Like the milder-bodied Capstan Yellow, Capstan Blue was originally created by W.D. & H.O. Wills of Bristol well over a century ago. It's remained a favorite to countless pipe smokers across generations (J.R.R. Tolkien having been on of its most noted aficionados), a testament to the quality of this fine Virgina flake, here offered in ready-rubbed form.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMac Baren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams tin, 50 grams pouch
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
None Detected
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3048)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This review is virtually the same as the one I posted for the flake version, because I tasted no discernible difference between that and the ready rubbed. The only difference is that this is easier to pack because it is ready rub cut.

Current MacBaren Version: This is a little stronger, less sweet, and less cased than its brother in the gold tin. Slight citrus, fig, and a little grass/hay and a more earthy, woody, breadiness with a nice mild to medium tangy dark fruit Virginia flavor. Also is slightly sugary with a light floral quality. Not a very complex blend, though there are a couple of different Virginias in the mix. The strength is a step below the medium mark, and the taste level is medium. The nic-hit is a step past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, and barely has any rough edges. A rather uncomplicated blend that burns cool, clean and smooth with a very consistent flavor at a slow pace. Requires a few relights. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a very pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. A very comfortable all day smoke to pack and light with enough nicotine to get your attention without overwhelming your senses.


39 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (90)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I like this a lot, glad it's available, and I am struck with the thought that it will age wonderfully.

The blue is pretty sweet, sugary enough that if you put the pipe down and come back, the stem tastes like one of those sugar-dipped little cigars.

Excellent virginia smell in the tin, a straight shot up the nose. Can't tell if this is cased or not, certainly it's pretty sweet. Not rough, not biting. If every tobacco could be as friendly!

Very old-timey to me, leaves a sweet/dirty note in the room.

Pipe Used: Brand new Savinelli petite

Age When Smoked: unaged/new

Similar Blends: Orlik Golden Sliced, Best Brown Flake, Dark Twist.

12 people found this review helpful.

Falcon Fan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Falcon Fan (22)
Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Tolerable

When I smoked cigarettes, I found that almost every different brand was smokable and had different positive and negative qualities with the exception of Rothmans which I tried a few times back in the 90's and then gave up on the brand altogether - there must be something odd going on in my mouth because they used to sell enough of those cigarettes and nobody else I knew found them toxic and nasty. But I did.

Well same thing with this - I spent quite a while trying to like it and persevered to the end of tin, but in the end, it just turned out to be not for me. Hot, steamy flavorless tongue bite is all that comes to mind when recalling this tobacco. i also learnt on this tobacco that if the first bowl of a highly recommended tobacco is a complete personal disaster, ditch the rest of the pack quickly in the bin and move on rapidly to the next blend - eg just because you eat lots of brussel sprouts, doesn't mean you will ever like them. Life is too short. So I am swimming against the tide here, but thumbs down on this from me.

Pipe Used: Brigham Heritage 02

Age When Smoked: New to 3 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

8 people found this review helpful.

Yiğit Ertuğ Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Yiğit Ertuğ (1)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

Alright, I am a quite newbie in pipe smoking, and I have access to almost no tobaccos, so my review might be taken with a grain of salt.

The first time i filled my pipe with this blue marvel, i had just opened the tin, allowed it to rest about 15 minutes and proceeded to smoke it. Just like some of the reviewers here noted, it was quite tasteless, giving a bit of nicotine and very little taste.

Later, I put the rest of the tobacco to a jar for a few hours after letting it sit out in the open for about an hour; then i transferred it back to the original tin.

The next day, I brewed some Earl Grey Tea (with a pinch of milk) and smoked it again. Now, that was a tobacco i truly enjoyed. Perhaps due to my brief airing, or perhaps due to the tea, I could now detect hints of a sugary taste that paired extremely well with the tea. Every puff i took gave me a taste i quite enjoyed. I should emphasize that the taste is still mild, but not undetectable. It is a mild, sugary, enjoyable taste. It isn't legendary or anything, but if you enjoy the occasional pipe smoking or have access to a very few number of blends like me, I believe you will enjoy it.

