A unique Latakia based crumble cake made with yellow and black Virginias, some of the most delectable Orientals available and a touch of unflavored black cavendish.

Notes: A recreation of the original Bengal Slices.

BrandBengal Slices
Blended ByRuss Ouellette
Manufactured BySutliff Tobacco Company
Blend TypeEnglish
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Latakia, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
CutKrumble Kake
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Cup O' Joes
Product Image
Medium to Full
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3050)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

The very smoky, woody, musty, incense-like sweet Cyprian Latakia is the star component, but this is a lat-bomb with nuance. The Orientals are smoky, woody, earthy, herbal, vegetative, with some spice, and is slightly sweet with a hint of sour. They are supporting players. The earthy, woody black stoved Virginias offer a fermented, tangy dark fruity, lightly barbecue sweetness in the third spot in the line up. The yellow Virginias provide a light tart and tangy citrus, grass and minor spice and floral notes in a condimental role. The unflavored black cavendish is brown sugar sweet, and has a smoothing presence to tame any potential harshness, which you’ll hardly find in this product, even if you puff hard, though there are a few rough edges. The very mild top note is licorice. The slices are thick, and easily broken apart to prepare to your preference level. Well blended with some complexity - more so than your average lat-bomb - it burns cool, clean, and slow, and does require some relights, though the number of them will depend upon how you break apart the slices, and pack your bowl. I suggest you do so a little loosely. The deeply rich sweet, spicy, savory, campfire flavor is very consistent and fairly smooth to the finish with no weak or dull spots, and no bite. The nic-hit is a slot behind the medium level. The strength is a couple of steps past the medium mark. Has a fulsome taste. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, which doesn’t often happen with this kind of manufacture. Has a very pleasant, lingering after taste, and the room note is moderately pungent.

The original lacked a little of the Latakia and Virginia richness in this recreation. It had a slightly stronger floral note, and more obvious “barbecue” essence in addition to more rough edges.


84 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I rubbed this one out and smoked it in a GBD pot initially. This pipe seemed to work very well for this blend, and so I dedicated the pipe to it for the sample.

The crumble cake is more firmly pressed than some, and there were hard bits of broken flake in the mix. It smells of latakia and has a slightly sour smell from the orientals. The flakes are mostly black with a slightly mottled appearance from bits of Virginia.

Smoked, this is very good. There is the woodsy latakia, some sour and spice from the orientals and some sweet from the Virginia and black cavendish. It is heavy on the latakia, and there is a creamy thick quality to the smoke. I could not identify grassy or citrus in the Virginia, so it is under a few layers, but there is a slight fruit in the sweet, and it may be contributing there, and I think there is a very mild topping as part of this flavor.

This was a very pleasant smoke. I mostly codger scooped from my palm after rubbing it out, so it was somewhat loosely packed. It stayed lit and was cool burning. It was a fairly "full" flavor combo, and it was medium strength. One of those interesting things is that when you rub it out in your palms, it leaves a slightly tarry residue.

I highly recommend this if any of my description sounds appealing. I enjoyed it.

47 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Tolerable

The “new Bengal Slices” has a wonderful tin note that I find very inviting. Compared to similar crumble cakes, this has less moisture content and I think that’s a good thing as it will be “pipe ready” for most smokers. I have been fortunate enough to still possess most of the earlier production blends that the Standard Tobacco Company is now producing with the Russ Ouellette. I don’t think that the topping on the older tins held up very well so it’s tough to make any comparisons. Although there seems to be less Latakia in the new version, but that simply could be a result of the way the older tins aged. The flavor is much “brighter” too. Either way, I find this to be far tastier than the last iteration of Bengal Slices and tastier than Russ’s Fusiler’s Ration. The topping is sweet, but I can’t put my finger on what it is comprised of, but it is different than Fusiler’s and it doesn’t have a tendency to burn hot when pushed like Fusiler’s does. There is plenty of Latakia to satisfy, but there is room for the other tobacco as well. I was never a big fan of the Danish made Bengal Slices because the last half of the bowl was heavily dominated by the Latakia drowning out everything else. That isn’t the case here. I find the strength, meaning the nic hit, to be only mild to medium. Those that loved the Latakia heavy version may pull back a bit on the new one. For me, the new Bengal Slices is a wonderful, dry burning, sweet, smoky English that holds its flavor to the wonderful end. Well done!

Age When Smoked: new

37 people found this review helpful.

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

The fifth of the five Standard Tobacco Company offerings I was sent to review. I thank them very much for the opportunity as it was the first time for me to review a blend before it was released. I have never tasted any of the blends that these blends were intended to simulate, so I cannot attest to the accuracy of which they match, nor can I comment on how I would have liked the original blends. It stands to reason if I would not have liked the original blend, I would likely not like the reproduction of the same.

I strategically saved this blend for last as I had thought that it would be my favorite. I was wrong, in fact, there was only one liked less than this one. That being the JC Number 1 mild. My problem with this blend is likely the opposite problem with JCN1. Where JCN1 was just too light and needed some latakia, this one gives me a lat overdose.

I was expecting to have a little more sweetness. As I have never tried Bengal Slices in its original form, I have heard more about it than the other blends being offered by STC. In my recollection, I was expecting a sweet and smoky blend. My first few bowls of it were terrible, but I blame this on smoking them at the end of the day after smoking plenty of latakia.

I then decided that I would not smoke it that way again until the sample was finished. My best bowls of it were the first smoke of the day. It was with this smoke that I could appreciate the sweetness inherent in the blend. I then did enjoy it some, but I would say that this still is a little heavy in lat for my personal taste, but not by a lot as I do enjoy Odyssey which is pretty heavy in lat as well.

One thing that I really do like about this blend is the krumble kake presentation. As has been said on here before and is still true. Kakes are fun. The slices are thick, think the thickness of a C&D/Pease flake, but they do krumble nicely. This in my opinion always adds a star to a blend. So this is between a two and three star for me, but the krumble kake presentation puts it at a solid three. For the lat fiends, this is very likely a four star blend.

26 people found this review helpful.

BC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BC (21)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my first review, so I will give it a shot. I should start out by saying I do not like LAT Bombs. Bengal Slices may be fairly characterized so. This stuff, however, is amazing. First, it is very smooth. I mean good scotch smooth, not harsh at all. Second, It tastes, to me, a little sweet, and weirdly, it tastes sweeter the longer you smoke it. It tastes very full, very complex. There is an incense quality topnote with a soft creamy background, if that makes any sense. You can smell heavy latakia in the tin, a kind of thick meaty smell. It is a crumble cake, which I love. It exhibits a dark brown/black color with mottled VA. It has left of moderate nicotine, which is perfect for me. I give this 4 stars. I do not think it's an everyday smoke, but a very special treat. Thank you Standard Tobacco Company!

Pipe Used: GBD bent, African Meerschaum slightly bent

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: P & C

24 people found this review helpful.

Autumn joy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Autumn joy (47)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Bengal slices was for myself a nice treat. I spent a good bit of time on this blend prior to writing this review. The tobacco is presented as a krumble kake and I immediately think of a blend that is super hard to find. Yeah you know what blend I am talking about. The scent of the tobacco is a nice smoky scent that I personally just love. So ten points to Russ on that. I found the tobacco was easy to work with and packed very nicely. Now to the smoke, I found the latakia in this is noticeable but not a forefront lat bomb. The oriental used in this does give some uniqueness and keeps the smoke interesting. Now the best part of this reproduction is the black Cavendish it gives this a nice sweetness to the tobacco and really left me craving more of it. Overall no relighting needed the tobacco was perfect for smoking not to dry or wet. I would say this blend is a good alternative to penzance and if not just as good. I found this blend to be very enjoyable and will highly recommend this to any smoker out there that enjoys a good English oriental.

