Top 11 Best-Selling Burley Tobaccos

Updated for 2023, this article was originally published February 20, 2015 and updated in April, 2022. It has again been revised to incorporate current data.

Top 11 Burley Pipe Tobaccos at Smokingpipes.com

Since it was first cultivated in 1864, Burley tobacco has been a widely popular leaf varietal for use in pipe, cigarette, and chewing-tobacco blends. When included in pipe blends, the air-cured leaf creates rich, earthy flavors that pair well with virtually any combination of other components. Burley tobacco is a naturally thicker, more durable leaf, making it the varietal of choice for the production of steamed and fermented Cavendish tobaccos or fire-cured Dark Fired Kentucky, whose processing requirements work best with more robust leaf.

Because of its great versatility and compatibility with a wide array of components, Burley appears in hundreds of different blends in greater or lesser quantities. For our purposes, Burley blends are those containing significant air- or fire-cured leaf in their composition, while Cavendish is excluded, as it's most prevalent in the decidedly different flavor profiles of Aromatics.

11. Gawith Hoggarth & Co.: Rum Flake

Gawith Hoggarth & Co.: Rum Flake

An old-school flake-cut tobacco, Gawith & Hoggarth's Rum Flake is a deep, dark, and rich mixture of Burley and Virginias with a piquant rum topping. Made in Gawith's historic Kendal blending house, this tobacco hearkens back to the heyday of clay and meerschaum pipes, my favorite way to enjoy their blends.

Available in: 1.75oz

A fine flake with a rich flavor, not to be confused with the over-done impact of some rum-intensive blends. The aroma is that of a gourmet fruit cake. -cowboy, 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Burley
  • Cut: Flake
  • Strength:
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10. Cornell & Diehl: Pegasus

Cornell & Diehl: Pegasus

Created by the legendary Bob Runowski, C&D's Pegasus is an homage to the classic American Burley blends of yore, composed of three different Burleys mixed with grassy Virginias and unsweetened Black Cavendish to create a full-bodied, yet effortlessly smooth smoke. This blend is a must-try for fans of timeless Burley mixtures.

Available in: 2oz | Bulk

A quintessential Burley blend. It's simple, nutty, smooth, and satisfying. Leaves a room smelling nice, too. -Olmstead, 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Burley, Virginia, Black Cavendish
  • Cut: Ribbon
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9. Mac Baren: Golden Extra

Mac Baren: Golden Extra

Mac Baren's Golden Extra is on the lighter end of the Burley spectrum, composed of a blend of Virginia and Burley pressed into flakes and offered ready-rubbed for convenience, with a light chocolate topping. This combination creates a mellow but complex blend that offers notes of wood and nuts with a touch of sweetness and warm cacao.

Available in: 3.5oz | 16oz | Bulk

This is a grand Burley blend in that it is beyond most Burley blends in regard to bitterness, which it never has. It's a toasty, nutty, Burley flavor on the brighter side. -Ruffinogold, 5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Burley
  • Cut: Broken Flake
  • Strength:
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8. Mac Baren: Navy Flake

Mac Baren: Navy Flake

A classic take on the tried and true navy flake, the eponymous blend from Mac Baren combines a mixture of Virginias, rich Burley, and Black Cavendish topped with a subtle hint of rum, creating a balanced smoke that can be enjoyed all day long.

Available in: 3.5oz | Bulk

This is a delicious flake! Smokes cool, tastes sweet, with flavors of rum, honey, and brown sugar in a tobacco base. This is an awesome blend and with age it's even better. -Thomas S. 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Burley, Black Cavendish
  • Cut: Flake
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7. Peter Stokkebye: PS41 Cube Cut

Peter Stokkebye: PS41 Cube Cut

One of my personal favorite Burley blends, Peter Stokkebye's PS41 Cube Cut is a heady mixture of light Virginias and earthy Burleys pressed into cakes and rendered in a rough cube cut that takes a bit finesse to pack well, but is most rewarding. The mixture creates a surprisingly light smoke redolent with notes of fruit and dark earth.