Pipe Used: Chacom Churchill 393 + Tsuge the Tasting (21)

Age When Smoked: Fresh off the tin and a few days after

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Medium None Detected Medium Strong

Capstan - Ready Rubbed.

Starting with the unlit blend prior to smoking: the smell coming from mine is a fairly basic Virginia one, there is only a delicate citrus note if you deliberately search for it. The build of the mixture appears to be quite dainty, one or two longer/thicker pieces but mostly it consists of shorter/slim pieces. It's easy to see that it is 100% Virginia, it's all a medium brown in colour and the quantity of water is spot on, it's ready to smoke immediately.

It's relatively simple to get lit but the moment it is burning it accentuates the first issue, the temperature of the smoke is too much. Sadly for Capstan this isn't the only low point (for me), this one is a real biter, whether sipped slowly or sucked with aggression it has as much bite as a Great White Shark! On to some positives now, firstly flavour. Throughout it has a really pure/full Virginia taste, I note that others notice a few additions in there but for me it is a truly "straight forward" Virginia taste, even when retro-haled it still bestows a pure V' taste. On to Nicotine now, this is the perfect amount of Lady N for me: it's very satisfying, quells the lust without being too much and is a doddle to inhale. Sadly I must point out an additional negative, the room-note: yes it is a straight up Virginia one but it is (like the temp') just too much! When smoking Capstan it is necessitated that you have some windows opened! A final good point to end on is that the flavour stays nicely even throughout, there is no fluctuation with taste, only a steady Virginia one.

I score this 2 stars and not more for a few reasons, the bite is at the top of my list of impairments!

Pipe Used: Peterson Sandblast Sherlock Homes Baskerville

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

7 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Revised review 6/19/2016- I've had a closed tin in the cellar for about 2 years and I just opened it, very , very nice. I realize that this is a straight Virginia, but , it sure tastes like there might be a TOUCH of Burley or Oriental , much like Dunhill's "Ready Rubbed" mixed with about 25% Mac's Virginia # 1. This is flavorful , smooth and great on the cold relight. NONE of Mac's typical bite ( from a cob). Then why not 4 stars ? I seem to catch a slight topping almost a "Lakeland Floral", not a fan , so 3 stars.

Original review- I hope this review is placed under the correct "Capstan Original Navy Cut, ready rubbed , Blue" listing, as I find these listings a little confusing (lists the blender as Orlik where my tin says Mac Baren and some of the reviews are for a full flake)? I find this tobacco as good as any of the best Virginias I have smoked. It does work it's full magic after about two weeks to breath and it becomes smooth and flavorful and as good as many of the other 4 star Virginia blends listed. My one and only complaint is it's price, it's only 1.75 oz. and the price is 20% higher than other comparable blends.

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Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 1 month open / 2 years of age

Similar Blends: GLP's Union Square or a blend of Dunhill's Ready Rubbed with 25% Mac's Virginia #1.

7 people found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (143)
Very Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been smoking the same tin on and off for around two months now. When I first opened the tin it had a pleasant and typical Virginia smell, slightly sweet and grassy. I filled a bowl in one of my briars and I will admit that it was the weakest Virginia I have tried to date. Being a new smoker after only 2 years I chalked it up to inexperience and tried a few more bowls in different pipes. Nope. Still the weakest blend I had tried with little to no flavor to me. So I jarred it and forgot about it for around 2-3 months.

I have reopened the jar and smoked a few bowls in the past few days and what a difference. I have found it took on a lot more flavor. It has taken on more of a sweet note, which is a tiny bit incense-like. The grassy Virginia is more pronounced and the blend has become more complex and smokable. I will admit however, that even with the improvement from aging I might not buy this again, and if I do it will immediately get jarred and cellared for a few months to years. The taste intrigues me so I will be trying the Flake version of this and see if my experience improves.

Edit: The more I smoke this the more it improves and so I will bump my rating up to three stars. This tobacco shines with age and the grassy citrus notes start to really shine I am about to buy a few more tins of this a put them in the cellar to age for a year or more.

Pipe Used: Capri from Italy

Age When Smoked: 5 Months

Purchased From: La Casa Cigar Lounge

6 people found this review helpful.

