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Borkum Riff. any fans?

Just curious if anyone enjoys Borkum Riff. I have seen the Bourbon Whiskey flavor from time to time but have never tried it. Apparently they have other flavors as well, but I have only found the Bourbon Whiskey in stores. Any of the B&B brotherhood like or use this brand? Or should it be avoided at all costs? I know it's probably a matter of taste, but I think we may all agree if something is garbage. :biggrin1:

Thanks in advance for the opinions!
 

Shave_Rat

Moderator Emeritus
I've not touched it in a very long time (20 years or so), but I seem to recall it being a bit dry out of the package, being sorta rough on the edges, and not being as nice as some of the other drugstore brands like Captain Black and whatnot. This was a long time ago on a questionable memory of it, however. I'm curious to see if any of the more experienced pipe members have new and more learned opinions on it.
 
Well I haven't had that brand but I've had the Maker's Mark cigarellos, they are damn tasty. I even let them rest in my humidor to give them a little more moxie after sitting in a tin for god knows how long.
 

Shave_Rat

Moderator Emeritus
Well I haven't had that brand but I've had the Maker's Mark cigarellos, they are damn tasty. I even let them rest in my humidor to give them a little more moxie after sitting in a tin for god knows how long.
I generally like the whiskey/cognac/rum tobacco blends, so I'll have to see if I can track those cigarellos down somewhere local. lol
 
I have some bourbon whiskey and I think cherry, but I haven't opened it to try it out yet. Almost every post I've seen about any of the Borkum Rift pipe tobaccos has been very negative. If I recall correctly most complain about it being to heavily cased and having terrible tongue bite. However, that's not going to keep me from trying it when I get around to it. It's so cheap there isn't much risk in trying it.
 
I have some bourbon whiskey and I think cherry, but I haven't opened it to try it out yet. Almost every post I've seen about any of the Borkum Rift pipe tobaccos has been very negative. If I recall correctly most complain about it being to heavily cased and having terrible tongue bite. However, that's not going to keep me from trying it when I get around to it. It's so cheap there isn't much risk in trying it.
I'm curious what you think about it, definitely let us know what you think when you do try it. The bad reviews of this brand seem to stand out in my memory as well, but it must have some fans since they seem to stay in business. The reason I haven't tried it yet is I see Half & Half and Carter Hall for like $3 less a pouch in the same case, or Captain Black for about the same price, which I do know I like.
 
If there is a chance for tongue bite you just have to make yourself smoke slower. Then slow down some more. A good way to do this is read a book while you smoke, you will slow right down but you will also have to relight more since you nearly forget you have a pipe. Though that is the best way to smoke IMO.

Happy Smoking,
 
Borkum Riff does have a terrible reputation, but at the same time I have to wonder just how much of that is due to peer-pressure...I don't think the brand-name would have survived for over fifty-years if their offerings really are as bad as TobaccoReviews.com makes them out to be.
One also has to remember that any opinions of Borkum Riff that were formed prior to about a year-and-a-half ago are moot - when STG acquired the branding, they committed to improving the blend. I've heard the quality of the leaf has improved, and the pouches are no-longer a quarter stems. From what I understand, they have also diverged recently from the other mass-market aros in that the toppings and casings have even been improved, allowing the more delicate nuances of the constituent leaf to come through.

I should note that this is all opinion and hearsay on my part - I don't enjoy aromatics enough to want to spend the asking price at my local on a pouch of BR when the same price will secure a pouch or tin of McC, C&D or Peterson leaf.
 

Shave_Rat

Moderator Emeritus
Borkum Riff does have a terrible reputation, but at the same time I have to wonder just how much of that is due to peer-pressure...I don't think the brand-name would have survived for over fifty-years if their offerings really are as bad as TobaccoReviews.com makes them out to be.
One also has to remember that any opinions of Borkum Riff that were formed prior to about a year-and-a-half ago are moot - when STG acquired the branding, they committed to improving the blend. I've heard the quality of the leaf has improved, and the pouches are no-longer a quarter stems. From what I understand, they have also diverged recently from the other mass-market aros in that the toppings and casings have even been improved, allowing the more delicate nuances of the constituent leaf to come through.

I should note that this is all opinion and hearsay on my part - I don't enjoy aromatics enough to want to spend the asking price at my local on a pouch of BR when the same price will secure a pouch or tin of McC, C&D or Peterson leaf.
I'm convinced to give them another try, if I see a pouch on the shelf locally for a reasonable price, at least.
 
I found a good sampler if you aren't sure about Brokim Riff. http://www.cigarsinternational.com/prodDisp.asp?item=PP-SBRASST1&cat=247

I am more of a cigar guy so I never tried this stuff but for that price its worth a shot.
Wow that's a good deal on their sampler, and it has all their flavors. One pouch of the Bourbon Whiskey is $7 in the store nearby, and I did end up just picking up a pouch of it while I was out today. I'll post my experience after I've had a couple of bowls of it. I try not to judge a bacci on just one bowl. Even if this flavor doesn't agree with me, for the price of that sampler, it may be worth checking out the other flavors.
 