Available in: Bulk

This is an easy smoke in every sense — loads easy, burns easy, and is easy on the mouth. -Gordon J., 4-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Burley
  • Cut: Cube Cut
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6. Mac Baren: HH Bold Kentucky

Mac Baren: HH Bold Kentucky

The most robust blend in Mac Baren's HH line, Bold Kentucky is not for the timid. With a base of fire-cured Burley leaf from Kentucky and Africa, a touch of bright Virginia leaf is added to temper the mixture before putting the blend through Mac Baren's unique steam-pressing process. Offered in a convenient flake cut, this rich mixture emphasizes the robust side of Burley mixtures.

Available in: 1.75oz | 3.5oz | 16oz

Although this is a bold, heavy blend, don't let the name scare you off. There is no bitterness, harshness, or bite here. -Va/Per-izor, 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Dark Fired Kentucky
  • Cut: Flake
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5. Samuel Gawith: 1792 Flake

Samuel Gawith: 1792 Flake

A truly old-school blend, Samuel Gawith's 1792 Flake is based on recipes the family has crafted using the same facilities and equipment since their founding in 1792. This blend combines a balanced mixture of Dark-Fired Burley and bright Virginias, pressed into long, dark flakes with a unique tonquin top note, creating a truly transporting smoke.

Available in: 1.75oz | 8oz

I LOVE this Flake. The tonquin essence makes this Lakeland one of the most pleasant blends out there. The aroma is sweet, with a smell somewhere between vanilla and chocolate. -Riartist, 5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Dark-Fired Kentucky
  • Cut: Flake
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4. Gawith Hoggarth & Co.: Dark Flake

Gawith Hoggarth & Co.: Dark Flake

Made in Gawith and Hoggarth's historic Kendall blending house, G&H's Dark Flake is among the strongest mixtures on this list, composed of Dark-Fired leaf and a mix of rich Burleys. Strong, but not harsh, this blend is perfect for fans of stout blends, and it's also available as Dark Flake Aromatic: a variant of Dark Flake topped with licorice, maple, and tonquin bean for fans of the Lakeland essences.

Available in: Bulk

Rich, very strong (in flavor and nicotine), with a smoky, sweet, spicey flavor that's vaguely reminiscent of good barbecue. Oddly, the pouch note smells fruity, not smoky to me. I have some trouble getting and keeping it lit, but that could be my packing and smoking technique. No bite, burns nice and cool, with a nice lingering aftertaste. Should age wonderfully, but it's fantastic now. -Forrest D.,4. 5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Dark Fired Kentucky, Burley
  • Cut: Flake
  • Strength:
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3. Cornell & Diehl: Old Joe Krantz

Cornell & Diehl: Old Joe Krantz

Another of Bob Runowski's creations, Old Joe Krantz has been among C&D's most popular offerings for decades. The blend combines Dark and cube-cut Burleys with rich Red Virginias and a touch of Perique to create an earthy, full-bodied mixture that makes a fitting tribute to its namesake, Runowski's grandfather, who taught him how to smoke a pipe.

Available in: 8oz

As a recent convert to the pipe from cigars, this blend tastes a lot like a good cigar. Plenty of flavor and nicotine. Old Joe will kick your butt, in a good way! -Ed S., 5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Perique, Burley
  • Cut: Ribbon
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2. Mac Baren: HH Old Dark Fired

Mac Baren: HH Old Dark Fired

Among Mac Baren's most beloved blends, Old Dark Fired is a bold mixture of Dark-Fired Burley paired with helping of bright Virginias before undergoing a steam-pressing process to create a thin flake that punches well above its weight in terms of deep, piquant flavor. Old Dark Fired is also offered in ready rubbed form for convenient packing.

Available in: 1.75oz | 3.5oz | 16oz

Thinly-sliced perfect flake, redolent of raisins and earthy spice with a rich hardwood smoke character. -Scott L., 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Dark Fired Kentucky
  • Cut: Flake
  • Strength:
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1. Cornell & Diehl: Haunted Bookshop

Cornell & Diehl: Haunted Bookshop

One shouldn't be surprised that Cornell & Diehl's Haunted Bookshop has topped our list this year, as it consistently finds itself near the top. Created by Bob Runowski, Haunted Bookshop is named after the famous novel by Christopher Morley, calling up images of old books and specters with its mix of rich Burleys and Red Virginias, complemented by a pinch of St. James Perique. The blend is also available in crumble cake form, enhancing its cellaring potential.