Ramin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ramin (4)
Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

if you love virginia, you have to try this tobacco. that's great. there is different kind of virginias in it and a little citros flavoring that machs virginia so nicely. but flavoring is not overhelming. its one of my top ten list and always have one tin of that. an all day smoke and highly recomended to virginia lovers and fans of low cased aromatic tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Angelo

Age When Smoked: fresh and aged

Purchased From: local shop, iran

Similar Blends: Macbaren Capstan Gold.

6 people found this review helpful.

CornCob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CornCob (94)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

This is a nice straight forward VA blend, i really couldnt detect any topping or casing. Good dose of vitamin N and quite easy to smoke. When sipped slowly no heat or bite was encountered. Nothing mind blowing here, just straight VA. I would've liked to have tried the original blend for historic comparison, the tin i have is Mac Baren production. I doubt id buy it again but i will try Capstan Gold to see if any differences exist.

Pipe Used: Capri rustic billiard

Age When Smoked: current production

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

6 people found this review helpful.

ynrozturk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ynrozturk (62)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

After spending some time with some Burley and Latakia heavy blends, I decided to go back to my favorite - Virginia's. When the guy at my tobacco store said it was Tolkien's favorite blend, I thought what the hell, and decided to give it a shot.

The tin I got looks like it's easily 5-6 years old. It's just damaged, discolored, rusted on the outside. That made me even more intrigued.

Opening the tin, I was greeted by a very ketchupy smell. Not a bad thing, but I didn't get any hay or zest of anything. The moisture out of my tin was just perfect, and was ready to pack right away. So I grabbed a Peterson and went to work.

Packing is easy, and after two charring lights, I was on my way. Tamped down once at first, then a second time mid bowl. Very easy to maintain, and it burns very cool for a Virginia. You can light it and pretty much just forget about it.

Produces a satisfying amount of smoke, and a decent level of nicotine as well. The flavor isn't the best I've had out of a Virginia, but it's still a very good all day smoke. Something you can just pack and not worry about. I got no tongue bite and with proper technique, it won't bite you, either.

As another reviewer stated, it needs Perique. I 100% agree with this. Just a touch would make it a lot more interesting.

Overall good smoke. Not sure if I would buy again as there are better Virginia options out there which I prefer. But still good.

Pipe Used: Peterson and Erik Nording

Age When Smoked: Not sure. My tin was very, very old.

Purchased From: Local store.

5 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This review is of the ORIGINAL Capstan Navy Cut Ready Rubbed and NOT the new Mac Baren's version which I have tried and enjoyed, but, as a Virginia, it was way too fresh to favorably compare.

The ORIGINAL Capstan Medium had a pleasant enough smell in the tin, but certainly nothing unusual. My nostrils detected a slight essence of hay and fermented fruit. The strips are moist but not overly so. I did rub out fully for an easy pack job. The flavor is bold, my Virginia Bite-O-Meter barely registers, and the weed remains at a wonderfully even burn throughout each smoke. Is this one of those rare "I've gotta cellar some tins" type blend? Absolutely! It is not a legend by accident.

5 people found this review helpful.

Dr. Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr. Scott (82)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Typical Virginia tin note of molasses, honey, dried figs. Typical honey-molasses based casing. Reminds me of other Mac Baren blends: that Mac Baren tongue bite is there, but not so strong... This is not bad, but not great either.

Pipe Used: Half-bent Billiard, straight Billiard

Age When Smoked: 12 months

Purchased From: Thepipeguys.com

Similar Blends: Other Mac Baren Virginia blends., Rattray - Hal O' the Wynd.

5 people found this review helpful.

craig61a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
craig61a (22)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Capstan Ready Rubbed has always been a favorite of mine. With some appreciable age on it, it's absolutely wonderful.

There's a nice honey flavor and a rich Virginia taste with some hay and citrus in the background. A little bit of graham cracker taste too.

The honey flavor backs off a bit mid bowl. There's a nice bright Virginia tobacco flavor, with sweetness in the background.

The honey does make a slight reprise towards the end of the bowl.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 8 years old

4 people found this review helpful.