Pipe Used: Rusticated Egg

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Gifted from Dan at The Standard Tobacco Complany of Pennsylvania

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Penzance, Smoker's Haven - Krumble Kake.

23 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2082)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Bengal Slices.

Note: I posted this in the wrong place so copied and pasted!

In the tin there's 5 thin Krumble Kakes, of quite good moistness. The tin-note implies a more formidable English flavour than what I actually get.

The blend can be crumbled into rather chunky pieces: this gives an incredibly cool smoke. Igniting B.S. is, due to the moisture, is easy peasy. And then the flavour of the smoke is a very 'smooth' English one. Forgetting the Black Cavendish for one second, the Latakia, Oriental, and Virginia taste as would be expected for this type of blend: smoky, woody, with a slight grass quality. The black Cavendish is what totally adjusts the scenario: this gives a nice vanilla-cream attribute and changes the smoke quite a lot in comparison to the normal English blends.

The nicotine's not much higher than mild: to become anywhere near medium it needs a big puff, and to be honest the room-note's about the only thing I'm not a fan of: pleasant to tolerable at best.

This is a definite four star blend:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

14 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (228)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

Reviewing the reviews of this blend, so far, it is clear that most reviewers are too young to have smoked the original Sobranie product nor, have most, smoked the subsequent versions; and, they have rated this blend very highly. I have smoked a pipe long enough to have smoked all versions of Bengal Slices; from the black and oily wax-like Sobranie version through the black and brown mottled and dryer Gallaher variant and most of what followed down to the blend's demise. I agree with reviewer DK 2015-09-14 that the current blend is weaker and less enjoyable that Fusilier's Ration and is not quite the older product either. I also agree with reviewer tobacco 2016-02-20 that it is more of a tribute style blend than a replica of old Bengal Slices. I concur with the critique of Hans and Franz 2016-03-02 that the current product is a bit of a let down and opening yields a messy presentation which, by the way, is the predictable result of placing slices in a round tin - they get beat up some. OK, now, how do I feel about this blend? I found that it looked like the Gallaher variant more than the original version and had a tin odor that was much stronger than I remember from either; an odor rather like Wintergreen, which I do not associate with Bengal Slices. On lighting up I got a taste and odor that, while reminiscent of the older blend, was much weaker than any variant I remember smoking. These thin smoking qualities continued right down to the finish. When I exhaled my puffs into the room there was always a falling short feeling in the aroma like something expected at the end but, unfortunately, absent. Now, I would not be so critical of this blend if it were offered as a tribute blend but the tins say Bengal Slices and it is susceptible to critical comparisons because of this. I love most of the English blends offered by Russ Oulette but, Russ, this one doesn't work - its weak, off center and less satisfying than even the post Sobranie versions. Never my favorite of English blends in the old days, I would have given the older blend three stars in our current system. However, this is two star material and I give it a qualified recommendation.

Pipe Used: Larry Roush lovat billiard

Age When Smoked: current

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

Similar Blends: the Gallaher and later versions of the product, I guess.

14 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30194)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Dark plugs that crumble easily with a rich aroma of latakia and some sweet top note that I couldn't identify. As this is a so-called match for the same venerable blend that Russ' Fusilers Ration is, I wanted to compare the two but alas, I discovered i'm out of that one. Gotta stock up!

This one struck me as odd. Fusiliers struck me as bolder and more full flavored while also being sweeter, but they're supposed to be clones of the same blend. Now, I hope people don't make too much of my reviews in any case, but especially not this one because my sample amounted to 2 regular size bowls and one small one - not really enough to get a decent impression. But the latakia seemed subdued here, not as rich or heavy. But the orientals and Virginia didn't pick up the slack. It seemed to me that this was based on a rather old sample of Bengal where things had toned down considerably. My last two tins of the original were pretty laid back in comparison to the same tobacco fresh. Fusiliers seemed more like a fresher tin of Bengal - more robust and full flavored. This was certainly a fine tobacco, just a little disappointing. It tasted good, just not as good as Fusiliers. Where that one jumped out in a boisterous way, this one is flatter, except when I overcooked it. Then it became ever so slightly cantankerous and a bit more flavorful. Again, it was just 2.5 bowls, and it's worth a larger sample, which I will do when it comes out and I'll update this "review" at that time. I probably shouldn't have reviewed this, but I did promise to do so. More to follow.

14 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The Latakia dominates here and is quite good. It's woody and smoky with a touch of spice, and best of all, has no acrid note. The Orientals are a little sour with an herbal note. There is a very nice sweetness, some of which is topping. I can get only an extremely mild note of fruit from the Virginias. The Black Cav smooths it all out very nicely. I like this, but can't help but feel that it would have been better if the Lat had been applied with a slightly lighter hand. A very nice smoke as is though.

Mild to medium in body. Flavoring is very mild. Taste is medium to full. Needs a few relights here and there.

Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

12 people found this review helpful.

jwillis172 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jwillis172 (6)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Mmmm… The tin note is smoky, sweet and sour like Hickory smoked brisket with a thin barbecue sauce.

The tin presentation is crumble cake, thick sliced flakes about 3 mm thick. I rub a few out and am left with – well - crumbs. I can see this is good stuff. I choose a medium Stanwell freehand and a light pack. The initial charring light doesn’t take, so I proceed with another. The flavor is exquisite, silky, feels like marbles on the tongue. Sipping, the mouth feel is peppery and sweet, delicious.

Halfway through the flavor has not changed. Each puff brings forth and explosion of fine silky spices. At the end of the bowl, I am left with ash a little liquid. This is not surprising since I am outside and it is raining…

My wife tells me I smell like a campfire, I think she likes it.

Overall, an excellent blend, well-conceived and executed. Kudos to Russ Ouellette and the Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania. Four stars!

Pipe Used: Stanwell Freehand

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: P & C

12 people found this review helpful.

SeoulSister Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SeoulSister (37)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I opened up the tin of Bengal Slices, it smelled smoky and sweet. I could also detect some sort of added flavoring, but I'm not sure what it is. I rubbed out the cake, carefully mixing in a few small chunks. When I first lit Bengal Slices, it seemed stronger than it actually is, but it is really a medium tobacco. There is a slight sweetness from the Virginia tobacco and sweetness from the added flavoring. This is a smooth smoke and I enjoy it. I didn't get any bite and the strength stayed about the same from beginning to end. I would definitely smoke this again.

10 people found this review helpful.

NewishShoes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NewishShoes (3)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Is this the holy grail? I think so. The tin aroma is so perfect, that I often waste a portion of my time to smoke just breathing it in.

The smoky Latakia, the sweetness of the Black Cavendish, the fullness of everything coming together.

Right from opening tin it was a good moisture level, but a week or so later it was better. I noticed right away the unique qualities of the Crumble Cake. I break it up quite lightly, letting the larger pieces sit at the bottom while I lightly pack any spare crumbling on the top. Lighting was easy, though I did require a few relights. I did avoid that a little better when I broke up the cake a little more thoroughly, but I'm not bothered by relights unless it becomes excessive.

The flavor is out of this world. The only tobacco I remember enjoying this much was Solani Gold. I could barely resist breathing it in my nose, or directly inhaling it. I'm sitting here writing this review one day after I smoked my last bowl on hand, and my chest is buzzing with anticipation of smoking it again. I've just placed an order for 2 more tins from Tobacco Pipes.com

Do yourself a favor and try this tobacco. It has brought family together as the first English my Brother truly loved, and my brother in law who previously would only smoke Aro's said "This is the best tobacco I have ever had."

Actually, a favor is too light a calling. Do the solemn duty of smoking this heavenly tobacco. That you, and your family, to the third generation may reap the benefits.

