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A Virginia mixture suitable for any time of the day. Steamed red Virginia, red and golden Virginia are blended together to be extremely cool burning and flavorful. Made to commemorate Sir Walter Raleigh founding the Virginia Colony in 1585.

BrandCompton's of Galashiels
Blended ByMaxim Engel
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
Packaging100 grams pouch
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium, Medium
None Detected
Room Note

Favorite Of 1 Users

9 reviews
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A.E. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A.E. (22)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Compton's of Galashiels small batch tobacco blends are simply the best that I've had. This blend - the Commonweal Mixture - is a very, very refined and well balanced sweet Virginia blend. The flavor is elegant and sublimely complex - delectable, smooth, flawless, even as a freshly blended mixture. With aging, there's a real possibility that no other Virginia blend will ever surpass it. As a physician, I can't endorse smoking anything "all day". If smoking "all day" was reasonable however, this would be the choice I'd recommend. Commonweal Mixture is an unquestionable classic, and worth the money. Extremely high level blending skill is evidenced here. Bravo Mr.Engel!

Pipe Used: Block Meerschaum Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: Freshly blended

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3008)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

The deeply rich dark fruit and lightly fermented fruit of the various red Virginias shine through on this blend, and are ably abetted by the citrus notes from the golden Virginia. There's a very light hay/grass from the gold Va., and some earth from the red Va.s. Lightly, naturally sweet with a very miniscule topping of some kind. Has no harshness or bite. You won't get much nicotine in this gentle mixture, but you can smoke it all day with relative ease. Burns at a reasonable pace, cool and clean with a consistent flavor, and easily burns to ash. Needs few relights, and hardly leaves any moisture in the bowl. Makes lots of smoke, and has a pleasant after taste and room note.


5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

at first, i was rather disappointed. sure, this all-virginia mixture is clean-tasting and well balanced, but i couldn't see it as anything else than what could be used as a background for some oriental fireworks.

my mistake was trying to smoke it in the evening. this is a nicotine lightweight, and a tobacco of refined flavours, which for me only shines in the morning. as a first pipe of the day, it suddenly reveals its elegance.

cut is loose, broad and short. pouch/jar note is of virginias, and one might even think it contained some sun cured orientals. lights easily, perfect humidity. smokes like a dream. taste is facetted, with all kinds of associations to it. rose wood, a little smoky tar, subdued toasted sweetness, and in the background, refined fermentational notes. there's some sort of cavendish too, i think, and it adds an extremely mild flavouring accent. through the pipefull, taste deepens and takes a turn to a more british manner, whereas it, at light up, is more akin to glpease's splendid union leader and other american flue cured blends i've tried. maybe has to do with the origin of the tobaccos used. could be american virginia, where you'll find "empire" tobaccos used for sam gawith va's.

this is good; very very good - and i'm once again in awe at the quality of the compton's offerings.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A non-latakia blend, this one probably falls off the radar of Compton's blends. But if you're a confirmed virginia smoker, you need to give this one a spin!

This had a beautiful toasted almond taste (but naturally so - no casing!) that was irresistable. As Maxim writes, it's a cool burning smoke, which isn't always the case with virginias. Expertly blended virginia varietals give this a wonderfully complex balance that really shows itself off early and often. As with some other blends, I found it impossible to concentrate on anything else when this one was in my bowl. I did not find this a sweet virginia but a nice toasty one. Think unsweetened toffee or dark chocolate as opposed to your basic Snickers bar. To top it off, this tobacco was "made" as a companion to a nice oatmeal stout beverage, and to a very slightly lesser extent, a dark brown ale. I was in heaven with those two!

The balkan blends may have put and Compton's of Galashiels on the map but this one seals the deal for me. I've GOTTA get more of this! I don't care how expensive it is! :) Try it if you crave non-sweet virginia blends or even hybrids like Stonehaven. Good stuff!

3 people found this review helpful.

PipeDreams Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeDreams (1)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I ordered a selection of Compton's Mixtures to layaway and cellar for a few years from a tobacconist in Canada over 5 years ago. Upon opening the vacuum-sealed bag. I received a light hay aroma. The tobacco was too moist to smoke for my preferences. I then let the tobacco air-dry for about an hour which toned down the moisture level and was still pliable and nice. I filled my Comoy Essex Canadian with the mixture and did my first initial light. The Smoke was thick and had a slightly sweet taste on my palate. I did my initial tamp and relight. This Tobacco is by far the best I have ever smoked in my 35 years of being a pipe smoker. And I have just finished this bag of Compton's Commonweal Mixture. It is consistant from start to finish, large volumes of smoke and a nice slightly sweet taste, with some earthiness from the best Virginias available.