Theologia14 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Theologia14 (24)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a really well-behaved Virginia that starts out sweet on the light. Almost fruity/honey like with a spicy flavor that last throughout the bowl. Hints of the sweetness dance in and out of the blend throughout the bowl but especially in the first third and last third of the bowl. This is a blend that could easily be smoked any time of day and I can see why many people call it an “all-day blend.” I could easily smoke and enjoy the blend while working and it also lead to many deep, meditative thoughts even as the air temperature dropped forcing me inside. Mechanically, the blend burned all the way to the bottom of the bowl leaving little to no dottle for me to pick out. I will look forward to many more bowls of this blend. The price i a little high in my opinion, and it may be a limiting factor for me, but I will cellar as much as I can. The blend should age well for many years.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Roma 673 KS

Age When Smoked: 4 years old

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Orlik Golden Slice.

4 people found this review helpful.

UncleAl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleAl (19)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Capstan Original Ready Rubbed [Blue tin] is just as great as the Navy Cut Flake. I smoke both straight out of the tin. If you gently sip, this exceptional smoke is creamy soft, the flavours deep but with also a gentle sweetness. This is top quality Virginia with a between medium to strong Nic-hit. The slower you sip pipe tobacco, the more you get from it; and this remains true for Capstan Original Ready Rubbed. Try half a bowl of dry, almost half a bowl moist from the tin and at least a 1 millimetre topping of dry powder, to ensure an even light.

Pipe Used: Tsunge Topper, Peterson Baker Street & ors.

Age When Smoked: From the tin

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: .

3 people found this review helpful.

PugetPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PugetPiper (2)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Very seldom do I feel compelled to review a tobacco because, frankly, very seldom do I come across a tobacco that I find exceptional in the satisfaction it delivers. Capstan Original Navy Cut Ready Rubbed has proved to be one of those rare finds. This tobacco has everything that brings me pipe smoking pleasure. It is ready to smoke right out of the tin, it is easy to pack, stays lit, produces a good volume of smoke, smells and tastes wonderful, burns cool (if you pack it correctly), won't bite even when pushed - and - the experience is easily repeatable from bowl to bowl, pipe to pipe.

Tin note is dried apricots. Room note is sweet hardwood BBQ and spice. Smoke is creamy with good body and rich, natural Virginia tobacco flavor. Retro-hale is spicy, a bit citrusy and teasingly effervescent - almost in a Fresca or root beer float sort of way.

Pack lightly for an effortless draw (lighter than soda through a straw). For my medium-sized briars I gravity feed the bowl, press lightly to about 3/4 full then top up just above the rim and lightly press to level (only two layers instead of the usual three). Test draw before charring light - again it should be effortless for the best experience with this tobacco. Can be a tad stubborn to take a charring light - I char twice before the true light. Once lit tamp lightly every few minutes to keep the coal seated. Very seldom do I have to re-light if I keep it tamped. I generally get an effortless 30-35 minute smoke before the coal reaches the dottle zone in the heel. Don't attempt to relight the dottle as the taste becomes a bit acrid. Anything above the dottle zone seems to do fine with re-light and/or DGT.

A wonderful, tasty, satisfying, no fuss tobacco that I highly recommend.

Pipe Used: Various Briars

Age When Smoked: 3+ Years (Tin Marked Apr 2013)

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

3 people found this review helpful.

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

A very nice medium to full bodied straight Virginia blend. Tin note offers citrus, hay, fresh tomato, little grass. Rubbed out flakes are quite chunky, you can still fold and stuff if you like. My tin came a little moist. I give it at least 45 minutes drying time before smoking. This one offers a lot more flavors than it's brother/sister blend Capstan Gold. Rich dark Virginias smoke sweet, tangy, a little spicy, with hints of fermented fruits and hay. Flavor is consistent throughout the bowl. May get a little harsh if pushed. Very easy to light and keep it lit. Requires a few relights. I have yet to try the flake version and compare with ready rubbed. I came to prefer original navy cut (Blue) to the Capstan Gold version. Highly recommended for Virginia lovers. I will stock up on this to age even more. I bet this will become a phenomenal Virginia blend after aging for at least 5 years. 4 stars out of 4 for me.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 320

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Emegaz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emegaz (4)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Pure Virginia tobacco flavor. As far as a straight Virginia goes this is in the Top 10. Most Virginia blends really try to play up the sweetness. This is much more balanced. Using a narrow bowl I found this blend to have a certain kind of depth that was really enjoyable. Grass, hay, barn, natural sweetness, light , whispy, purity, clean, very middle of the road but in all the best ways all come to mind when I smoke this. A slight bite but very tolerable. This was left in a jar for a few months to relax.