EDIT: Having gone back now to Solani Gold, I can say with surety that this is a more approchable smoke. I love the former as I used to, but don't find it as smooth. Perhaps that is the addition of Cavendish to Bengal Slices, or maybe there is a light casing. If there is a casing, it is undetectable to me, but I am no expert. This is the Holy Grail

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal Rocky 6 plip

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Tobacco Pipes.com

Similar Blends: Solani Gold..

8 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

This is a very nice tobacco. If you do not like top flavorings take heed, there is one here although I find it to be quite pleasing. Tin note is licorice, vanilla, campfire and a woody earthy smell. Very pleasant The crumble cake is a bit of a challenge to pack and causes each pipe to burn differently (at least for me). I found some success with cube cutting it and loosely packing the bowl with a firm single tamp. It will require some relights. Once lit the flavor is quite good. The flavoring is present but does not mask the woody sour orientals and the smokiness of the Latakia is right up front. I find cavendish to offer a sweetness to the smoke but it also boosts the mouth feel, a full bodied smoke, very "round" mouth filling. The Virginias are present but hard to tease out beyond a sweetness and grassyness on occasion. If I understand the lineage this is a second attempt with more info and a build off of Fusellier's Ration. The latter was easier to pack and smoke but this is a much more enjoyable smoke from the flavor perspective. This would be a 4 star tobacco if it weren't so hard to pack and get a good burn on.

Pipe Used: Briar, meerschaum and cobs

Age When Smoked: out of the tin

Purchased From: smoking pipes

8 people found this review helpful.

Latakiafile Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Latakiafile (9)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Never tried the original but I can say this, Wow! What a blend I've read some negative stuff but I urge those who have offered those opinions to give Bengal Slices another shot. This blend needs to be smoked slowly to get the full benefits it has to offer. I am an English / Balkan smoker and this is one you want in your rotation. This is a blend that is not to be missed.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: new

7 people found this review helpful.

tabaco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tabaco (112)
Mild Mild Full Pleasant

In my view the current Standard Tobacco version is a tribute blend, not a replica although competent in it's own right; however, it's very different indeed totally different compared to the original British version moreover it's a crudely sliced crumble cake. I gather that Lane does not have the equipment nor the presses to manufacture slices as one sees in Penzance or Gawith's Balkan Flake for example.

Having recently emptied, a few weeks ago, one of my few remaining tins of the original British made slices it's time for comparisons: the topping is utterly different, the original was soapy floral Lakeland-like essence which ghosted like nobody's business. The new one reminds me of mild Tonquin slight Vanilla and some Anise, occasionally on the retro-hale a mild soapiness does arise albeit very mild and almost nonexistent, the former would be every puff and blend-dedicated briars a virtual necessity.

The original was more Latakia forward, the new one being more subtle yet still retaining a respectable Latakia representation.

Appearance, the original is much darker and waxy like shoe polish, mind you age plays a role. The appearance of the new one is exactly the same as Plum Pudding, don't rub it too much it turns to dust quickly. Gravity pack no tamping needed, burns great, very cool/slow and well behaved all the way down, consistent flavour and combustion. I did not notice vitamin N at all; however, the casing does coat the palate so last smoke of the day for me. All in all the new one is a competent blend albeit quite different maybe second cousins.

I prefer Russ' Fusilier's Ration it has more personality with bigger Orientals and more Latakia forward, the anise is also very apparent every puff. The best thing Russ has done in my books.

I'll finish this tin; however, I won't be cellaring any on the other hand a nice stack of Fusilier's Ration is slowly growing in the cellar.

PS. the new version of John Cotton's Smyrna is much much closer to the original. I close my eyes with a packed pipe and up pulls Doc Brown's DeLorean.

7 people found this review helpful.

RonR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonR (85)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable


Beautiful crumble cake with a pleasant tin note. Top note is not an issue unless you are sensitive to them...very subtle. Also the cavendish plays a back of the bus addition but it is there, which is a good thing in this blend. Latakia is the star but the orientals are right there as well. Very tasty blend as you slowly work it. Gets better throughout the bowl.

Really interested in letting some of this age. I am in the camp that all tobaccos benefit with age. Some more then others but they all will improve with the blending of flavors, the rounding off of high notes and the such. Something with this blend leans me to a nice surprise in a year or so.

No one has included the video yet of Russ Ouellette describing his incredible effort into recreating this blend so I am adding it at the end.

Highly recommended.

YouTube Video

Pipe Used: Impero 321 & 602

Age When Smoked: 4 months

6 people found this review helpful.

Briar Baron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Baron (12)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I had been hearing good things about this tobacco for a while but thought it would be out of reach due to scarcity. However, I was lucky enough to be online when Smoking Pipes had it in stock briefly. The first thing that struck me was the package in the tin, a neat stacked pile of thick slices in the centre of the tin with lots of room for it to move around. The other thing was how easily if crumbled apart (I know it is crumble cake but how do they impart this characteristic when other flakes hold together so well?)

So for me it lights easily and stays lit well with only a few re-lights. A smooth and mild but flavorful blend with a nice room note. Who could ask for more!

Pipe Used: Astley, Radice, Peterson

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Penzance.

6 people found this review helpful.

crapgame1967 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
crapgame1967 (61)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is some great tobacco here, it broke apart and packed nicely in my pipe and after the right amount of poking at it in the bowl ( my lack of experience with crumble cake showed up here) I had a great early morning smoke! The taste is rich,deep and leaves a pleasant mouth feel not unlike what one gets from sipping a "GOOD" cup of coffee. Each puff starts with a smokehouse type taste that somehow manages to get sweet at the end. Credit the blender for finding the perfect way to transition between smokey and sweet in every puff! The smoke reminded me of a freshly opened tin of Blue Diamond "Smoke House" Almonds and never became rank even at the bottom of the bowl. This is a four star blend for me!

UPDATE!!! The wife said this is her hands down favorite tobacco that I smoke. She even asks me to smoke it when we sit outside!

Pipe Used: No Name Meer

Age When Smoked: Unknown

Purchased From: Gifted

6 people found this review helpful.

Skibbereen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skibbereen (19)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

There is little I can add to the already eloquent review that "jimlnks" has so eloquently provided. He has hit the nail right on the head. This is ,simply put, just an absolutely wonderful tobacco. I've never smoked the original, but I can surely speak to this blend. The latakia is spot on. It adds just enough woodsy, camp fiery taste to the smoke. The Black Cavendish holds the whole smoke together. It is there throughout the whole smoke. At first it's very predominate. But then it eases back a bit as you progress through the bowl. But the latakia stays through whole smoke. The Orientals and Turkish at first, give you a nice peppery blast as you exhale though your nose. As the smoke progresses though, it gets milder and milder, until it dissipates altogether. The Virginias are hardly noticeable throughout the bowl. I guess they too contribute to the success of the experience. I'm not that experienced with them. As you progress through the bowl, it gets milder and milder, adding to the pleasure of the experience. There are several relights, but not many. Until you are finished. Just a clean ash when you are done, with no dottle. But the latakia stays through the whole bowl. So if you like a lat bomb...this is your smoke for sure. And if you really want to experience the best...if you happen to have a meerschaum...load it up!!

Pipe Used: Peterson 304, Meershaum Bearded Gentleman

Age When Smoked: 3 months from date of purchase 12/30/2016

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: War Horse, Fusilier's Ration, White Knight, Black House, Magnum Opus..

6 people found this review helpful.

pinko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pinko (52)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Now I’ve got vanilla ghosts in one of my English blend pipes.

The Bengal Slices I remember had a nice floral essence and some smooth, actual Latakia, Turkish, and Virginia flavor. The Bengal Slices I just bought new smells, on opening, like I’m standing next to the bowl of fennel at my favorite curry shop. These are very different animals.

