Peter Stokkebye - PS402 Luxury Twist Flake
Yeah, baby! Twist! This is definitely, "The One." It is magnificent that the Stokkebye clan blended this and perfected the process and now produces this stuff for worldwide consumption. This has a little more concentrated flavor than the other two kinds of flakes. This is the one! I've been smoking Stokkebye's Luxury Twist Flake for 25 years, and it is still as satisfying as ever. Well-blended, balanced and complex, not sweet and doesn't burn too hot. Just a hint of sweetness--more in the pouch aroma--and a cool, steady burn. Can easily be rubbed out to very fine consistency, which I highly prefer. Luxury: that's what they call it--rubs out really fine and has a satisfying, complex, slightly sweet, but not overpowering taste. Apparently, the cut of this flake renders the flavor a little more full and savory than the straight lux flake. The cut of the twist flake delivers the flavor! This flake is consistent, both in flavor and in fortitude. There are some other flakes out there, but this one has the consistency of flavor and quality to always reserve a place in my tobacco supply closet. It's not overpowering, but it is rather full and complex, so it remains interesting. Not a thin, hot smoke, but a rich cool one. I'm not surprised it is out of stock at the moment, but hopefully that won't continue, like it has with some Germaine and/or Esoterica brands.
Newminster - No.400 Superior Navy Flake
Not So Fast
Ahem. Stuff looks luscious on the webpage. Thought I'd give it a try. Always looking for a good VA flake. The pouch aroma was to die for: like mild sweetened pistacchio. Anyway, the first bowl or two I was optimistic, looking for a) that solid VA flavor, or even the vapor of the casing I liked so much in the beginning. Alas. It wasn't to be. I hung in there with my 4 ounce sample for a couple of days, sporadically jumping back to this flake in hopes of a breakthrough. But last night I finally threw it out. Emptied my pouch right into the trash can. It smells good in my room, unlit. I had anticipated by the look and the texture something of the character of Stokkebye flake, but I was disappointed. It's cardboard.
Lane Limited - MV-1000
Rarely Smoke Aromatics
This blend had a surprisingly intense flavoring... one of those enigmatic tastes that's hard to pinpoint: let me call it "Cognac by the Seaside." I think it's supposed to be vanilla, but above all it has tinges of super sweet fruits like mangos or pineapples... Otherwise, the tobacco is smooth and mild, and the MV-1000 burns very cool and evenly. It may be that I'm not used to aromatics, so I'm going to wait and see if the taste calms down after an ounce or two.
Samuel Gawith - Sam's Flake 50g
This flake has a light, sweet topping sometimes referred to as, "British flavoring." I liked it at first, but held off any conclusion until I finished a tin. It really grew on me. The smoke has a refined, balance of flavors, light, but not thin. The find of the year, so far.
Cornell & Diehl - Constellation
I was looking for something to change off from Westminster. Lo and behold, an 8 ounce bag of Constellation turned up, stashed away back in my closet. It really hits the sweet spot--full bodied, but complex and so perfectly balanced with the Virginias and Latakia that it is never overpowering. Burns really cool, too.
Blog's Commented on
- ► Obviously, blaming the government for McClelland tobaccos closing their doors is a mistake. It has NOTHING to do with the government. These are really the top shelf of all the American pipe tobaccos, because of the quality of the leaf and the work and attention the blenders put in to making their products.Beacon was the first McClelland blend I smoked, back in the '90s. That was one hell of a delicious flake! I'll never forget the tin aroma! Perfect.Fortunately I stocked up on Anniversary and Virginias/Orientals before they closed up shop. Once the word started getting out that they were closing, everything vanished from the stores' shelves.I had hoped C&D would reach McC's level of quality, but I don't think they quite have, although C&D make a number of fantastic blends.It was the overall quality that always distinguished McClelland's from all the others.It's cool that these folks have new chapters open in their lives, too. I wish them all the best life has to offer.