A notably smooth blend of six Virginia tobaccos, light in color, soft and satisfying.

BrandEsoterica Tobacciana
Blended ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured ByJ.F. Germain & Son
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging8 ounce bag
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3047)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Not a very complex blend - though you might think so considering the different Virginias involved in the blend - but it does have a smooth, fairly gentle taste. The range of flavors include a big burst of tangy citrus, a fair amount of tart and tangy lemon, a light floralness, and a hint of darker fruit. The earthiness takes a light lead over the grassiness. There's also small wood and sugar notes. I get a touch of apricot from the topping. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the mild mark. The strength is just past the nicotine level, and the taste is a rung short of the center of mild to medium. Not much subtlety here, but it's well blended, moderate burning, cool and clean with a sweet, very consistent taste that continues on to the lightly lingering after taste. No bite, no rough edges and no harsh spots. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and needs an average number of relights. An easy going all day smoke. Three and a half stars.


19 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (217)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Appropriately named, a very good bright Virginia blend. Brighton is mild, yet flavorful with hints of citrus and a subtle honey-like sweetness. There’s also a light woodsy note and a touch of spice on the finish, especially on deeper draws. The flavor is perfectly balanced, and the thin ribbons burn cool and even with a pleasant fragrance.

This is quality tobacco with a nice aftertaste; an easy all day smoke. If you took the best Danish style Virginia mixture, removed the sweet topping and the potential for bite, you'd have something very close to Brighton. I agree that this isn't a complex blend and it's probably not going to knock anyone's socks off, but I find it quite enjoyable. It's great on a mild spring or warm summer day with an iced tea, cold Pilsner style beer or even a light white wine.

Altogether I'd rate this blend a half a notch above "recommended. I like it more than similar blends that I have given three stars to, so I'll give it four. Also, it seems to age quite well.

Pipe Used: Briar and Cob

Age When Smoked: 3 years

12 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I was given a good sample of this from a fellow reviewer and I enjoyed it. It was an enjoyable Virginia that was maybe a little light for my tastes. The first half of the bowl was very light. At about he halfway point the flavor really picked up and this is when I started to appreciate it.

It does taste a little different than most Virginias that I have had. It had a lot of citrus and earth. The sweetness was subtle. I am not sure if there is a slight topping messing with my perceptions or not. In taste, it reminded me more of some the GL Pease Virginias I have smoked, but still different.

To my tastes this is not as enjoyable as FVF or Dunhill Flake, which are my favorite Virginias, but it is still good. The taste is unique enough that it does stand on its own and if it is to your particular fancy, then this may well rise to the four star level for you.

This one is also pretty light on the nicotine. I suppose for heft of nicotine and boldness of Virginia, it is a step up from Peacehaven, but it is a small step IMO. For me, it is a three star blend, but I did just order an 8 ounce bag to put aside in my cellar for a few years. It is hard to lose with Esoterica blends.

7 people found this review helpful.

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

Nice light Virginia. Actually, there is a little nicotine and body here that rears up from time to time, but never too strongly. Certainly not complex, but as I smoke the remnants, I am getting a bit more. This may be in part due to my having smoked about five bowls of aged McClellands in this pipe (a Savinelli Capri) last night, which is one reason I wanted a less acrid Virginia for tonight's first pipe. My first bowls of this a couple weeks ago seemed really basic, as in a Virginia version of a go-to codger burley like PA; easy to light and maintain, a bit cigaretty, no-frills, but I found more to this blend with this pipe, and decided it was time to review. Of Esoterica's Virginias, I have had Dorchester and Dunbar, and liked them both. I may like them more than this one, but really need to smoke some of it after a few months in the mason jar, at which time I will add to this review. Right now, a simple, slightly sweet Virginia with no off tastes that is perfect after smoking more heady Virginias. There is a very slight topping, maybe anise and some kind of fruit, but it is hard to tell. The topping is more evident in the bag aroma, but starts to fade pretty soon after I transfer a pipeful to my wooden drying bowl. If you want a nice light to medium-light Virginia in a cut that is easy to work with, pack, and smoke, and that while it may not provide a flavor explosion, still has a nice (if narrow) range, this is a good one to try. I kind of miss Dorchester's Perique, but I have some blending Perique I could add to this if I want, so no problem! I think to say much more than this, or to discover any more levels to this smoke than the sort of thing I just described, will require some aging. See you in six months!

Edit 2/26/13: really coming along in the jar. Very nice. To clarify, I would seldom add Perique to this, but it is a possibility, seeing that my tin of Dorchester is sealed right now, and I don't want to open it.