On light, it starts with an overwhelming vanilla and chocolate flavor. The anise is evident exhaling through the nose. Occasionally some Virginia (like it needed more sweetness?) comes through. The Latakia is fighting a losing battle against the toppings. It’s been sauced into submission.

The Dutch Pipe Smoker mentioned that this reminded him of HU ChocoLat, but I thought he was talking about the Lat part. It was the Choco part. The topping here is overwhelming. Massive. I can’t imagine that I’m smoking the same thing that earlier reviewers are smoking - this is a vanilla and chocolate aromatic.

I have no idea why they called this Bengal Slices, it bears no resemblance at all.

Age When Smoked: fresh

6 people found this review helpful.

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

To me, this is clearly in the Areo camp, Anise and Vanilla, not overdone, but noticeable. As I'm not an Areo smoker , so I do tend to rate these with fewer stars, but this one I can get by with. Areos all seem to have a background bitterness that I find distracting, however, the sweetness is the predominant player in this one.

The Crumple Kake flakes break apart very easy and leaves little "nuggets", that I find hard to pack in my usual "Air pocket "method and is more easily packed using gravity feed method instead.

I agree with reviewer , SteelCowboy 2016-01-29 in that this reminds me of a smoother , Fusiler"s Ration. Not a favorite of mine because of the Vanilla/ Latakia combo. I'm sure many will find this pleasant, but I won't buy again

Pipe Used: cob & Maple

Age When Smoked: 1 month

Similar Blends: Fusilers Ration.

6 people found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (82)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I rarely jump on the new tobacco band wagon and generally don't buy what the websites and mags pimp as the new thing. However Bengal Slices peaked my interest as it sounded like what I was looking for. It turned out to match exactly what I was hoping for.

I'm impressed with the quality and smoke of this blend. It's most delightful! To the easily packing crumble cake to the smell of those orientals and the smokey latakia. Wonderful room note. However, I MUST WARN about the over the top and extreme nicotine contained in this blend. For the recored, I'm far removed from a newbie and consider myself a veteran smoker. I enjoy the heavy hitting nicotine baccas like Royal Yacht, Irish Flake and even exhausted rooster... however Bengal slices are in a class by themselves!

The rub is this... the blend is actually mild and a so called "all day smoke" so there were times I stepped on the gas in attempt to blow past the mildness in search of more flavor. Big mistake, the Bengal pounced!

I felt as though my heart would burst! Ever had a hard jolt of adrenaline or Espresso high? Multiply that by 10 and you get the feeling I had. I bet I looked ridiculous but I had to walk around the outside of my house at a quick pace to get out the energy. I felt like I was going to explode! I didn't realize it was Bengal Slices and thought it was a new med.

Later that night I had to run an errand and like all true pipers, I grabbed my "traveling to the store pipe" and packed it with Bengal Slices. Down the road that feeling from earlier began to come back. I could feel a huge rush of anxiety and my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. I thought oh my! It's this new tobacco not the meds! HOLY SMOKES this is a strong nicotine rush. Be careful this blend is not a lamb, it's a Bengal Tiger!

I do recommend this great blend but use caution. Best smoked in small bowls, sipped and enjoyed causally.

Pipe Used: Peterson xL305, Peterson 4s DeLuxe

Age When Smoked: winter 2016

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Plum pudding... with a dose of topping and a ton of st. nick..

6 people found this review helpful.

Hans and Franz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hans and Franz (11)
Medium Strong Full Tolerable

Bengal Slices was a bit of a let down.

The tin aroma is Play-Doh. The presentation in the tin was messy, with thick, irregular chunks on a bed of powdered tobacco, which was too dry. It turns to dust when crumbled, and I can't help but wonder if this is the shake and powder from the bottom of the blending pile, pressed and sliced. The smoke was decent but nothing extraordinary, like it's relying too much on the top flavor.

Perhaps I set my expectations too high. I was expecting something like Penzance, not in flavor, but in presentation; more refined.

6 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (242)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Not being a devoted Latakia fan I was anxious to try this offering. Love the crumble cake presentation. The cakes are hard to the touch but crumble very readily. The tin note is of a sweet Latakia and not strong at that. Loading and lighting are very easy to accomplish and the mix stays lit after the ritual two lights, burning clean and dry to the heel. The taste is that of a sweetened Latakia and not at all strong as some Lat blends are. The predominant taste throughout the smoke was that of Latakia with a slight hint of perhaps a mild vanilla-like sweetness or brown sugar sweetness. Don't know if vanilla is what is being used, but it was very pleasant and in no way cloying. I can agree with the comparisons made to Sillem's Black, but I prefer the subtlety of Bengal Slices over the Black. The room note is simply fantastic! Coming back into the room after smoking this is very, very nice. I doubt this would offend anyone at all. Although I've never smoked the original, kudos to STC of Pa and Russ Ouellette for recreating this blend. A new favorite for sure, and that's saying a lot for someone who usually smokes Lat blends on infrequent occasions.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Featherweight half bent Dublin

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin.

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: Sillem's Black.

6 people found this review helpful.

Buster Bluth Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Buster Bluth (56)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

I've never had the original Bengal. Not sure what flavoring is used here, but the tin note of this as well as the initial flavor to me is anise. Not as strong as Count Pulaski in the use of anise, but subtle. The word that comes to mind when describing this blend overall is subdued. All the components are well married, yet none really stand out for this smoker. They seem to meld more than interplay, like an aged tin.

Periodically there is just a little Oriental sourness that pokes through. Black Cav is also a good additive to blends. For me, it adds a roundness and slight richness to blends and its effect is discernible here. The strong shoulders of the blend really seem to be a strong marriage of VA and Lat plus the aforementioned flavoring. it seems neither ever take a strong lead, but make this full bodied and add a slight musty quality not easy to describe, as it has a nice meaty mouth feel. The flavor profile overall does not change much for this smoker during the progression of the bowl. Sometimes that is what I'm looking for, sometimes it isn't.

Easy to crumble, pack and light. Impeccable burning qualities. In summary, this seems to be an extremely good, but not overly complicated tobacco. It is a solid performer and one I intend to cellar. It's one I'd recommend and share, but can't see it immediately replacing other Lat blends currently in the rotation. It's a solid 3 stars.

Pipe Used: Dunhill size 3 and GBD Prince

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars

6 people found this review helpful.

Boatdock Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Boatdock (38)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My reviews are never lengthy and for those who like lengthy reviews, I apologize. I am a man of few words. This blend is very similar to SPC Plum Pudding. However, this is a bit better in my opinion. Smoky, slightly sweet and just genuinely good tasting. Russ outdid himself this time. This stuff is amazing. Burns slow and cool to a fine white ash. Probably the best tobacco I've ever smoked. Also, zero tongue bite. I mean NONE. I just wish it were available in 8 ounce cans.

5 people found this review helpful.

MarkTheLad Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MarkTheLad (46)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is my favorite tobacco hands down, it's absolutely perfect. It's perfectly balanced, lightly smoky, slightly sweet, nutty, creamy, and a little incense like from the orientals. The latakia stays in the background and never masks the other tobacco flavors. It smokes cool with no bite whatsoever and has a wonderful aftertaste. I always try to rub this out very gently, because it's somewhat dry and is easy to over-rub it into powder. However it burns nicely all the way to the bottom of the bowl. I usually smoke this in a pipe with a filter, because there will inevitably be some bits to get up through the stem for the first part of the bowl. Sometimes after finishing a bowl, I am so happy with it and find it so tasty, that I will reload another pipe and enjoy it all over again.

Pipe Used: Various filter

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

5 people found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (337)
Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This was my first time with a crumble cake, and what an odd experience. I have rubbed out plugs and slices before and they always retain some "ribbon cut" element, but these Bengal Slices just crumble as the name suggests. It performs very much like feta cheese or densely packed marijuana.