Available in: Ribbon: 2oz | 8oz | Bulk | Cake: 2oz

An all-day smoke for me. A must for the Burley lovers out there. -Scotty_Cooper, 4.5-star review at Smokingpipes

  • Components: Virginia, Perique, Burley
  • Cut: Ribbon or Cake
  • Strength:
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That wraps our list of top-selling Burley mixtures for 2023. Don't find your favorite blend on this list? Let us know in the comments and tell your fellow pipe-smokers to give them a try.

A note on the tobacco information.

Strength: a measure of the tobacco's body and nicotine. One is the lowest. Five s is the highest.

Room Note: a measure of the pleasantness or intensity of the smoke's odor to everyone else in the room. One is the least intense room note, while five s would be the most noticeable to others.

Taste: A measure of the the power and fullness of the smoke's flavor, with one being the most mellow and five s being the fullest.

Comments

    • Rob C on May 25, 2015
    • Hard to name a "favorite", but if pressed I guess I'd have to say Skiff Mix. Love those orientals! At the other end of the spectrum though, recently tried C&D's Da Vinci and really enjoyed it!

    • Ben E on May 25, 2015
    • Old Joe Krantz is a favorite of mine and is quite good. You certainly have to like perique though since it makes up 25% of the blend. The red Virginia also adds a subtle sweetness to the cube and dark burley which makes this a masterful blend. Bob Runowski did good on this one, may he rest in peace.

    • Fred L on February 13, 2016
    • I've never smoked it on its own, but I like to crumble up some Wessex Burley Slice into my Dark Birds Eye. I do the same with Solani Aged Burley Flake. As far as I can tell, the Solani and the Wessex are SO much alike that I expect they're the same tobacco.

    • Adam O'Neill on February 15, 2016
    • @Fred L Oooh, that sounds good!

    • ole time smoker on July 11, 2016
    • 2 simple and straight forward burley tobaccos, Carter Hall and Prince Albert very satisfying and economically priced. You don't have to break open your piggy bank to enjoy a good burley tobacco.

    • Philip Damon on July 8, 2019
    • Big N' Burley is my go to smoke. I love the stuff. It's extremely satisfying, has a huge vitamin N kick, and tastes wonderful. Room note is not very good and my wife has banished me outside to smoke this! :)

    • Smokey on November 10, 2019
    • As a diehard Burley smoker, I felt compelled to comment about a recent discovery. Barking Road was recently offered and after reading the accompanying commentary I decided to buy a tin and try it out. Before I could order more it was sold out. I was abandoned by my own conservative frugality. Turns out, the stuff is excellent with just the right combination of Burley and other components presented as a medium ribbon cut. I’m currently waiting for a new shipment, fully intending to stock up so I won’t run out in the immediate future. It’s the first McConnell blend I’ve smoked and I’m very impressed. Thus far, for me, it has no negative aspects. Looks good, smells good, tastes good, burns well, etc. it has good strength and a reasonable room note. I’m sorry that it wasn’t included in today’s list...maybe none of the contributors has tried it. For Burley smokers, it’s a must in my opinion. There are only two reviews at this time, one by a fellow Burley lover that summed it up well and another by me in agreement. I’ll bet there’ll be more good reviews.

    • Ian Dares on November 10, 2019
    • Granger is a beautifully simple, old-fashioned tobacco that highlights the best qualities of a good Burley. I get that it isn't as nuanced as any of these mentioned above, but it is a solid, all-day smoke.

    • wiredforsound on November 10, 2019
    • Being a Burly & Virginia lover I've recently been on a Burley kick the last few months only smoking Burley forward blends.With Haunted Bookshop as my first love among Burley blends I recently got introduced to my now favorite Burly blend, Shandygaff, a Burley/Turkish/ Perique blend of C&D's after watching a review of under appreciated C&D bulk blends. It has all the bold raw Burley flavor of Haunted Bookshop with less of an edge (ie, harshness). (https://www.smokingpipes.com/smokingpipesblog/single.cfm/post/cornell-diehl-underrated-bulk-blends)

      You also can't go wrong when in the mood for Dark Fired burley forward blends with MacBaren Old Dark Fired & Bold Kentucky. The tin note of these two MacBaren HH blends is worth the price of admission.