Actually, I was wrong. I do have some Dorchester opened and in a jelly jar. It's a nice one too! Though I said I prefer it to Brighton, this is only incremental, and these are both excellent blends, with different merits. Can't find the sealed tin: that must be it in the jelly jar! May have to get a bag when I feel I can afford it.

7 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Mild Very Mild Mild Very Pleasant

I really kinda like Brighton. It will rarely be called "complex", but what it offers is an easygoing and pleasant experience. I buy this in Esoterica's 12-ounce bags, which nicely fills two Quart -sized Mason jars.

Somewhere I read that Esoterica claims that there are a half-dozen types of VA leaves in Brighton; if that's true, they seem to be well disguised to me. I've bought bags that were a medium-brown color, and my last bag - like my first ones - seemed to be predominantly lemon-colored flakes. As this ages, of course, it will darken, and the blend marries very nicely. It's almost perfectly moist, and ages very well. A minimum of a year of aging will make this a far more enjoyable blend for most.

The ribbons pack well, it takes a fine charring light, and requires little or no maintenance. If you're looking for an all-VA blend that yields just about no tongue bite, this could be it. I find it crisp and clean, much like Orlick's Golden Slice, but I personally can't be bothered with drying and rubbing out slices. It's just a simple and tasty blend.

5 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This blend is visually identical to Esoterica Scarborough, which I recently smoked and didn't think much of. It arrives just slightly moist, aka perfect smoking level. In the baggie, there is a noticeable topping, though I wouldn't even try to parse the elements.

At the match, I am struck by two contradictory observations: there is less bite than with Scarborough (indicating more matured Virginia) and less musty character (indicating less matured Virginia). Obviously I have to lose my preconceptions, as this is nothing like Scarborough, and that is for the good.

There is a clear sweetness, primarily in the top range but gliding into the mid-range, that is similar to Esoterica's Cardiff. This is very attractive, and can be magnified by air-smoking. That sneaky Esoterica nicotine somehow hides behind this thin veil, and it irritates my nose, prompting me to exhale somewhat more vigorously than usual.

At the half-bowl mark, the sweetness has settled down into a shortbread style. Very little in the way of bite or snap her, and the strength varies from medium-light (when at a smoulder) to medium-full (when fully stoked); but, again, the flavor remains medium to medium-light. I'm not picking up any of the topping. The mid-range exhibits a milk chocolate smoothness and sweetness, and some toasted marshmallow. There isn't much in the way of bass range, and for some that could be a drawback. For me, it doesn't really detract.

The cheesy, musty Esoterica matured leaf flavors really aren't a factor in Brighton. I would buy this again, but I think Cardiff gets the slight edge for me. I'm thinking four ounces would be a good amount, split into 2 small mason jars, because I think this would age nicely.

5 people found this review helpful.

Jacket72 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacket72 (2)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Wow! Brighton is the mild to medium Virginia I have been searching for. The blend is not terribly complex, but has enough going on to keep you interested throughout the bowl. Smoked fresh I get a lot of earth and grass notes with a bit of bright citrus flavor. Smoking back to back with some that's been aged for 3 years I get a lot more savory flavor. It packs easily, stays lit, burns cool for a Virginia and won't bite. Overall it's one of the most well behaved blends I have smoked. This is my go to blend for breaking in pipes and enjoying with my morning coffee. The stable flavor of Brighton makes it great to blend with some punchy Burleys as well.

Age When Smoked: Fresh and aged 3 years

4 people found this review helpful.

aztobaccosavant Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aztobaccosavant (12)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I have never been in a field of lavender after a rain, As one review referenced, but I have stepped in a cow pie during a wind storm. What does this have to do with Espterica you ask? Nothing but either does waxing poetic. This is an exceptional Tobacco in that it doesn't stand out in any special way except that it is of the highest quality ingredients and preparation. It is an all day all night smoke. It is perfect in aroma and smoking quality. It has a full gambit of full Virginia aromas and varied textures. If you don't like Virginias then it's not for you.

Pipe Used: Ashton, Ferndown, Balleby

Age When Smoked: 6.73 months

Purchased From: Na na, na na not gonna tell you

4 people found this review helpful.

