First Impression: Mac Baren HH Burley Flake

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jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
4,572
1,371
MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM MMM

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FRIGGIN' MMM


 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,731
2,199
Bought two one pound boxes at the initial release. Jay is underplaying it by a mile. :mrgreen:

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,843
414
I’ve been smoking my first tin this week. I’m on 5 bowls now. Very solid flake for sure. I will be adding this to my cellar.

 

josephcross

Preferred Member
Dec 30, 2015
944
2
I’ve been loving on the Burleys lately and looking to expand on them a bit. Between ABF and 3Ps I havnt been sure where to go till I saw Jays review.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,229
649
I've smoked most of a tin. It is a very good flake but a bit milder than my first impressions. Too mild for an end of the day smoke after having smoked 4 or 5 bowls previously IMHO. I bought 2 pounds to cellar, will probably purchase more over time. Just needs to be smoked in the right spot in the rotation.

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
16,731
2,199
I've nearly killed a pound box of it. Excellent all day smoke, and goes great with a glass of bourbon before bed.

 

matchstickman

Preferred Member
Jul 15, 2011
2,352
0
Soooo...I'm going to take a wild stab here and say that you don't like it? That's cool, I'll taste test it for you. You know, just to be sure that the quality is sub par. Because I'm sure it is. Because it's from the MacBaren HH line. You know what? All those HH tobaccos are terrible. Everyone send all your MacBaren HH tobaccos to me and I will make sure that none of this evil stuff ever haunts any of you ever again. :mrgreen:

 

bigpond

Preferred Member
Oct 14, 2014
2,023
4
Yep, it’s tasty stuff for sure. Well balanced and I like what the dfk adds. Nice to have something this good that is easy to get.

 

loomongous

Member
Sep 12, 2015
108
5
I too, find it to be very enjoyable. It has a good well rounded flavor and is not too mild for my tastes. I can smoke it repeatedly with no problem.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
1
It is a fine blend.
Wessex Burley Slices is my favourite burley tobacco because I love its molasses flavours but the MacBaren is still a good example of a mild burley-based flake.
There is only a tiny wisp of dark fired in the tin aroma - I can't taste it in the smoke at all. It might just contribute a little volume and complexity as it is in no way a dark fired blend like ODF.
Is it a five star blend? No, I don't think so. It is too straightforward to be among the best, but it is damn good at what it does. Will it be better when it is aged? Almost certainly, but I would advise against anyone hoarding it blindly. Smoke a few tins before you stock up because I have read more than a few reviews where people say they are underwhelmed. I think they were just expecting some kind of heavy hitter when this is mostly an all-day blend.

 

thomasw

Preferred Member
Dec 5, 2016
863
1
Respectfully I disagree a little about the dark-fired's role. After having smoked almost a pound of these flakes, I do think the dark fired burley is very subtly there in the smoke. As a fact, the HH BF does have an incredible smoothness whereby the component tobaccos are melded so as to give the initial impression of it being merely a mild, simple all-day blend. But upon a few closer smokes, I have found teasing out the various flavours reveals the very subtle nuances in the blend to be quite rewarding. I like this flake just as much as Solani's ABF and Wessex' BS, as they are all three, on the surface, very similar, but on a deeper analysis, each has its own subtleties and rewards. With the HH BF I love the taste of cashews, with ABF the cocoa, with BS the molasses etc.

 

mountainman

Senior Member
May 4, 2012
309
0
I agree with Simenon that Wesses Burley Slices is the gold standard of burley flakes (imho), but I am going to try the MacBaren offering now, based on your amazing review! :D

 

brooklynpiper

Senior Member
May 8, 2018
303
79
:rofl:
Oddly enough, I haven't done a lot of exploring the MacBaren stuff, except for vintage syrian.
Adding it to the list!

 

homewaters

Member
Jul 16, 2014
111
0
HH Burley Flake is a top quality tobacco, just like all other offerings in their HH series. I would even venture saying if you've been scared by the famous MacBite in the past, give this one a try, it's a completely different animal. For some reason, burley blends usually don't agree with my body chemistry but I can smoke Solani Aged Burley Flake and this one without any issues.

 

sparroa

Preferred Member
Dec 8, 2010
1,466
1
Thomas, thanks for your analysis. I have not smoked nearly as much MacBaren Burley Flake as you so that was more of a "hot take" than a thoughtful review on my part but I'm sure there are complexities and layers of the blend that can be revealed with persistence...
Perhaps the dark fired presence is why I like it somewhat less than its relatives like WBS? Hard to say.
Wessex Burley Slices are basically my ideal burley blend and it would be very difficult to dethrone them so there is little point for me to compare the two!
With that said, one of the nicest things about these MacBaren HH flakes including the Burley and Virginia is purely practical - they are ready to smoke straight out of the tin, they are perfectly sized and mechanically speaking they are a dream to smoke. No fuss or special techniques necessary, just nice natural tobacco flavours...
WBS is a little more moist and sticky due to the casing but I find that is mitigated with sufficient drying time before every smoke.