Pipe Used: Comoy Essex Canadian

Age When Smoked: Over 5 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

Another big favorite of mine in the Compton's lineup. Perfectly balanced Red and Bright combined to reward the smoker with natural Virginia sweetness and a little tang with every puff. Not high on the strength meter and my 10-year old bag produced a depth of flavor and smoothness seldom found. Just wonderful stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

SecretAgentMan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SecretAgentMan (27)
Very Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

From the pouch it smells like ketchup, cloves, with a hint of A1 sauce. It came fairly dry, so I only let it wait 10 minutes before loading my pipe. Smoking started out very sweet -- cherries, powdered sugar, hints of butterscotch. The strength kicks in after a few minutes, deepening the flavor, undergirding (but not removing) the sweetness. It's amazing that this blend has no signature flavoring or topping. It's very soft in the mouth, and will bite a bit if smoked too quickly (I tend to do that), but it has a broad "no bite" envelope and you can pretty much puff at your own pace without worrying about being bitten.

My only "complaint," if one can call it that, is the lack of nicotine. There are completely-understandable pipe smokers who enjoy a mild tobacco and aren't much interested in high levels nicotine. There there are the more curious pipe smokers who treat nicotine as though it were a detestable poison whose presence must be grudgingly endured in order to smoke a pipe. Either group will be very happy with this tobacco -- its nicotine strength is very low. I found MacBaren's Virginia No. 1 to be twice as strong. That's a problem for me because I like stronger tobacco, but it shouldn't be a problem for anyone who's not interested in higher N-levels. This really is good tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

quantumboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
quantumboy (130)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Compton's Compendium - A Tasting Journey Through Each of Maxim Engel's Compton's Blends.

I love the aroma of pure Virginias in the pouch, and this one is no exception. Nice and grassy, with a faint hint of clove, even though I'm sure there's no flavoring added. It simply comes from the sweet/spicy combination of Virginias chosen for this blend and does not show up in the smoke at all.

What a great pure Virginia mixture! The Cavendish really sets it off with a wonderful pencil-lead, fruity kind of flavor. Lots of fermented hay, dry grass and crispy toast flavors coming through. It's got some sweetness, but there are many Virginia blends out there that are sweeter. The taste comes off very clean, and the only evidence that you've been smoking is a nice Cavendish aftertaste that lingers.

Maxim's Commonweal probably makes more beautiful clouds of smoke than any Virginia I've tried. And no matter how hard I cranked on it, it would not bite. Feel free to heat it up and surround your head with white nice-smelling smoke, or back off and sip, to extract the toasty goodness and other subtleties. It simply refused to heat up the briar or misbehave in any way.

And remember, this is fresh from the pouch. After a year or three in the cellar I expect this to become a stellar blend. A classic even. Makes me hope that Mr. Engel is planning on introducing more pure Virginias or even a vaper into his lineup. This will not supplant Union Square or FVF since those two classics have their own flavor profile, quite different from Commonweal. This is the one you want when you're hankering for a pure Virginia that is lighter to medium in flavor, interesting enough to maintain your attention, and just plain delicious. A very easy four stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

What a wonderful mixture!

In the pouch (and this one is from 2011): a hint of cloves (from the casing? cavendish?), otherwise Virginias...

While it can be smoked directly from the pouch, it profits from a bit of drying.

First light: Delicious! From the match a beautiful smoke. Surprisingly complex, it is gentle yet full of flavour. Try inhaling or exhaling through the nose.

The burn is perfect producing rich clouds of smoke. Good any time of the day... A perfect aperitif yet supple enough to be enjoyed after dinner, this one has no bad qualities, is tantalizing, yet satisfying, and leaves the mouth fresh and clean.

Why smoke a pipe? Here's a very good reason!

Four stars! Together with McClelland Rich Virginia Ribbon, Boston 1776, C&D Opening Night, F&T Cut Virginia Plug, McCranie’s RVF and RVR, Astley's No. 109, Samuel Gawith BBF and FVF t's one of the very best Virginia blends available today (IMHO, of course).

Pipe Used: Several. All reserved for Virginias w/out topping.

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