Bluegrassbrian Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluegrassbrian (9)
Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Before trying Brighton I had smoked Stonehaven and Peacehaven many times. While Stonehaven gets the most hype, I've always preferred Peacehaven. Thus, I was pleased as punch upon opening the bag of Brighton to find brightly colored ribbons and broken flake pieces of fine virginia tobacco. The aroma seemed to straddle the aforementioned Esoterica blends. A sweet sugary smell that reminds me of fields of lavender and chamomile after a Spring rain. In line with all the other Esoterica blends, Brighton is very moist out of the bag. I let a bowls worth dry out over night. When I finally sparked the bowl I was happy to find the flavor matches the bag smell. A lovely flavors that shares elements of both Stonehaven and Peacehaven. I like to smoke these in a deep, narrow bowl. I think this helps maintain the flavor throughout the smoke. The quality of the leaf here is not in question. A cursory glance will tell you this is premium virginia. The casing too is high quality, evidenced by the clean flavor and stable burning.

So, if you enjoy cased but not cloying virginia blends, Brighton gets a high recommendation from me.

Pipe Used: Gamboni lovat

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Strauss Tobacconist

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Peacehaven, Esoterica Tobacciana - Stonehaven.

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Nice tasting Virginias. Citrus and a unique hay-like flavor that's actually a little woody and earthy. The flavor and bag note also has a "fermented" quality to it that reminds me of brandy. What hurts this blend is the lack of complexity and evolution that can make it a little boring by the time you get to the end of the bowl. I have a feeling that I'm going to enjoy using this as a blender. This should make for some outstanding VaBurs and VaPers.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I really can't detect any added flavoring. Burns well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Cup O' Joes

4 people found this review helpful.

lesliesrussell Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lesliesrussell (7)
Very Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant

Brighton is a very good Lakeland blend almost exactly like SG Grousemoor. Brighton ribbons seem more mottled (almost like spun gold with flecks of bronze), whereas Grousemoor appears more uniform in color. Both have an almost sticky texture. If I had to pick between the two, all things being equal, I'd probably go with Brighton. But SG Grousemoor is a very nice, readily available, and slightly less expensive alternative.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Bing's Favorite

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Grousemoor.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Very Pleasant

Moving on to the nest tobacco in my sampler pack, here we have an interesting Virginia blend. This reminds me of cut, dry grass; the color is nearly identical, and it even smells a little "grassy"! My sample seems to be flakes that have been almost totally rubbed out. The smell in the bag is, as noted, very mild, almost grassy, without the sweetness I usually sense in Virginia tobaccos. It is lighter in color, light and medium browns making up the mostly rubbed-out flake. The cut is fairly long, making packing a little tricky, and it is on the dry side. It lights easily and burns well, needing a below-average number of relights; actually, it burns a lot like grass, too. I chose a Stanwell bent bulldog for the first bowl of this tobacco. For the first 1/3, I'm getting a very light, airy smoke. There is no strong flavor, but I am noticing a very subtle sweetness and a bit of a "bright" Virginia taste. The smoke is very light and refreshing, not at all heavy or dark as with some matured Virginias. Moving on to the second third, and the flavor now is very similar to the first part of the bowl. I'm noticing that the light smoke is somewhat astringent in the mouth, like a strong tea; this is not unpleasant overall, but I find myself drinking more often than normal while smoking. The taste has changed somewhat, becoming a bit darker and more mature, but it is still fairly airy. There is a hint of tongue bite if I don't take care in puffing. Forward with the final third of this bowl, and nothing much has changed. The flavor is perhaps a touch darker and fuller than at the start, but it remains very light. Aside from a subtle sweetness and a touch of spiciness, there really isn't much to this tobacco. Maybe I'm spoiled by Latakia, but I keep asking myself, where's the rest? Is that all? It reminds me of those "Where's the beef?" fast food commercials. It does burn dry, right to the bottom, and the tongue bite is fairly mild. Overall, I find that there's nothing much to this one. It is refreshing, in a very mild sort of way, and it's about as far from a full English blend as it is possible to get. The room odor is also mild, almost like cigarette smoke (without the foul "after" smell), and is does burn very well. But I believe I would get about as much satisfaction and flavor from dried grass clippings. If you enjoy REALLY light, subtle Virginias, you may want to try this. Myself, I'll stick with Dark Star and VA #24 when I'm in the mood for a Virginia tobacco; they at least have some body, even if I do have to fight the tongue bite. UPDATE: This tobacco does have a bit more body and taste when smoked in a deep bowl; I would recommend doing so to maximize the flavor. It is still, however, no where near as full as I usually prefer.

4 people found this review helpful.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

12-03-2004 And now, for something totally different!

Appearance and Tin Aroma: Light Va ribbon, beatiful leaf colors! I detect a light licorice casing.