Pipe Used: more narrow bowls with just a little depth

2 people found this review helpful.

Gr8tefuldawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gr8tefuldawg (87)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren- Capstan Navy Cut RR

Tin dated Jul2018, upon opening I was met with a strong household cleaner citrus smell almost like a urinal puck that was quite unpleasant, the tobacco was packed hard as a puck and still had a good seal upon opening.

Pulled enough to get a full bowl and let it dry for 15 minutes as I refilled my late evening coffee.

First light was slightly harsh, noticing quite early the almost citrus topping, the Virginia’s are bright, fresh hay and grass on the retrohale. I get a nice slight sweetness on my tongue throughout the bowl.

This will need more drying time, and a few re-lights to get started, I have not tried the flake counterpart but the consensus is that it’s the superior version, so down the road I may give it a shot.

Straight Virginia that delivers some citrusy hay flavor, but overall seems very one dimensional, I think others in the same category do it better, I wonder how this differs from the original smoked by countless before.

I will revisit this tin and thus far while not impressive it’s an average smoke. I will give this a flat 2 rating may change as I smoke this more down the road.

Pipe Used: Rossi 320

Age When Smoked: 22 months

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Orlik Tobacco Company A/S - Golden Sliced (Red Tin).

2 people found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (70)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

50g pouch.

In the UK this is an OTC blend which isn't as common as others. I have had a few pouches over the years. It has a very lemon peel essence to it, a bright juicy citrusy virginia. What I am smoking now is a jar of it which I have had from july 2015, so that makes it 4 years 8 months old. It is dry and that maybe because i transfered it from a dried out pouch or I did it myself for preparation reasons years ago and forgot about it.

Similar to Gold Block in taste but minus cavendish. Having just got through a particularly unusual bitey jar of 4 year old Gold Block which I added perique to for taming (it didn't tame that pouch)-this Capstan Navy READY RUBBED is a welcome relief. I realise that over the years I have gone off dirty cavendish.

The rule with Capstan is to dry it out completely before smoking, have a well caked dirty bowl to smoke it in and note that the more you smoke it, it self seasons the bowl where it gives taste back to the smoke , amplifies the taste,self corrects its rough corners. Earl Grey tea, lemon peel,lemon curd, golden corn flakes, hay.. It really is a nice easy virginia of sweet and sour simplicity. I dont need to add any perique to this.

I do think this has aged, its less grassy than a fresh pouch and has a bit more mature breadyness .. Since I dont really get along with Gold Block anymore this will be its replacement because it has what I like about Gold Block minus the bite and cavendish. Capstan wont bite you in a session, but over a whole day you might feel peppery in your mouth. I would say it doesnt bite, but it doesnt offer sympathy for an already bitten tongue if you were smoking something else before hand that did.

With care of preparation and cadence, plus a bit of ageing, this tastes more expensive than its price. Its close to SG BEST BROWN FLAKE in taste.

I use a Falcon Shillelagh twist stem and a solid Turkish Meerschaum hyperbowl shape bowl. Similar draught to a cob pipe.

No bite, no gunk, burns to a clean dry fluffy ash, stays lit, stays cool if not packed hard and pre dried before smoking, no chemical tastes, tastes consistant down the bowl, 3 STARS*

Pipe Used: Falcon, solid meerschaum, cob

Age When Smoked: 4years 8months

Purchased From: SuperMarket Probably

Similar Blends: SG Best Brown Flake, Gold Block.

2 people found this review helpful.

Lazarus77 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lazarus77 (91)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Not bad everyday smoke.Lits well, burns well, leave pipe dry, no tongue bite at all. Nothing special, but recommending to try for everybody, you will like as a neutral day smoke.