Borkum Riff does have a terrible reputation, but at the same time I have to wonder just how much of that is due to peer-pressure...I don't think the brand-name would have survived for over fifty-years if their offerings really are as bad as TobaccoReviews.com makes them out to be.
I think BR having survived for over fifty years might have something to do with the fact that it is available in most drugstores, convenience stores, and brick 'n' mortar tobacconists. I also believe that most reviews at TobaccoReviews.com are from pipe and tobacco "hobbyists" who smoke mostly premium tinned brands rather than over-the-counter offerings, so that would skew the overall reputation of BR in a sense. From what I've read on other forums, it seems that habitual pipe smokers--those who smoke upwards of five or six bowls a day--tend to be packing less expensive drugstore brands like Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Borkum Riff, etc. I imagine those types of smokers account for the bulk of the pipe smoking population and are what keeps brands like BR alive.
 

Shave_Rat

Moderator Emeritus
Wow that's a good deal on their sampler, and it has all their flavors. One pouch of the Bourbon Whiskey is $7 in the store nearby, and I did end up just picking up a pouch of it while I was out today. I'll post my experience after I've had a couple of bowls of it. I try not to judge a bacci on just one bowl. Even if this flavor doesn't agree with me, for the price of that sampler, it may be worth checking out the other flavors.
The amusing part, I grabbed a pouch on the way home as well. I'll give it a go at some point, but my new Mr Brog pipe also arrived, and that baby is getting packed with something I already know I like.
 
I recently picked some up at my local pharmacy (borkum riff) and i was NOT a fan. It reminded me of cigarette tobacco.....
 

Shave_Rat

Moderator Emeritus
I recently picked some up at my local pharmacy (borkum riff) and i was NOT a fan. It reminded me of cigarette tobacco.....
I only made it through half a bowl in a cheapo pipe, but yeah, the room note was really nice, according to my friend, but the taste was pretty cigarette like. Rough on the edges sort of smoke and whatnot. It also burned pretty hot and fast, close to what I'd expect from a cig tobacco.
 
I picked up some from a pouch a couple months ago. Not top-shelf stuff, but not terrible. Went on PTAD (Pipe Tobacco AD) recently and picked up two tins of it in two flavors. Not at all the same. The room note and smell of the freshly opened container were very nice, but the taste was very reminiscent of a cigarette. I immediately re-tried the pouch I bought; It was the same as it was the first time: Pleasant but not top-notch.
I popped back to the druggist where I bought the tins, and asked him how long he'd had the tins. Several years, it turns out.
I'm guessing that while the tins are assuredly pre STG while the pouch was moved at a higher velocity and was post STG.
 
I haven't had any in years and not in any hurry to try it again. Smells great in the pouch, bites like an ill tempered dog when lit. I think it survives because obviously some folks like it and there's a perception that it's cheaper than the "fancy" stuff. Often times it ends up being more expensive per oz than most of the stuff out there on the internet (speaking only of CONUS prices). It is easier to get for most since it still is available at most stores, so convenience plays a big part too.
 
I'm curious what you think about it, definitely let us know what you think when you do try it. ...The reason I haven't tried it yet is I see Half & Half and Carter Hall for like $3 less a pouch in the same case, or Captain Black for about the same price, which I do know I like.
It might be a while before I get around to it. I have a 23-gallon foot locker full of pipe tobacco and I'm out of jars so I have to wait until I clear a jar out to open anything else. Go for the Half & Half next time you see it. Cheap and it's one of my favorite smokes.

I found a good sampler if you aren't sure about Brokim Riff. http://www.cigarsinternational.com/prodDisp.asp?item=PP-SBRASST1&cat=247
I am more of a cigar guy so I never tried this stuff but for that price its worth a shot.
I was looking at that sampler not long ago. It is a decent deal especially if you want to try them all because you usually won't find them all locally (in my experience at least).

If there is a chance for tongue bite you just have to make yourself smoke slower. Then slow down some more...
^Good advice especially for drugstore tobaccos. One thing I've been doing especially with those blends is almost never clench my pipe and if I do I stick my tongue against the stem hole so that I don't get any saliva down there. Another thing is whenever I relight or tamp I gently blow through the stem with the tamper pressing down a little on top of the tobacco to try and help with getting rid of extra moisture and goopiness from the casing. These will also help avoid tongue bite.
 
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jwhite

Moderator Emeritus
I think BR having survived for over fifty years might have something to do with the fact that it is available in most drugstores, convenience stores, and brick 'n' mortar tobacconists. I also believe that most reviews at TobaccoReviews.com are from pipe and tobacco "hobbyists" who smoke mostly premium tinned brands rather than over-the-counter offerings, so that would skew the overall reputation of BR in a sense. From what I've read on other forums, it seems that habitual pipe smokers--those who smoke upwards of five or six bowls a day--tend to be packing less expensive drugstore brands like Carter Hall, Prince Albert, Borkum Riff, etc. I imagine those types of smokers account for the bulk of the pipe smoking population and are what keeps brands like BR alive.
I smoke pretty regularly and don't usually smoke drugstore blends. Some I find decent, but all are too heavy on the PG for me. I know quite a few smokers that feel the same.
 
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