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Virginia, 2 Burleys, Turkish, Oriental, Cigar Leaf and Perique produce a medium strength blend with a smooth, full range of flavors. The 'Dark Horse' blend is an adjustment of 'Soulmate's Kiss' in which Cigar Leaf replaces the Latakia. It is the newest John Patton blend.

Notes: Sold through

BrandJohn Patton
Blended ByJohn Patton / Rich Gottlieb
Manufactured By4noggins
Blend TypeOther
ContentsBurley, Cigar Leaf, Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
CutCoarse Cut
ProductionCurrently available
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None Detected
Medium to Full
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3022)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I recommend smoking it in a big bowl pipe so you can savor the multiplicity of flavors from a variety of components. The woody, smoky, lightly sweet earthy cigar leaf plays well with the lightly spicy, woody dry Orientals and Turkish. The perique add a little spice, raisins and figs in a support role. The nutty, toasty, earthy burley and grassy, hay-like, mildly citrusy Virginia form the base of the blend. The taste varies just slightly as you smoke it down as some ingredients make themselves a little more known. It's bite free with no harshness, though I recommend a slow puffing pace. Has a nic-hit that falls just shy of medium. A complex blend that burns cool and clean, and doesn't need much relighting. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. It may not sound like an all day smoke considering what's in it, but it's not overly strong, though it's full in taste.


24 people found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (96)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I think this is one of the best blends I've smoked in over thirty years. It has no Latakia so the sharp slightly smoky notes in 'Soulmate's Kiss' are absent, and the slightly sour notes of the Perique and Turkish are more noticeable...odd, as I think this tastes a little sweeter than the 'Soulmate' blend. Similar in some ways to Oriental Dusk and Crossroads, this comes across to me a bit spicier and with a richer flavor...a very complex and alluring concoction - flavors dancing about like a dervish - sometimes they run up hooting and whistling and whack at you with a club...other times it's as a soft caress or a longing sigh. It's easy to work with, burns well, isn't fussy about briar...but seems to love a medium bowl of slightly deep dimensions. And it absolutely has a special relationship with the MM Freehand Cob and like most Patton blends does it's finest work there.

I've been smoking a pipe for a long time, and have at this point settled on these 'American/Oriental/Balkan' - flights of Patton Fantasy - as the best tasting and most interesting blends out there. If you haven't tried them yourself a favor...Crossroads, Oriental Dusk and Dark Horse. Three solid winners!

This is Soulmates Kiss with the Latakia replaced with Cigar Leaf. Simple.

12 people found this review helpful.

Edgy6gun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Edgy6gun (7)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Let me start by saying that I like this blend. I have a huge jar of it. Others who have said that this blend has a wide range of things going on and can be a little difficult for your brain to categorize in the flavors and smells are exactly right. It is a bit of a platypus. That being said, it is a great alternative to English or Balkin blends with Latakia in them because you get the complexity that comes from the Oriental/Burley/Perique (in that order of strength) but the extra spice comes from a touch of cigar leaf instead of a touch of Latakia which frames the other tobaccos in a different way. I enjoy this as a break from my normal diet of Virginia flakes when I don't want something with the chimney-like Latakia element, but I do want that savory flavor of Oriental instead of sweet Virginia. A great blend not only for its rather unique blending but also for its quality.

Pipe Used: Peterson System, cob, large meer

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I am really enjoying the sample of this. It comes a little dry, and I have been smoking it "as is." I am a fan of Oriental Dusk and wondered how this would compare. It is less sour and savory than OD. It is a more subtle smoke. A friend described it as "brighter" than OD, but that does not quite describe it.

I get primarily orientals and burley in that order. There is a sweet and spicy quality to the smoke that I claim is the perique backing up the orientals and Virginia contributing to the sweet. There is a mellow, full, earthy component in there that I suspect is the cigar leaf. The components are not shouting or "in your face." It is nicely balanced and multidimensional.

This is a flavorful, easy smoke. It has been a winner from bowl one. I have been smoking it in various pots, and that may be it is suited to a wider bowl. I would be tempted to experiment a bit, but I don't want to mess with success.

This is highly recommended. I think everyone should try this to see what a master blender can do with orientals and cigar leaf. It is especially recommended for fans of oriental leaf.

4 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (632)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Update 12-23-2019

I finally was able to smoke through a couple of ounces of this and will tell you, there is no way to really get to know a blend off a few bowls. In going through two ounces, I can definitely say there is no Latakia in the blend and the oriental is the first element to assert itself after the burley. It gives this a sour touch.

All other elements are pretty light and meld together in a blend that is pretty light on the palate overall. The description certainly makes no false claims as it is squarely called out as medium in taste. I originally had this in the medium to full for taste, and that was also inaccurate. In fact, if there is one knock I have on this, it is the fact that it is too light for my tastes.