Pipe Used: Stanwell private collection

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local store

2 people found this review helpful.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (86)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Unnoticeable

The Blue Capstan has a long history behind its name. I have no idea what it used to be in the glory times of old but what I have here in my tin is a Bland Boring Bity Blend.

Well, it's not bad per se, it's quite a decent Virginia with some subtle notes of fig and citrus and it's got some nicotine in it which is good. But to my taste, any of the cheaper and less celebrated straight Virginias by Sam Gawith is far superior to Capstan.

Leaving one star I'm not saying it's bad, I just mean "I don't recommend to spend your money on this when there's a variety of better options". Some guys may love it but that's not my case.

Pipe Used: Peterson 80s Limerick

Age When Smoked: 1

2 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (318)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Note: this was from a pouch. In a briar, slightly bitey and boring. In a cob, this was still very generic but the bite was gone. Overall, for me this was a very decent but straightforward VA, and really a 2.5 star. I wouldn't rebuy it.

Pipe Used: briar & cob

Age When Smoked: 16 months from purchase

Purchased From: Mr Snuff

2 people found this review helpful.

Optimist Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Optimist (6)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild Unnoticeable

This does not taste like pipe tobacco at all, but like cigarette-rolling tobacco (think Old Holborn or Golden Virginia). Very little to recommend it, and I've rarely seen a tobacco that reminds you of how much tax the UK government stick on top. Not recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dublin filter

1 person found this review helpful.

Nick Prof. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick Prof. (28)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Just had a first bowl of the ready rubbed capstan original navy cut, a few days after i had my first bowl from the flake version. Well, it is an excellent tobacco for me with a very consistent and little sweet Virginia based taste, easy to pack, easy to smoke. I see some folks describe tongue bite, not sure for this … I avoided non-filter pipe anyways, but also didn’t use coal filter (6 mm for savinelli) or the classic wood-filter from savinelli as it acts against the full flavor in some tobaccos. Instead, I used a 6mm “paper” filter, the one we often use in corncob pipes, which allows the full taste to be experienced but also plays a role of protecting against tongue bite (in savinelli pipe you just need to cut little this filter to reduce its length). Based on this, the experience in smoking the capstan ready rubbed tobacco is very unique. Of course, i will also give it a try with non-filter, e.g., a falcon in due course. It smokes relatively slowly, owing to its coarse rubbed texture, just very few relights are necessary. It makes a perfect combination of something earthy as non-aromatic tobaccos do, with something that has sweetness and leaves you a very unique taste. Perhaps, not an all day tobacco I could think, but every second day a bowl would be perfect for me. Extra note: I did love my first bowl on the flake version, but didn’t think to take directly a second tin, I said, alright let’s finish first this first pack - however, when I visited a local shop to take some other tobaccos and saw this one in the rubbed version, I got it without second thought (just a couple of days after I purchased the flake tin). Generally, I think I really like the capstan tobaccos, and the rubbed version is just easier - of course, the flake one can also be rubbed before loading so it doesn’t make so much difference which one to purchase.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 606, 616, Peterson XL02, 408

Age When Smoked: New

1 person found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (38)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

I've never been sure why this is called "ready rubbed". Ready rubbed generally implies a pressed tobacco that's been rubbed out some before packaging, e.g. like St Bruno ready rubbed. Capstan however is a shag(ish) cut that's clearly never been pressed into anything.

I remember the flake as being a good quality "everyday" tobacco, but unfortunately the flake hasn't been available in the UK for many years, instead we just get the "ready rubbed".

The tin note is of a rather aromatic tea, and on smoking there's a tea or tannin quality present, albeit tea that's a bit "stewed". Not much flavour though, and for me at least a really bad case of tongue-bite to go with it. Capstan ready-rubbed is an old blend though, and one of the old English "standard tobaccos found everywhere", along with similar offerings in the form of Gold Block and Clan.

Personally I find it a bit too mild in all departments, and the tongue-bite bad enough that for me it's a no-go zone. Worth trying though if you like milder Va based easy smoking blends or are going through the ritual of trying as many of the old tobaccos once found in every newsagent's or corner shop.