The initial aroma was not overpowering and kinda reminded me of a musky cologne with a bit of sweetness. For a latakia, it didn't try to overwhelm your nose by being knee-deep in fireplace charcoal. Upon firing up, I was surprised at how easy it was to draw air through the pipe, since I figured the crumbles would've pressed into a dense airtight wad. The cherry also stayed constant and smoldered without relights.

The taste was right up my alley, reminding me of McClelland Frog Morton. It was spicy and interesting all the way to the bottom. Bourbon and caramel notes perhaps? I honestly can't nail down one flavor, but that's what makes it robust and fun to smoke.

I am very stingy with giving a review 4 stars, but this one earned it! My only small gripes were the mess to pack a bowl and the fact that due to being tightly compressed, you use more tobacco to fill the bowl, so the tin runs out a bit quicker.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: McClelland Frog Morton.

5 people found this review helpful.

BriarWoody Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BriarWoody (33)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This krumble kake is addicting! Russ Oulette's reformulation is deliciously sweet and smoky, unlike any other English blend. It is similar in color to Penzance, but arrives in thicker slices that easily break apart into small chunks that pack and burn beautifully.

I wouldn't consider this an English aromatic, but there is a noticeable anise topping that persists throughout the bowl. Combined with the sweet VA and smoky Latakia, it delivers a delicious and interesting smoke. If I were a cat, this would be my catnip!

Nicotine is fairly low, and I typically smoke a second bowl.

5 people found this review helpful.

ElMog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ElMog (36)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Extra Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Cracking open the tin, you are greeted by a very nice smell of incense with a hint of sweetness reminding me a bit of vanilla, but ''drier''. On the charring light, you notice that the taste is very similar to the tin note, with high notes of exotic woods, spice, and a pleasant sweetness. The sweetness mostly comes from a topping, some may not like it, but i find it to blend very well with the smoky Latakia in this blend. It is a ''powdery'' sweetness, not heavy or cloying, very ''oriental'' in nature, so much that when it combines with the Latakia it simply gives the impression of a sweeter incense taste and smell. Bengal slices is mostly about high notes, it made me go ''wow !'' instantly, it may be a bit too much for an everyday smoke. But it is not heavy, it is light, creamy, powdery and lively, the ''base'' notes do not really shine but provide a backdrop for the most obvious top notes. Burn quality is excellent if packed rather loosely, i never got it to bite or get harsh, as you progress down the bowl the taste subdues a bit, and unlike some other tobaccos, it does not seem to gain depth or complexity, rather it seems to fade slowly and become more ''tame''. I like the presentation, 3 thick slices, almost black, with lots of smaller broken pieces to use as tinder. Overall: an aromatic, ''thinner'' version of BlackHouse. Highly recommended !

Pipe Used: Peterson Kinsale

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: H&H Marquee BlackHouse.

5 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (90)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I don't like comparing tobacco blends, and here is why. My last review was of Samuel Gawith's Squadron Leader, billed as a medium-bodied English. Bengal Slices is also billed as an English blend. As of this review, Squadron Leader has a 3.4 rating, and Bengal Slices also has a 3.4 rating. And that is really where the similarity ends between these two English blends.

Side-by-side, The jar note of Squadron Leader is that of a lovely medium-bodied English. The jar note of Bengal Slices, well -- the Cavendish really jumps out of the jar. Bengal Slices is a krumble kake, and the slices are relatively thick -- identical to the Sutliff Va, English and VaPer krumble slices -- but much drier, and much firmer (that is, not as moist, soft and crumbly as the aforementioned Sutliff krumbles).

The Cavendish provides a nice brown sugar sweetness (Squadron Leader has no Cavendish), and the Latakia is much more pronounced in Bengal Slices (than, say it is in Squadron Leader). I couldn't detect any licorice in the top note (but I suffer from hyposmia resulting from a TBI 30-years-ago -- and that hyposmia is one of the reasons I so relish smoking/enjoying pipe tobaccos in the first place -- aroma therapy: I love to smell the smells).

Again I count myself fortunate to have never sampled the original version of this blend (so that I am not burdened by fuzzy olfactory phantasms from decades past). This is wonderful stuff Russ has put together (re-created). A much more full-bodied English, much more to my liking (than, say, Squadron Leader). I gave Squadron Leader 4-stars (for truth-in-advertising). I'm giving Bengal Slices 4-stars (for personal preference). When I open my cellar, and I see Bengal Slices next to a jar of Squadron Leader, I'm choosing Bengal Slices 99-times-out-of-100.

Pipe Used: Ashton billiard

4 people found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

I was very happy when my TinSociety.com box included a sample of Bengal Slices.

A dense crumble cake, it is very easy to break apart. I put a few larger "chunks" in the bottom of the pipe and sprinkled some rubbed out "crumbs" on the top to get it going like kindling.

The moisture content was good and it only required a charring light and a regular light to get going.

Taste: The latakia and orientals are the stars of the show with the cavendish staying in the background. A nice sweetness which I cannot completely tell if it is from the cavendish or a light topping?

This is one of those tobaccos I can understand the hype about. I'd love to make it a regular part of my rotation.

Pipe Used: Chris Morgan Handmade

Age When Smoked: unknown

Purchased From: TinSociety.com Box

4 people found this review helpful.

OhioTony76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OhioTony76 (59)
Mild Mild Full Pleasant

I don’t know why but this tobacco gives me the feel of the 1970’s. My tin had 3 little cakes stuck together. They are very compact but break up very easy. The tin note was definitely anise and a bit of something else I can’t put my finger on. Something sweet. Cut is exactly like Plum Pudding or Mississippi River. Burn is very slow. Kind of hard to keep lit, but not terrible. By mid bowl this is a full body English with some nice sweet and sour. Very enjoyable. The mild topping stays noticeable through the whole bowl but the Latakia takes over more toward the end. Doesn’t really want to smoke all the way to the bottom,even though it’s not really wet. It’s a must try imo. Probably not for everyone but I enjoyed it.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: Esoterica Tobacciana - Penzance, McClelland - Blue Mountain/Balkan Blue, G. L. Pease - Quiet Nights (Old London Series).

4 people found this review helpful.

PMR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PMR (1)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Really REALLY good stuff!! I’m a frequent Balkan and English blend smoker and this is a top notch tobacco. Fantastic flavor. Great quality tobacco is evident and no bite, just a dry easy smoke.

Pipe Used: Paul’s Cayuga Author

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

4 people found this review helpful.

the_dalai_lama_himself Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_dalai_lama_himself (43)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Good stuff, Smokey and creamy a good amount of earthiness. A bit of citrus in there. Savory with depth of flavor. The orientals play off the Latakia very nicely and the cavendish is a good binder. Gets better as you smoke down the bowl.

4 people found this review helpful.

LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (145)
Medium Strong Very Full Very Strong

This is a smoky latakia blend. The orientals are complex enough to add depth to the flvor. There seems to be some Samsun as well as some Yendige.

4 people found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (66)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

Meh.....Not a lot going for me. Dry, grassy and not very complex. The room note is amazing. I wish the flavor came even a little close. Too many relights as well. I've given this several chances, hoping it would improve for me and it hasn't.

4 people found this review helpful.

HobgoblinTA96 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HobgoblinTA96 (60)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I have been smoking a pipe since 1981. I remember this blend quite fondly, it was one of my first. Not quite how I remember it. This tribute is an English with enough Cavendish to make it a Scottish. It also appears to be cased in wintergeen. Personally, I love the taste of this blend. Smoking it, however, is a bit problematic. It does not crumble properly, thus leaving one with pebble size hard unlightable pieces of tobacco. I find a small hand grinding mill to work quite excellent on this blend. It can also use a bit of drying time as it is heavily cased. Still a unique blend for its taste, and works lovely when blended into other Scottish blends. If you love the taste of wintergreen, as I do, then you have to give this blend a go. Cheers

Pipe Used: Peterson's Calabash and German Black Clay

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

Similar Blends: American Scottish Crossover.