Even with these changes in perception, I will still keep this at 3 stars as it is a good tasting blend that delivers what it promises.

Original Review 7-13-2015

I liked this blend. I received a sample that contained probably around four bowls. What I got was a very classy American English type blend. There was a strong sense of the burley in the blend with the nutty sweetness one would expect. There was also a smokiness to it that I took to be Latakia. Looking at the contents listing, it merely states that it contains Turkish/oriental. While Latakia is a Turkish/oriental with some special treatment, I am not sure that it is actually latakia bringing in the smokiness.

It may have just been the combination of all the other ingredients of which there are many. I had toyed with the idea of putting four stars on this one immediately as I enjoyed this blend and it is not directly relatable to any other blends out there; although, Purple Cow from C & D is kind of similar, but since I have only had the small sample I will leave it three stars for now and will revisit after I order more. That is, if it is still available. I see that 4 Noggins is starting to do away with some of the Patton blends which is a shame since all the ones I have tasted to date are so good.

Similar Blends: C & D Purple Cow.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

A very tasty blend, but also a little aggravating. The tasty part first. Nice floral, incense-like notes and a mild sourness from the Orientals. The Perique is fruity and spicy; the Virginias, fruity and sweet. The Burley is sweet and earthy. Can't pick up any nuttiness. The cigar leaf is spicy and earthy. The predominate nuances are sweet, earthy and spicy. At first it seems to lack depth, but it increases as the bowl progresses.

The aggravating part. It takes a while before this gets to burning well enough that you can put your matches aside. Like about half-way through the bowl. I don't smoke to become aggravated. Big minus for me. I not only give this 2 stars, I give it my middle finger as well. Damn shame 'cause it taste pretty good.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in flavor.

Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh bulk

Purchased From: 4noggins

3 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (25)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

This is an exceptional tobacco. When I read the ingredients, I didn't know what to make of it, but it sounded interesting, so I ordered a bit from Rich at 4Noggins.

The nose note in the pouch was all Perique. Being rather an old coot, that wasn't too surprising. Not being averse to Perique, it was not off-putting. But it WAS...unusual. I didn't think my sense of smell was quite so far-gone as not to be able to detect the other constituents. But apparently it was.

Upon lighting, the Perique came strongly to the fore, though not the "figgy, raisiny" Perique others write about. Neither was it the "peppery" Perique. It was the "old gym socks" Perique I remember from 1972. And that ain't bad at all.

This is a very, very old type tobacco blend. It has enough attitude and nicotine to wake the dead, and I really doubt the room note will win the compliments of anyone except old men like me. But that's OK.

The rich, nutty burley is there. The cigar leaf performs an unusual duty: it gooses the Virginia to provide extraordinarily sweet high notes. The Oriental provides a subtle floral essence in the background. All the tobaccos are of the highest quality. There is absolutely no bite; neither is there any gurgle. Dottle? Nary a bit.

Dark Horse is just a great old-style American burley blend. The only thing that compares is Peretti's Cuba Blend. But Dark Horse is more evocative, particularly if you mix it with a healthy dose of Lane Ready Rubbed or Sutliff Edgeworth Match.

Strong, earthy, honest and real. Exhaled through the nose, you will smell oak and sycamore leaves on an autumn afternoon. That, alone, should be worth the price of admission..

Pipe Used: MM Washington MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: Peretti's Cuba Blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2076)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

John Patton - Dark Horse.

Earlier this morning, when I lit my first bowl, the first thought to come to my mind was "damn, here we go with another blend that tastes like a cheapo cigar!". That was my first impression of the smoke, but it didn't take long for the Cigar Leaf to die down and let the other tobacco's come through; it's present for the whole journey, but it doesn't push the others out. The different tobacco's are combined together in a way to make the smoke quite a complex experience. I get a creamy and earthy base, with a touch of wood. The Perique offers a fruity quality, whilst the Burley gives the smoke a slightly coarse feel. Surprisingly, even though the other flavours are quite powerful, I still manage to get a decent hit of Virginia sweetness. The nicotine's quite medium, and the room-notes a bit boring!

An area where this falls down, for me, is the subjective one: tongue bite. This reduces my liking of it a fair bit. That said though, it's still worth three stars for flavour alone.


Pipe Used: Rattray's Six Friends Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From:

2 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (137)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a curious blend. It has such a wide variety of different leaf in it you don't know what to expect. Taste-wise, I've found the blend neither outstanding, nor displeasing—rather just middling for me. It's such a hodge-podge my taste buds didn't know where to go with it. I don't regret trying it, but will not purchase it again. I like Patton's Storm Front much, much, better. I'm looking forward to trying some of his other blends.