    • Steve Riddle on November 10, 2019
    • I tried the C&D Burley Flake series when it first came out and settled on No. 2, with No. 1 a close second. I've smoked many of the others mentioned in the article, like OJK, ABF, all the Mac Barens, etc. Those are good but not as good as BF2. I sure hope the Burley Flake Series doesn't disappear.

    • Jeff R on November 11, 2019
    • Don't neglect Daughters and Ryan Two Timer! Very good and economical, too.

    • James Arrington on November 13, 2019
    • Great list with many of my favorites - I'm a Burley guy for sure. Let's not forget Lane Ready-Rubbed as well. Great classic blend, the resurrection of Edgeworth.

    • Ron Holman on January 31, 2020
    • Great site!

    • Bob Wallace on April 29, 2020
    • Just signing up

    • thomas j foley on August 30, 2020
    • Old dark fired my favorite burley Kentucky and haunted bookshop my favorite burley . These two are legendary blends for me .

    • Patricia D on May 22, 2021
    • Solani aged burley flake is the best burley hands down but it nor the best selling because it's never on stock.

    • Pirulin de la Habana on May 23, 2021
    • ...where can a person purchase that cool pipe ashtray in the photo?

    • Jef on August 11, 2021
    • Why is 1792 in the picture? Afaik it is made of dark fired Virginia leaf from Africa, not burley. The English say dark fired to mean dark fired Virginia, and say Kentucky when they mean dark fired burley.

    • Phil on April 24, 2022
    • You should add C&D's Big N' Burley. I've been smoking that as my main since 2010. I love it. It really is big burley that you can purchase tinned or bulk. I get it bulk and is my every day smoke. I love this stuff! I'll try the others listed here, but most of them get ruined by too much Virginia which always bites me. I've never gotten bit by Big N' Burley.

    • Blake R on April 24, 2022
    • Been on the Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired. Loving the ODF, Dark Twist and Royal Twist.Sometimes I mix it 50/50 with Edisto, Jubilaeums, or Capstan. Experiments with different combinations make it fun and exciting. Right now, I am enjoying a 50/50 ODF Capstan. Deeelicious.

    • Blake R on April 24, 2022
    • One of my pipester pals gave me a tin of the Mac Baren Rustica, Ltd edition. Holy Smoke is that a great one! It really distinguishes itself right away. I beg Mac Baren to make that available again!

    • Chicu on April 24, 2022
    • I would argue that ODF and HH Bold KY don't belong on this list. They're Burley in the same way that Latakia is Oriental. Totally different thing.

    • Bill in District X on April 24, 2022
    • Sorta surprised that C&D Crooner isn't on the list. As a very dedicated Latikia-forward English blend lover, I take a break every so often with this cube-cut Burley with just a smidgeon of Deers' Tongue. It's the ONLY Burley I smoke and I have no idea why I like it. Go figure...

    • Steve on April 24, 2022
    • The Solani Aged Burley Flake is a tobacco formulated by Ruediger L. Will and even though this flake and Wessex Burley Flake are both tinned by Kohlhase & Kopp, they are definitely not the same. Solani ABF is in a league of its own. The demand has caused serious out-of-stock conditions. Ruediger took 2 years to develop this incredible tobacco.

    • Vic P on August 30, 2022
    • Where is Stonehaven??! It sells for gold in the secondary market, and it's instantly gone in primary markets, it's hailed as the pinnacle of VaBur. Come on fellas, it needed a spot on this list.

    • Paul Gomes on July 17, 2023
    • Here's hoping that someday they do a list of best tobaccos with deertongue, my favorite pipe additive.

    • Ben on July 19, 2023
    • @Paul Gomes If you read this, there are only 4 blends sold on Smokingpipes that include deertongue, so I would assume the best blends would be these 4 in some sort of order!

    • Jaizarul A on August 1, 2023
    • Only had Haunted bookshop & old dark fired..both are superb burley

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