4 people found this review helpful.

noquarter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
noquarter (23)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Never tried the original Bengal slices,fusiliers ration nor the lancer slices. For what it is,this is a very good tobacco. I certainly would not mind the name. I smoke for the pleasure of pipesmoking and this one just happens to be very good.Highly recommend.

4 people found this review helpful.

Peterson314 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Peterson314 (43)
Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

First take:

I am reviewing Bengal Slices immediately after trying my first bowl and my first impression is that this tobacco is just superb.

I am glad that I did not know that it was flavored with licorice before I bought it, otherwise, there is no chance I would have bought it. I am not a fan of licorice alone. But to pass on this tin because of its licorice is to pass on latakia blends because you don't like straight latakia. It's an ingredient, and it is expertly incorporated.

This blend is so rich, yet it is not overpowering at all. Like a great wine that reveals what food you should pair it with, my first impression of this blend is that it tasted like steak was missing. It's like it's creating a flavor profile that would be perfectly filled with Montreal steak seasoning. It's rich, smoky, spicy, and contemplative. I didn't feel any nicotine as I was smoking it, but I felt it when I was done. I'd say it's medium. The licorice comes through in the first hint of a slow draw, and it almost feels chocolatey. Or velvety. It's so tasty that the hardest part about this blend is smoking it slow enough to uncover its nuances. I can't wait to get back to this blend.

Pipe Used: Matches860

Age When Smoked: New Tin

3 people found this review helpful.

PhillyB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PhillyB (70)
Medium Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A very Latkia forward blend. Smoky, with some slight citrus from the Virginia and sweetness from the Cavendish.

There is a slight anise/menthol flavor, which isn't distracting but becomes more apparent as the pipe heats up.

Definitely worth trying, though a bit pricey.

Pipe Used: Yello-Bole Imperial

3 people found this review helpful.

Justindaze Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Justindaze (11)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

My thoughts on Bengal Slices. It took a charring light and then easily lit up. The first thing I noticed was the semisweet cavendish and the smokiness and campfire flavor of the Latakia. Then the piquant, sour, exotic Oriental tobacco came in, mixing with what had become a taste of dark fruit like plums or cherries. The Virginia tobacco presents a citrus and hay baseline underneath.

The room note is sharp, spicy with some Latikia smokiness to it, but it's still pleasant to me. Not something you could smoke around people who are sensitive to Latakia.

As I continue to smoke, I am amazed at how smooth, cool and balanced this blend is. Everything just jives, like a good song with all the elements playing their parts. Succinct. No dead weight. This is expertly blended! And the tobacco is of very high quality. It reminds me of Penzance, but with the added bonus of black cavendish to keep you on your toes.

Heading into the second half of the bowl, everything has calmed down and further melded into a beautiful melody. Still wonderfully balanced and engaging. There is an essence that I hardly noticed at first, that of salty ocean wind, that has grown stronger as the bowl wanes.

As I tamp occasionally, I am surprised at how fine the light gray ash is, like a fluffy powder.

It burns dry all the way down to the bottom and finished perfectly. What an amazing smoke this is! One of the best Krumble Kake English blends I've had, up there with Smokers' Haven and Penzance. What a wonderful experience! I can't wait to smoke more of this and get to know it better. 5/5

Pipe Used: Savinelli 320 Noce

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Straus Tobacco

Similar Blends: Smokers haven Krumble Kake, penzance.

3 people found this review helpful.

Leon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leon (85)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin note of dry fruit from the Virginia, bit of leather from the Latakia, and floral perfume from the Balkan leafs. Just a hint of cocoa.

First puffs bring the Latakia further out, but still on a delicate level. Alongside the Latakia are the floral Balkan tobaccos. Flavor is kept pretty much the same throughout the smoke.

Not a strong blend, just a friendly tasty and somewhat complex flavor. Comes in beautiful slices of kake, easily crumbled and packed, but does require a few relights. Deserves to be enjoyed in a medium or large bowl in order to let its character time and space to develop.

Masterful blend, highly recommended. I do hope that it'd be more affordable, so I'd buy it more often. But as is, I'll get it from time to time and smoke it irregularly as to not finish it too quickly.

Pipe Used: "Ena" Brezo red bent apple shape and Peterson 408

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Fife&Drum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fife&Drum (34)
Mild to Medium Mild Full Pleasant

Just got to sample the original from a friend tobacconist in Va. WOW! Nothing like it. I haven’t tried your new version yet but I’m keeping some of my sample to compare. I don’t smell anise. It has a unique sweet aroma that is very honey like. With a light floral like perfume scent. The initial light has the distinct Lakeland floral/soapy character. Totally unique. It smokes wonderful. Good Latakia, very smooth and balanced. Gets richer and a bit smokier near the end of the bowl. Wow. Just Wow. It makes you crave more. What blend comes to mind as a distant relative with a similar scent and flavor is Mac Barens Solent Mixture.

3 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (227)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

i did a rewrite on this review because I wasn’t really happy with it . I smoke outdoors so i really don’t get any room note experience from my smokes but Bengal Slices has a great incense like aroma I love ! The Latakia and Orientals are obviously responsible for most of that . The Latakia is heavy in this blend but it works . The Orientals are spicy and sour and sparkling. The Virginias and Cavendish add quite a bit of sweetness to contrast the funky Orientals and smokey Latakia quite wonderfully. The topping adds to the experience. This is one I smoke when i am in the mood for it and that comes around regularly! Great job , Russ ! Very unique blend .

Similar Blends: Fusiliers ration.

3 people found this review helpful.

JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (568)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Tin note of fermented fruity, anise and smoky. Tobacco is a Krumble Kake of black, brown and tan. Moisture content is great. Rubs out easily. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is medium and nic is mild to medium. Flavoring is mild to medium, with notes of Anise or Licorice. I'm leaning toward Anise because sweetness (I detect more than a natural amount) and the lack of bitterness (or I detect a "normal" amount). Regardless, the flavoring gradually drops to the background by the 1/2 way point and remains a faint reminder. Taste is medium to full and very consistent, with complex notes of floral, sweet, anise, smoky, musty vegetation/hay, toast, spicy, wood, spices, savory, orange peel/zest, rich earth, mildly bitter, mild fermented sour, lemon grass, a tart and tangy citrusy herbal incense background note, and a moderately peppery retro. Latakia is leading with strong support from the Flavoring, Oriental/Turkish and Virginia. Black Cavendish gives minor support. Room note is tolerable, and aftertaste is great.

Pipe Used: James Upshall Smooth Acorn (4) (P) (FH)

Age When Smoked: 2 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Gripsholm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gripsholm (43)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

Not sure if the topping/casing for Bengal Slices is licorice or anise, they both taste the same so it really doesn't matter. For this review I'll refer to the flavoring as licorice. When it comes to flavored tobacco, licorice flavoring is one of my favorites. Sir Walter Raleigh is one of my go to tobaccos because of the very mild licorice flavoring. There's not a lot of tobacco blends that I'm aware of that have both Latakia and licorice flavor as components. Bengal Slices and Fusiliers Ration may be the only two. For me the combination of Latakia and licorice is a match made in heaven. As a matter of fact I use to take an eight oz bag of Esoterica’s Margate, a one and a half oz pouch of Sutliff’s Mixture #79, mix it all together and stuff it into a mason jar. That was my favorite smoke for a quite awhile. I guess without realizing it, I was kind of making my own version of Bengal Slices.