Just wish the flake was available in the UK. It was up there with Player's Navy Cut as the best two common "OTC" medium flakes. Though Players quietly shuffled off this mortal coil in 2015, another good blend gone.

Pipe Used: Various, all briars.

Similar Blends: Modern Gold Block, Clan..

1 person found this review helpful.

natibo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
natibo (169)
Mild None Detected Mild Tolerable

This was a good navy blend, but just not strong enough for me. And it needs perique. I will try the flake next time. But not bad.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wally Frank Collector Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wally Frank Collector (46)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

I bought some of the ready rubbed version and the tin was 2 years old. This review is the same as the unrubbed flake version for I found no taste difference.

Upon opening tin I was greeted by a hay fragrance with a nice rich earthy, mildly woody, light bread and pleasant apricot aromas dancing in the background. This was slightly damp so I dried for an hour each time and I have smoked it in my Peterson Killarney B10 and various cobs.

It is pre rubbed into long strips and packed easily. It took a bit more to get it lit but once lit it burned slow and cool and had less relights than normal. The smoke was rich, creamy and full. It burned to white ash. Had a very light amount of moisture in the bowl at the end. Had a very pleasant room note.

Upon lighting I was greeted with a very pleasant, medium to full tobacco flavor that was pleasant which was highlighted by a really pleasing hay, earthy, fresh bread flavor that had dancing in the background a mild tangy apricot, lightly woody experience that closes with a very pleasant perfectly sweet honey flavor that sticks around after each puff and Dow a while after the smoke is finished. A pleasant experience. A wonderful medium tobacco that is not overly complex but is balanced beautifully and comes across as a quality tobacco that is a pleasant smoke with a medium nic hit. While not complex it isn’t one dimensional either. It is well done and can be an all day smoke. Doesn’t bite, but if pushed one can get a few mild rough edges.

This is a favorite that will be part of my regular rotation. A pleasing smoke that makes one feel fulfilled at the end. A 5 out of 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Killarney B10, cobs and a clay

Age When Smoked: 2 year old tin

Purchased From: West Virginia Smoke shop

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HeadmasterOfHerf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HeadmasterOfHerf (25)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

We all know why you bought this. You heard that it was J.R.R. Tolkien's favorite pipeweed.

Let me put it to you this way: the tobacco we have now has gotta be way better than the tobacco they had back then (exceptions given for stuff like Syrian Latakia and some of the brands that have gone away in more recent times).

It's a little citrusy. Nothing to write home about. The ready rubbed flake packs and burns well.

Overall the taste is reminiscent of a mellow Virginia with an overtone of cigarettes. Not going to go out of my way to smoke more, but we'll see how well it ages.

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Charles Town Cobbler

Age When Smoked: 4 months

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

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JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (566)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin note of ketchup, mild stewed fruit, and spices. The tobacco is moist but dry enough to smoke. The orange-brown broken flakes rub out easily. Burns slow with a few extra relights. The strength is medium and nic is medium. No flavoring detected. Taste is medium and consistent, with notes of mild lemon peel, floral, mildly sweet grass, bread, spices, very earthy, dry wood, a mildly sweet herbal hay background note, and a peppery retro. Room note is pleasant to tolerable, and aftertaste is great.

Pipe Used: 1987 Peterson Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

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laufenstoc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
laufenstoc (9)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Oh well, you can't go back again.... As a devoted fan of the British iteration of Capstan Medium (blue), I had some hope when I was recently gifted an 8 year old tin of Mac Baren's version.

Frankly, it was unrecognizable to me. An uninspired blend of mediocre Virginias, devoid of sweetness, and a generally an unpleasant grassy taste. I have smoked a half dozen bowls, each time hoping that a different pipe would yield a more pleasant experience. No dice. I've never really cared for Mac Baren's offerings, and that's not changing with this blend.

Age When Smoked: 8 years

Similar Blends: Lawn mower clippings..

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North State Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
North State (72)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, this is good, pure 100% Virginia - take it or leave it. As a matter of fact I think this is the first pure Virginia blend that I have tasted, all others being mixed with at least a little bit of other varieties (even if light) or aromatized to some degree. The dried-haystack-in-the-summer flavour is wonderfully present throughout, from tin note to smoking to room note, the taste is just slightly sweet, and the largish, long, ready rubbed strands are a delight to pack a pipe with after just a little bit of drying, and then burn easily and consistently.