Pipe Used: Kaywoodie

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: 4noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

Mouse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mouse (7)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A lovely blend. I concur with Blackhorse's review, one of John Patton's best blends. Full, rich, and tasty. Well worth a try.

2 people found this review helpful.

point9 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
point9 (114)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Compared with my favorite John Patton's blend: Stormfront, Dark Horse has similar characteristics with some differences. They all share sweetness, cigar spiciness, burley nuttiness, but this has been added with oriental and perique, which bring some sourness and slightly fruity air. I think whoever love stormfront will appreciate Dark Horse.

1 person found this review helpful.

ColinK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ColinK (15)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

This one was an easy buy for me, but I am not so sure on it right now. Had my first bowl earlier today, and it certainly lives up to its' name as an "other". Upon lighting, I just didnt like it. Super harsh, and burned super-hot. Let it go for a bit and kept at it but just got heat and cigarette type smoke. Then, I put the pipe down and walked away for a bit. When I returned and re-lit, it came to life. Honestly, the reviews that indicate that this is a mix of flavors and tastes are dead on. To me, it tasted like and smoked like a crushed cigar placed in my pipe. I kept after it and had some taste stops along the way that came through clearly. Cigar leaf, followed by burley, followed by a brief check-in at orientals. I dont see this being a regular go to, but a certain one for a shake-up from my norms. Worth adding to the rotation for certain.

Pipe Used: Peterson 107

Age When Smoked: Jarred for about two weeks

Purchased From: 4Noggins is the only option.

1 person found this review helpful.

Brunello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brunello (140)
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

When I first received my shipment I divided into two jars, the first jar I consumed over six months, the second jar I let sit untouched for five years! So, I’ve been getting to know it again now over these past few weeks. It’s still a fairly rugged he-man kind of a blend even after five years of aging. If you like Bob Runowski blends like Haunted Bookshop, or if you smoke cigars regularly, you will like this. It has some spicy nuances that remind me of a dark Nicaraguan cigar. I remember from when it was fresh that I tried a tweak using 5% Sutliff Aged Maduro Cavendish and that added some needed cushion on the palate for me. I called that tweak “Black Stallion” and just that little nudge put it up to four stars for me. If it isn’t cushion you seek, but sweetness, you could always add a pinch of BCA, which everybody has laying around. I guess I’d call that version “Pony Rides,” LOL. If it’s even more earthiness you crave you could always add some dehydrated potato peel. Ok, enough joking around . . .

I have to wonder, reading some of the other reviews if Rich made some adjustments to either proportions or changes in suppliers, because either when fresh or when I evaluate it now after five years, this is certainly not a Turkish-forward blend with floral overtones as some have said. In fact, unless we’re talking Black Sea Sokhoum I don’t taste any Turkish/Oriental at all. For me the predominant character stems from earthy dark Burleys (not especially nutty) and cigar leaf (dark and spicy). Coming in third would be Perique, but not of the peppery or figgy raisiny type, more of the musty earthy type. I also get some salty pan-scorched butter (that possibly from toasted Turkish leaf). I agree with one reviewer who said that the retrohale was like oak leaves in Autumn, but that was more so when fresh, not so much now that it has mellowed with age.

I much prefer Storm Front, but this deserves three stars for its distinctiveness and for those times when you want something a little more rugged. I find it pairs nicely with a strong dry red wine like Italian Aglianico.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Here's a good burley blend that really satisfies. Burley at the top of the pyramid of flavors, followed by the Turkish and oriental. The Virginia is unnoticeable, but the perique seems to hold it all on the darker side. A very tasty and rather cigarette style flavor. Lights easy, burns to the bottom and easy to smoke all day.

Pipe Used: Ashton

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4noggins.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (218)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

A tobacco that is full of flavors, earthy, spicy with a slight sweetness and sourness. If a bit on the dry side, it smokes without a glitch and the taste is that of a full bodied cigar in a pipe smoking way. Cigar leaf mixtures are hard to balance but this one is a winner. Works nicely on a colder day or after a meal.

Virginia lover

Nobody has rated this review yet.

clanobucklin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
clanobucklin (105)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh My! I am smoking a bowl of this blend and I have to say it's excellent!!! Kudos to John Patton for creating one of the most complex and smooth cigar blends ever.

I have tried several of his blends and this has to be one of my Favorite Patton Blends.

For those Pipe Smokers who like a little cigar leaf in their blends - this is the one to try!!!

Pipe Used: Don Warren Lovat

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: 4 Noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable to Strong

I had to throw this bag of "pipe" tobacco away it was so bad.

Tasted like smoking some cheap cigarette tobacco only from my pipe.

I could not tolerate more than a single bowl at a time, and found myself forcing literally threw the bag away.

Nobody has rated this review yet.