Packing and Lighting: Easy, just a few long ribbons giving a fuss. Lit easily, two lights.

Initial Flavor: Lightly cased Va, smoothness of the Va immediately noticable.

Mid-Bowl: I really like this blend! The leaf flavor is slightly oatish, but smooth. the casing is delicately there.

Bottom of Bowl: Slight build up of strength, casing never gets bitter or overpowering.

Overall: This is a mild VA blend that has been delicately cased in the Lakeland District style. Because of its uniqueness, I will continue to puff this blend in my VA rotation. Tongue-bite is pretty much impossible with this delicate mixture and even though it is not as rich as many other VA's that I have tried, the flavor, keeps me coming back. Give it a try.

Rating: 4 out of 5 points

3 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (192)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

Appearance: Mostly light and medium red tones, medium width ribbon

Aroma: Mild to medium matured Virginia aroma. .

Packing: Packs well into any size bowl from group 3 through 5.

Lighting: Lighting is quite ordinary. Not too slow to burn, nor too quick to catch.

Initial flavor: Well rounded Virginia flavor of moderate strength. Good sweetness from the Red leaf, balanced by the tangier Lemon colored leaf.

Mid-bowl: This is a simple blend, which has complex layers of flavors. The blending of sweet and and tangy keeps the blend from being monochromatic. The blend is gentle on the palate, with a good range of middle notes, some high and only a few low, but no extremes. A cool smoke,if puffed slowly, but stays lit rather well.

Finish: Finishes smoothly, leaves a fine gray ash. Tastes good right to the end.

Summary: A superb blend for the fancier of milder Virginias. Could be an all day smoke for the gentle puffer, but it really needs a relaxed moment to savor the nuances.

3 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (403)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

A friend of mine had two Esoterica blends that I got to try today. The first was this one dated 2/12/20 and is extremely sweet smelling out of the jar. He believed and I am prone to agree that is has an Apricot casing on it though it says it is unflavored. This is a high quality smooth, sweet smoking Virginia that only seem to get better the more I smoked it. Did not bite or burn the tongue. Like pretty much all Esoterica blends if you are lucky enough to get them and can afford the price tag go for it. Glad I got to have a couple of bowls of this one. If it fell from the sky and landed in my lap, great but as good as it is for myself, I would not make it a quest to find.

2 people found this review helpful.

Manolo_mp Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Manolo_mp (1)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

not a very experienced smoker. This was one of my first purchases and being the inexperienced smoker that i am i initially didnt like it. after a few months of smoking under my belt i decided to give it another try. Man was i glad i did. i love it as a good afternoon summer smoke paired with a citrusy beer such as Blue Moon or shock top. pairs perfectly! I prefer the spicier english blends but this one ill make an exception. great mid-day relaxing smoke.

Pipe Used: variety of briars

Purchased From: Barclay-Rex

2 people found this review helpful.

NAVIETVET1972 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I got 2 and 1/2 pounds from a friend the other day. He purchased it in 2013 and decided he's done with the pipe and passed 5 unsealed bags onto me. What a lucky guy I am. I've never smoked the Esoterica blends before and I'm not a real Virginia smoker. HOWEVER!!!! what a treat this tobacco is. Perfectly moist right out of the bag, smooth and creamy. Easy to pack, stays lit and has, what I consider a wonderful room note. It's a little one noted, however my nose picks up Coconut, mango and some stone fruit in that first whiff. It's an unusual fragrance to me but I like it. Lit up well and stayed burning, only 2 relights. What an interesting aroma, my wife even said she appreciated it and being that I'm a dark fired Kentucky guy I have to agree with her. If I could get this, I'd order more but I tried to find it on the most shopped websites for pipe tobacco and it appears no one has it. I would definitely give it a try.

Pipe Used: Calabash pipe

Age When Smoked: 7 years

Purchased From: From a friend

1 person found this review helpful.

Vic Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Vic (3)
Very Mild Very Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

At some point while smoking Margate I realized I like the virginia tobaccos in it, and as more dark flakes were remaining in the jar of Margate I decided to gamble and get more virginia. 70% Brighton and 30 -50% Margate mixed and smoked produced and "ice cream cone" experience from my childhood. I am as jolly as can be, as I did not think I could fix deep notes of Margate to make them lighter as I usually smoke my tobacco too wet. Highly recommend both Margate and Brighton tobaccos mixed together.

Pipe Used: meerschaum 9mm

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Rich's Cigar Portland, OR

1 person found this review helpful.