Now onto a discussion about Bengal Slices.

First opening the tin, licorice and Latakia comprises the initial tin note. Kind of a smoky licorice aroma. I received three wide slabs of dark brown with tan/yellow striped krumble kake slices. The slices were stuck together and somewhat flexible almost rubbery and a bit on the dry side. Peeling one of the slices off, I rubbed it out and filled my pipe. The Latakia is definitely a main player and for my taste the licorice flavor might be just a tad heavy. When I first start smoking it’s delicious, but then after awhile I get weary of it.

When discussing Bengal Slices, mentioning Fusilier’s Ration is almost a must. Fusilier’s Ration for me is a lighter version of Bengal Slices and I actually prefer it.

I have no complaints about the smoking mechanics of Bengal Slices. It is well behaved with no bite, bitterness or gurgle. Required no relights and stayed lit with a normal to slow cadence. If you enjoy a tobacco heavy on the Latakia and licorice flavor then Bengal Slices might be a good choice. If you prefer something a little lighter, then Fusilier’s Ration might be a better way to go.

2 people found this review helpful.

JoburgB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoburgB (2)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

My wife gifted this because of the brand name, reminded her of Del-Boy Trotter having a Ruby Murray down at the “Star of Bengal.” Anyway, I really do not know what all the whinging, fuss, and objections are all about regarding the word licorice? That flavour is not dominant here, and not obtrusive. There is just a cool, pleasing brightness that is light, enjoyable, and distinctive. This is a great English type of blend. Discover for yourself; make up your own mind if it is open. There is nothing radical here. Just a refreshing English change of pace. And prepare it properly for the pipe. A little goes a long way. Lightly – LIGHTLY – rub out a quarter of one of the thick chunky flakes to get what others have called a small limestone-pebble consistency. Load these pebbles of tobacco like a cube cut, using gravity fill only. Do not press this tobacco tightly into your bowl. It will expand as it burns. After lighting, tamp sparingly and very softly and gently. Champion!

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin a week old.

2 people found this review helpful.

tzinc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tzinc (12)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

You can smell the licorice when you open the tin but there is the faintest taste of it if that, Otherwise it is a decent English blend. Very smooth and not overly complex. Recommended. 3.75

2 people found this review helpful.

mparker762 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mparker762 (2)
Medium Medium Full Pleasant

I'm old enough to have smoked the last generation of Bengal Slices. There were two versions, the regular one and an aromatic one (same tin, just had an "aromatic" sticker on the corner). The regular Bengal Slices was very similar to Balkan Sobranie White, these two tobaccos were my mainstays for many years until they became unavailable and I moved to McConnell's Oriental and Dunhill Durbar.

Bengal Slices had more sweetness and less saltiness, and more of a BBQ flavor, which at the time I chalked up to the extra sugar as it burned, and was much more creamy than Balkan Sobranie which I chalked up to all the cavendish. The aromatic version of Bengal Slices had a very strong lakeland type soapy perfumey note that would ruin a pipe as bad as Erinmore, when I heard Bengal Slices was no longer made I went around to all the tobacconists in my city and bought out their stock, and accidentally acquired several tins of the aromatic version. I smoked them, grudgingly, using an Ashton I thought I could part with if necessary.

What is in this tin is neither Bengal Slices nor Bengal Slices "Aromatic".

It's definitely reminiscent of the old Bengal Slices, it has that sweet creamy Balkan Sobranie flavor, but has an aromatic component, yet not the same one as Bengal Slices Aromatic. Just to be on the safe side I hauled out my old Ashton Bengal Slices Aromatic pipe, which still smelled of latakia and soap and perfume, to give this new blend a try.

After smoking a tin of this it seems to have dispelled the lakeland from my old Bengal Slices Ashton. I smoked a bowl or two of this in another briar and fortunately, it doesn't ghost a pipe as badly as the old Bengal Slices Aromatic did, and with a few weeks of airing out the anise smell dissipates quite a bit and its a pretty good smoke. It's just not Bengal Slices, at least not the version I fell in love with.

Pipe Used: Ashton 2x bulldog

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes

2 people found this review helpful.

joeljcj2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
joeljcj2 (13)
Strong None Detected Full Strong

for 25 yrs now ive smoked flake cut vapers of one form or another-mostly Samuel Gawith when I can keep it in stock--. on a lark I opened this old tin--not so old it has an addiction warning--and it instantly reminded me of Balkan sobranie of my youth. those with better memories may well detect sizable differences---I now taste the virginia and latakia very prominently--a weight and pungency I have not tasted in the Gawith and similar. I thoroughly enjoy this--but it is a little heavy for me now---at my age I prefer the gentler Gawith vapers.

Similar Blends: similarity to old time balkan sobranie from long ago in my memory.

2 people found this review helpful.

Black-Dutch-Jack Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Black-Dutch-Jack (4)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Wife says, “perfumey. “Whatiya mean, perfumey’?” “I dunno...like, after shave.” Hmm.

“Not like the others (which are) leather, organic.”

Ok. “Is that bad?” “No...just different.” Ok.

“How does it taste?” “Wonderfully mellow.”

Pipe Used: Dr. Grabow Omega (vintage -35 years old).

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars

2 people found this review helpful.

Briar Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Piper (89)
Medium Strong Extra Full Pleasant

Wow! The only other latakia mixture with a heavy anise topping that I knew of, was count pulaski by altadis. This stuff is even better! A very heavy latakia mixture, almost pure black flakes, with a reasonably strong anise topping. This is very incense-y and smoky. It has a very deep taste, and a rich pleasant room note (for a smoker) that most anyone would enjoy who likes latakia.

Tin presentation might put you off because it is so dense it looks like the tin is underfilled. But of course it is not. This is a top notch blend.

Be sure to try this if you enjoyed dunhill's nightcap but couldn't stomach the horrible aftertaste of that blend.

Pipe Used: Grabow

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Commodore flake, old ironsides..

2 people found this review helpful.

Quiggifur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quiggifur (99)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

20230412 edit: tasting this back to back with other Latakia blends all day long, I'm definitely getting a lot of sweet anise in the smoke. Almost reminding me of war horse, plus smokiness, minus all the nicotine. Think i have to upgrade this to 4 stars.

I struggle to taste anything but Latakia in any Latakia blend, but this one seems to be one of the best so far. Relatively sweet and smooth, the campfire flavor doesn't simply punch me in the face. I'll keep this around for when i want to smoke a moderately adulterated campfire, but I'm starting to think I'll have to blend my own with something like 1 percent Latakia to properly appreciate it. Don't get me wrong, this is very good. It has some pleasant notes beyond pure Latakia, but that's mainly what I'm tasting.

1 person found this review helpful.

PaulMcCoy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PaulMcCoy (78)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Ive been avoiding this one because of its licorice casing. I can smell it a little in the tin, but it’s really light. I’m not a big fan of Krumble Kakes, or licorice, but it was good, and worth the experience.

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

1 person found this review helpful.

JJ Sir Emmitt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JJ Sir Emmitt (40)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a hard pass for me. I just do not get this blend at all. The liquorice flavor is very noticable but seems forced to me. This mixed with the smoky Latakia and the sourness of the orientals just does not taste good to me at all. Beyond the confusing flavors I found it to be too muted as well.

For me this burned very hot and needed alot relights.

1 person found this review helpful.

JoeySpinz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JoeySpinz (3)
Mild Medium Medium Tolerable

When you open the tin, it comes in a crumble cake and you notice the smokey latakia smell and the licorice topping is obvious. You get a sour and tangy fragrance from the orientals and virginias but it is secondary. It smells like this blend would be strong. Once you break up the crumble cake it packs and lights well. It's not a moist crumble cake, its on the drier side.

