Sillem's - Mayor 1814 Flake 50g
simple is not bad
well stoved...quality is very high and the flavor add is minimal. Its a bit milder version of Dan Tobacco's Tordensjkold flake. Which is often compared to Reiner long golden flake. This is the least flavored of all those. But its maybe the best.
Wessex - Gold Virginia Flake 50g
an insult to call this a beginners blend
First off, the idea of a beginner tobacco is silly. Just on the face of it. Second, what with the demise of McClelland there are not that many good pure virginia flakes around. This is among the best actually. Medium body, with a neutral very very light casing of sugar or sweetener and otherwise just a lightly stoved quality Va. It reminds me of F&Ts Vintage flake.
Former - Private Flake 50g
An interesting semi aromatic. Very highest quality stoved virginia cased very lightly with fig and tamarind. I taste a subtle sour apple taste, too. There is burley but its far in the background. Reminds me of Gawith's BS flake...exclusive to the danish pipe shop. A favorite and i wish it were more available.
Dobie's Four Square - Cut Plug 1.75 oz
its not stokkebye
Its, perhaps, in the same ballpark. But this is rather more aged, and has a bit of fermentation, which Stokk bulk doesnt. I mean Stokkebye bulk are among the great bargains in pipedom. NO knock on them. But this is better. Not the most distinguished blend, but not at all bad. Mild.
Former - Cross Grain Flake 50g
another great Former flake.
A bit lighter than straight grain flake, but just as delicious. This is real find in the post McClelland days.
Former - Straight Grain Flake 50g
all of these former flakes are very good. A real surprise, actually. And this is the best, id say. Its rather strong, as vapers go, but very high quality. A stronger version of 633 by Solani.
John Aylesbury - Classic Flake 50g
under the radar
for whatever reason, this flake is just not widely known. And is often unavailable. But when you find it, i suggest you buy a few tins. This is a fine medium strength pure virginia flake. A bit like Veermaster by dan tobacco or F&Ts Vintage flake. Only this is a bit darker perhaps, and with great natural sweetness.
Fribourg & Treyer - Golden Mixture 50g
betrand russell wasnt dumb
Was the philosophers favorite tobacco. Those who dont like it...usually fault it for its simplicity. But in fact it reminds me a lot of Gawith;s Golden Glow, only better. Somewhere between GG and Best Brown, actually. Its ribbon cut....tasty, mild, high quality. Nothing at all like cigarette tobacco. Sigh./
Fribourg & Treyer - Vintage Flake 50g
Among the best straight virginia, now that McClelland is out of business. Smooth naturally sweet, reminds me of virginia flakes from thirty years ago.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: No. 24 50g
its not ketchup
Anyone complaining about the tin note doesnt deserve McClelland virginias. Like all of their virginia flakes, and broken flakes, this is superb. You simply will not find better virginia tobacco on the market. Not even gawith FVF is as good as the best of McC. This one has slightly less stoved flakes mixed with a noticeable amount of drama leaf. This provides a savoury and rich smoke. Long lasting too. Burns SLOW.
Reiner - Blend No. 71 100g
Anyone who thinks this is Orlik is just not a veteran smoker. The Reiner is a unique blend. The burley isnt very noticeable , nor is the very mild orange added to it.Its mostly Virginia of a very high quality....mostly lemon Id guess ...and a hint of Perique. Very good stuff. Pricey but id say worth it. has a huge following.
McClelland - Red and Black 50g
straight up Va flake
A mix of black and red virginias. Pressed and stoved. The usual superb McClelland quality. Not the most complex from them, but then thats a high bar to reach. Burns cool, and long.
McClelland - Collector: Tudor Castle 50g
a absolute treat
Among the very best blends out there, bar none. Complex, rich, long and cool burning. The Orientals are present in every puff so if you dont like Smyrna or Yendje, stay away. But the Virginias are the star here. Very dark and rich. Perique is a back up player. Cant say enough good things about this.
Dan Tobacco - Patriot Flake 50g
A very fine Virginia flake.Extremely mild casing of what tastes like sugar. But its 99% virginia taste. Nothing complex but its not meant to be. So overlooked....worth a try.
Butera - Royal Vintage: Golden Cake 50g
excellent Lemon va flake
A top flight Va..flake...not heavily stoved at all, but pressed and slightly fermented. Its just excellent and much neglected. If you like McClelland flakes then this is among the best.
Fribourg & Treyer - Special Brown Flake 50g
underrated navy flake
Stoved virginia and rum. A lot like blockade runner by C&D. Fribourg and Treyer are much overlooked these days. And they shouldnt be. This is, like all their tobacco blends, first rate. The rum is subtle, but its there. And it adds to the coolness. There is a mild casing, as well, but very very very mild. Mostly its a very good Virginia flake with rum.
McClelland - Ashton Revival: Pebblecut 50g
A typical McClelland blend, based on the old Ashton blend. This is actually better, at least if memory serves. Its a virginia flake with a fair amount of Oriental leaf. A tiny touch of Perique...which is barely present. Its cool, and if you like oriental and virginia (like GL Pease's Regent flake for example) then you will like this.
McClelland - Matured Virginia: Navy Cavendish 100g
This is a classic. Im not surprised some dont like it. But for the purist this is a fantastic smoke. One of my all time favorites. But....its a blend that is primarily cavendished virginia...meaning unsweetened old school cavendish -- and that is not to everyone's liking these days. The rum is subtle but gives it a bite and it smokes very cool. It is simply delicious and worth the effort to learn to how to appreciate it. IMHO.
McClelland - Collector: Tudor Castle 50g
another great McClelland flake
When someone complains about ketchup I sort of wince. Look...thats what the fermentation does. It goes away. if you want a tobacco to smell sweet buy Borkum Riff. This is a Virginia first blend. The orientals are there to give it body but its strictly a virginia flake blend. Lots of virginias in here, too, Id say. Some red but a lot of yellow or bright. Its a bit moist and needs a 15 minute dry out...and a bit of rubbing out. But smokes cool, long, and tastes superb. If you dont like Virginia flakes then go elsewhere. If you do, this is a very fine blend.
Wessex - Brigade Campaign Dark Flake 50g
top notch stoved Va. flake
A bit like Astley's #44 and Buteras dark. Very good stuff that is rather underrated for some reason. It has no perique (like marlin flake but i understand the comparsion because otherwise they do share a similar taste). This is also a bit like several McClelland virginias, especially blackwoods flake. Good stuff deserving of more recognition.
G. L. Pease - Navigator 2oz
best of its kind
This is strong, but not crazy strong like 1792 or some of the GH ropes. But it is strong. A splendid rum soaked flake. Pease's use of rum and brandy is the best out there. The Kentucky gives it a bottom but the Virginia is the center of the blend. Old school. Strong and addictive.
Reiner - Blend No. 71 100g
almost a cult tobacco
First off its not orlik golden sliced. Its similar, sort of. But the Orlik has very little Perique...so little there was an ongoing dispute as to whether it had any or not. This, the Reiners, has a fare amount. Its not Beacon Extra by any means, but the Perique is there. Its very sharp, as opposed to earthy (St James Flake say) and it blends well with the bright Virginias and the moderate amount of burly. It comes in long strips of thin flake (or rather ONE long strip)...a bit like marlin flake. It burns cool and has a just short of medium nic hit. Its a very high quality blend.
Samuel Gawith - Kendal Cream Flake 250g
This is a typical lakeland tobacco. Its for hard core pipesters. Its terrific stuff but not for everyone. Its strong (not insanely strong like brown Irish twist say) but still strong. Slow burning and just a great 19th century style tabac.