The problem for me is that pure Virginia just doesn't seem to do the trick for me. It's enjoyable, but a bit bland and boring. Therefore, a firm two stars but personally not likely to buy again - though Virginia lovers may just as well read this review as a reverse recommendation!

Pipe Used: Gasparini, Chacom, corn cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

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yorkieboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
yorkieboy (1)
Mild None Detected Very Mild Tolerable

Sometimes I smoke a tobacco having read other reviews and I start to wonder how my opinion can be so different from everyone else’s. Thankfully there seems to be a polarised split in opinions on this one...

Firstly the cut. How this can be sold as ‘Ready Rubbed’ is beyond me as it has clearly not been rubbed from anything. It is more of a fine shag cut. Fine to the point that I expected it to burn hot even before it had seen a flame. Pouch note an inoffensive Virginia. Nothing to get excited about.

Sadly I didn’t get excited once I’d lit the bowl. Took a couple of char lights and despite giving it some drying time to get to a reasonable moisture (the tobacco in my pouch was almost Gawith-esque in its dampness) the number of delights required to get through the bowl almost led me to believe I’d forgotten how to smoke. Even two weeks later (still in the original pouch and therefore much drier) it is fussy and needs relighting a few times. Seriously I never smoked anything that just won’t stay lit like this.

All of this would be forgiven if it was a delicious unique smoke but sadly I just find it bland, characterless, almost flavourless... steamy, hot and boring. Despite having no flavour the room note is actually pretty strong and cigarette-like - not nice. I’ve given it a fair chance but I don’t think I can be bothered to finish the pouch. At least it only comes in 25g in the UK so I won’t be ditching too much!

Pipe Used: Peterson Straight System, Dunhill Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Mysmokingshop

Nobody has rated this review yet.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (177)
Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Very Strong

I've been meaning to try this for ages. After all I rate the flake version of this very highly indeed.

This one, though, lacks the pouch aroma of it's flake parent, although a pleasant enough fragrance comes off this one. I can only seem to get this in the UK in the 25g pouch, I've not seen it in a tin anywhere, so I decanted it immediately.

It's a bit of a bugger to light to be honest, and needs numerous relights even though it doesn't feel moist. A light loading doesn't seem to make much difference, either.

The smoke itself is nothing like the flake. It's harsher, stronger and far less mellow. I came very close to biting the old tongue at one stage. Strength does not necessarily mean taste of course and this doesn't really have much of that. Sure straight virginias don't taste of much, but this one is really flat.

The room ends up smelling like someone's been smoking cigarettes and I'm surprised I haven't had a reprimand from Mrs RW.

So, this was really disappointing. I thought it was going to be a convenient version of the flake, but it isn't. No, it's very different, but not like say, St Brunos flake and ready rubbed are different. With those they are at least cut from the same cloth ; but this seems to be like a badly rubbed out MacBarens Virginia flake.

It almost certainly has the capacity to bite ; again the flake did not. I suppose the moral of the tale here is don't assume a ready rubbed version of your flavourite flake is going to be the same. It isn't in this case.

It is possible I have been a bit harsh on this blend, and I am going to try it in a pipe with a bigger bowl, to see if that makes any difference, but I certainly wouldn't recommend this to new pipers and with a bite warning to those of more seasoned experience,

Pipe Used: Peterson 9mm briar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: SK

Similar Blends: MacBaren Virginia flake..

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Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (221)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

A bit of a let down from its Gold sibling. This tasted darker and less sweet than Capstan Gold, I know that was the point, but I just didn't care for it. Capstan Blue was rather boring and well....just so so. I liken this to a tobacco like Carter Hall, not in the composition as one is a Va. and the other a Burley, but in the heft and flavor interest, they will both get the job done, but with tobacco as expensive as it is, why settle for just OK. I suppose this might be a good Va. to use as a blending base for some more spicy tobaccos, as this would certainly not compete with them, but this was just too bland to warrant another tin purchase from me.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local B&M

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