interested in a tobacco exchange program, mail me at

Pipe Used: Lorenzo Spitfire; Adsorba 218

3 people found this review helpful.

Rohann Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rohann (16)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My very first tobacco I ever bought. This is an iconic "drug store" blend, nearly as iconic as the great Jock himself.

Make no mistake, this tobacco is cheap and cheaply packaged, yet the taste and room note is excellent. Caramel notes to sugar cane are quite prevalent. It is in no way sweet, containing more subtle spicy notes. This blend smokes really cool, always come dry as a bone (recommend smoking dry if not) and typical of Southern African tobaccos, very high in nicotine.

This blend is for those out in the veld all day under the copper African sun or for those trying to recreate the above mentioned experience. A humble tobacco cherished by all.

The pouch note is very inconspicuous, resembling only a hay smell. It is very finely cut, a shaggy cut with long individual strands. Goes well with biltong and brandy.

Pipe Used: Peterson 312

Age When Smoked: New

2 people found this review helpful.

The Maxx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Maxx (14)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

Was the first tobacco I smoked when I started smoking pipe 8 months ago. First smoked in my not so expensive Gandolf pipe and was pleasant from the first smoke. After that I smoked it in various other pipes and in all it smoked well. Took a short break from it to try various other tobaccos but purchased it again today and smoked it for the first time in my vintage Stanwell. Tasted even better now that I've become a more experienced pipe smoker. Great tasting, all round, everyday smoke. Flavoring is not overwhelming and is more of a natural tasting tobacco. I recommend it to anyone who wants to start smoking pipe and to those older pipe smokers.

Pipe Used: Lorenzo Missouri meerschaum Stanwell de Luxe 854

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Various

2 people found this review helpful.

Burney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Burney (13)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is really good for a leisurely smoke.

Even tho I'm a South African, I am sorry for never having had this before.

There is nothing fancy about this blend, except maybe a little something of sweetness that is almost an illusion. Full marks to a beauty of a blend.

Pipe Used: Many.

Age When Smoked: New.

Purchased From: Local brick and mortar.

2 people found this review helpful.

RobbieZA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RobbieZA (12)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I am on a wonderful journey of discovery, relating to the joys of pipe smoking... I've seen this brand at the cigarette counter at most supermarkets many times before and while reading through reviews of tobacco that is locally available, I decided to try some Jock...

The tobacco comes packaged in a 100 g plastic pouch. I must say that once I got to my car after doing my shopping I opened the shopping bag and I was sceptical of a tobacco packaged like this... Anyway home I went and I filled my pipe. The raw tobacco smelt very fresh and pure. The smoke was smooth and there was no tongue burn. Very satisfied with the nicotine release. Very easy to smoke and easy to keep lit as well! I do think that if you live with a non-pipe smoker it would be advisable to enjoy this on your veranda. I think I will be blending this with some rum and maple to add a little bit of sweetness.

I would say this is a everyday pipe tobacco.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Food Zone Klerksdorp

Similar Blends: Dingler's Neignteen O' Four (1904).

1 person found this review helpful.

MJG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MJG (17)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Leaf - A course ready rub of Medium to dark brown with a few specks of lighter leaf throughout. Some nice big chunks here and there. Moisture is great, a little oily but not goopy.

Tin Note - It smells fantastic, the dark caramel molasses like topping is evident, a fairly sweet smell but still a good deal of earthiness, grass and hay from the tobacco coming through. It smells like it would taste great.A small hint of spice but probably from the topping. Smells a bit burley-ish but its a straight VA, likely a characteristic of the south african Malawi leaf.

Taste - Very different to a cased american VA, a real delight to try something so different. Very earthy and loamy, its dry and nutty like a burley blend and not as 'fresh' or grassy as you would expect VA to be. There is a really nice spiciness on the nose and at the back of the mouth, almost like perique but there is none there. Its not entirely one dimensional but it is simple and stays consistent. A bit of the caramel flavour comes across but 90% of the taste is the tobacco. There is a slight sweetness that may be part tobacco and part flavoring. It tastes rich and bolder than a bright VA does. For a single leaf VA blend it touches on a lot of Kentucky and Burley like notes.

Smokability - packs well and lights easily. Burns at a moderate pace and has no trouble staying lit. No bite at all and you dont really have to pay attention to technique to get along with it. My only criticism would be that sometimes the last 1/5th of a bowl can compress very tight even with light tamping and on occasion needs a poke and a relight.

Summary - Does everything well, nothing wrong, and nothing amazing. Could easily be an all day smoke. Room note is okay, wont make you stink, and the nic hit is moderate. If it was easy to get hold of I'd have plenty jarred up. Definitely worth a try.

1 person found this review helpful.