Once you start smoking it...you will notice that the licorice topping does not carry over as you think it would. Its there ever so slightly in the backround but I think for most people it would be unnoticeable. I think the topping tames the latakia a bit and gives the blend this cool smoke taste. The latakia is smokey and leathery and is at the fore front but this is by no means a lat bomb at all. The orientals are sweet , sour, full of flavor, and very detectable in exhale. The virginias are grassy, fruity, and give you a little bit of that vinegar taste in the backround. The unflavored black cavendish is undetectable to me but i believe that it absorbs the topping and takes all the rough edged out of the blend. It does not smoke as sweet as it would seem. Its more cool than sweet. I was suprised that with the latakia and the licorice topping combined that the blend was so balanced and all of the flavors were not masked. The flavor stays the same top to bottom and gets very hard to light as it gets down to the dottle no matter what pipe I use. The blend is actually suprisingly mild. I'v smoked it at all times of the day and it never gives me a good nic hit at all. The blend is a very tastey american/english and smokes very cool. After about a year of smoking it it has yet to ghost a pipe for me.

To me this blend is a masterpiece from Russ Oulette. It has a unique flavor that is different than many american/english blends. The tins are expensive at 16 bucks online. I think it is because Standard Tobacco Company of Pennsylvania uses very high quality tobacco in all of its blends. You'll notice it even when you smoke Bengal Slices. It has a Rich and Mild taste that i can only really describe as "Quality".

1 person found this review helpful.

MangoLegs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MangoLegs (72)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Preparation & Burn: 4/10 Easy enough to break apart this kake. Best to gravity pack and slightly push down. Burns cool, no bite. Doesn't stay lit too well for me. Might have to dry a bit, but that loses the flavor.

Taste: 16/20 This is a tasty and subtle smoke. Well balanced. There is a mild sweetness that perfectly compliments the lat.

Mildness: 8/10 My idea of a good smoke is a relaxing, low nicotine session. Therefore, the milder the better. Not much nicotine!

Total: 28/40

1 person found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (143)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Blend: Bengal Slices Black Blend Type: Balkan/ Oriental Forward English Cut: Crumble Cake Topping: licorice/anise Taste: Medium Strength: Medium/Strong

I don't know how true this is, but I have read somewhere that this blend in its earliest iteration was an attempt at making a match for an older version of Balkan Sobranie. Be that as it may I am reviewing this blend for its own merits.

This comes in a 50 gram tin, and when you open it you will notice several slices of crumble cake. The cake itself is fairly easy to break up though in my opinion not as easy as C&D's cakes. It loads well, and I tend to give it a little more space than I would if this was a shag cut. It came a bit wet so I dried mine out and then jarred it up. Overall it is easy to light, and I find an average amount of relights will do.

The tin note of this blend is very anise forward, but I can smell a fair bit of the Latakia and Orientals which gives me hope.

Upon lighting I find a delightfully creamy, white smoke. Cudos to the blender, the Licorice/Anise topping melds significantly well with the Latakia in this blend. I find some flowery incense like notes from the Orientals, but I think the topping has slightly sublimated to Virginia's, but not in a disagreeable way. Odd enough for me, the licorice topping is what stopped me from liking Orlik's Dark Strong Kentuky, but it works here, and as I already said I think a large part of that is the interplay with the Latakia.

I hate saying anything about a room note because it is so subjective, but I will say if any of your friends aren't biased against tobacco smoke, they may find this blend smells quite pleasant. I think this has a stongly medium bodied taste, and Lady N is coming on medium/strong.

I don't think this is the kind of blend I would want to smoke all day, but it is repeatable during a good day. You may find that this blend does better in a smaller bowl, and you may want to use a dedicated pipe for this, because it does have a tendency to ghost your next smoke a little.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Birkshire Large Panel

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Pipesandcigars.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Novaki Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Novaki (41)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Bengal Slices 2oz tins come with a couple of slabs of dry crumble cake. It breaks apart nicely and packs easy. The blend is topped with a nice licorice/vanilla/incense-like note. The scent is wonderful and the overall smoke is creamy. It's pretty close to a lat-bomb as Latakia is mostly all I taste here aside from the candy-like top note. Everything else is almost too subtle or doing something in the background. The problem I have with the blend is that it gets way too hot on me no matter what pace I smoke it at. I seriously could not get this to cool down at all, which is a shame because I really enjoyed the unique flavor of this blend. Probably won't get this again because as great as it tastes, I don't enjoy waiting for my mouth and tongue to recover before I can get back to smokin'. Could be my technique or the pipe or the alignments of the planets. Your mileage may vary.

Pipe Used: Roma Pastor, MM Cobs

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

Phillip Ellis Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phillip Ellis (14)
Very Mild Medium to Strong Mild Tolerable

IF YOU DON'T LIKE BLACK LICORICE PASS. This was not one of my favorite blends but it being a reintroduced blend i said what the hell why not. After smelling the tin note i thought to myself well this is not going to be for me and i was correct not a fan but you might be. The tobacco behaved well and burned perfect after 10-15 minuets of dry time. I hope this information helps.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Bulldog

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: NOTHING.

1 person found this review helpful.

Curious George Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Curious George (15)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

As has been said in many other reviews, the latakia is prominent, a very pleasant woody smell and taste. It is perhaps too strong for those not fond of latakia. The cavendish compliments nicely, adding to the base in a soft way. Overall this is smooth without a overly dense smoke. It may require some drying/relights depending on how it is prepared/packed.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 915KS

Age When Smoked: Freshly opened/purchased

Purchased From: P&C

1 person found this review helpful.

Michael D Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Michael D (34)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

First tin whiff is leather and shoe polish. Crumbles easy enough. a few relights. Latakia is the main flavor up front, although not alone. sweet and citrus Virginia comes through with smokey and spice from the orientals. The faint taste of my childhood candy of sweet snaps came to mind. Flavoring of licorice is clearly in the taste profile. I assume the black cavendish keeps everything in check. I like the Snaps and Latakia mixing together with no surprises. Mild to medium strength with a full flavor and nice after taste. I would buy again in a "snap", when on sale.

Pipe Used: Briars

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: P&C

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tom Bombadill Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tom Bombadill (121)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I really enjoyed this blend and would definitely pick up a tin or two to have for my daytime English/latakia smoke. This is a nice full bodied blend I could smoke all day. I love flake and this smoky chunky flake did not disappoint. The only totally subjective flaw I found was that it seemed to be missing that one note that would bump this up to 4 stars for me. An excellent blend I'll smoke again! Enjoy!

Pipe Used: Molina, Kaywoodie, Peterson

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Watch City Ahab's Comfort.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PennsylvaniaPiper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PennsylvaniaPiper (20)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

Bengal Slices (the re-release version) really surprised me as the flavor and aroma of the smoke is very similar to Dunhill's "The Aperitif" which is no longer in production. I really loved that mixture and I have strong positive feelings about this blend as well.

I am of the opinion that, as pipe tobacco smokers, we are living in a golden era. The existence and easy availability of this product is only further evidence of this opinion. Top Notch- Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bowler Hat Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bowler Hat Piper (24)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I had high hopes for this blend, but I was left a little disappointed. The tin aroma promises so much more than the actual tobacco delivers. Having said that, it was a decent blend and I did enjoy it, I was just hoping for more.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: SmokingPipes.Com

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Sosakan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sosakan (33)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I’m not a licorice fan, which scared me with this blend. The topping is subtle but present and more like a nice/fennel and not at all like black jellybeans or licorice. I really like this blend, it’s one of the few times a topping has not disappointed me or overpowered the flavor of the leaf. It works well and adds a nuanced dimension to this Balkan flake. It’s a pain in the arse to break up and keep lit, but the flavor is worth it.

Don’t let it scare you, it deserves a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.