For the Love of Dark Flakes

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mtwaller

Preferred Member
Nov 21, 2018
507
185
30
Atlanta, GA
I bought a tin of HH Old Dark Fired about 4 months ago, smoked a bowl, but I didn’t think much of it. I left it jarred on the shelf, and today I finally decided to give it another go. WOW! It’s so rich and spicy and has a natural beef jerky kind of sweetness to it. It reminds me of Peterson’s Irish Flake but with a bit more flair in the flavor department. I’m sitting out on my porch in the pouring rain, using only small matches to light with and I’m having the most enjoyable bowl I’ve experienced in a while. Any other recommendations for dark, rich, and nicotine heavy flakes that you just can’t get enough of?

 

beezer

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2013
366
4
I was in the same boat as you. The first tin I smoked through a few years ago was just okay to me and I let the others sit and pretty much forgot about them. Last month I decided to pull out a tin after a six year rest and I really enjoyed it. I attribute it more to my tastes changing than I do the age of the tin, but regardless it has found itself in my starting lineup right now. I think I'll head out to my porch and fire up a bowl myself!
I don't have any recommendations of a similar profile, but I'm looking forward to what others suggest!

 

cossackjack

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2014
832
17
Evergreen, Colorado
HH Bold Kentucky (I like this better than ODF & Irish Flake, though I smoke all 3)

G&H Dark Flake (I prefer the Unscented)

G&H Dark Plug

SG 1792 Flake (an acquired taste & better when aged)

SG Lakeland Dark (a broken flake, & contrary to its name is not Lakeland scented)

SG and G&H ropes (all of them)

 

didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
3,705
1,170
30
WI
I've been seriously enjoying some old dark fired flake lately. I'll be buying much more of it soon. I had the wife smell my pipe in the car today, and she said it smelled nasty. I just shrugged and continued on. It's delicious.

 

trouttimes

Preferred Member
Nov 26, 2018
1,554
1,981
I go through phases where I love Dark Flkae and then not so much. Don't you love the crazy trip of pipe smoking?

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,767
1,241
United States
My experience was like mtwaller's, when I first tried ODF I didn't care for it. I put it away for around 6 months and tried it again. I couldn't believe it was the same blend. I loved it and then went to cellar it deep. Within a few weeks I had 65 100 gram tins and it was all 2012 vintage. It has aged beautifully and is among my favorite blends.

As far as similar blends there are really not any. Other vaburs I have in my cellar are not that similar to ODF(except my 2007 Stonehaven). I like the ones in my cellar for what they are. Here is my list of vaburs I stock.
Solani Silver Flake

Peterson Perfect Plug

GL Pease Navigator

Petersons Irish Flake

Peterson University Flake

Esoterica Stonehaven

Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired

Wallace Flake

Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky

Mac Baren Old Dark Fired

 

mtwaller

Preferred Member
Nov 21, 2018
507
185
30
Atlanta, GA
It’s definitely a fun journey to find your way through the hedge maze of blends available. It’s interesting how your tastes can change over long periods of time, or just day to day. When I first started smoking pipes I smoked almost a whole tin of nothing but Bayou Morning Flake. Haven’t had the urge to smoke it in months. Sometimes it just depends on the pipe, or the weather, or who knows...
I put all things Gawith on the back burner because I can never find them, but those all sound like they’d fit the bill. I’ll have to start searching for those. Thanks for the suggestions!

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,767
1,241
United States
mt, I used to love Latakia blends but lost my taste for them over a decade ago. I never new that was even possible with tastes changing that drastically. I am grateful that my tastes for va's,vaper and vaburs has held firm all these years.
Definitely don't waste time on things you might not even like(SG), go for the readily available blends.

 

mtwaller

Preferred Member
Nov 21, 2018
507
185
30
Atlanta, GA
I’ll be honest I don’t mind some Latakia, but I definitely don’t love it either. I cannot get behind Gaslight, which on paper looks outstanding. All I get is flat stale rubber tire and nothing else. To each their own! I have a plug jarred, I pull it out every few months to see if I get some magic, but so far not so much. I guess that’s a good point not to waste time searching for sparse blends that may or may not suit me. I’d nearly forgotten about HH Bold Kentucky, maybe I’ll try that soon.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,767
1,241
United States
mt, Give the Solani 660 a shot sooner than later, you might really enjoy it as it does get very good reviews and deservedly so.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
349
GH&Co Westmorland Slices - more of a Broken Flake. Other than that a great deal of the ones I came to mention have already been mentioned. I’ll add;
Erinmore Flake (although sometimes I’ll open a tin and the flakes will be a golden color but the majority of them come real dark, especially with some age on them. Same thing goes with St. Bruno, it’s the same ‘baccy’s’ used in ODF but a different ratio with a lovely floral/cider vinegar topping added.

Condor Plug/Long Cut
Oh and thow shall not forget Revor Plug, McConnell’s Latakia Flake (can barely taste the lat) and Sillem’s Commodore Flake. These three all taste very similar to me. Delicious and dark as the night!

 

railman

Junior Member
Mar 9, 2019
83
14
I am a big fan of Solani Silver Flake though the dark fired is a mere condiment, not nearly as prominent as in ODF, but adds the right amount of spice. The Virginia they use in this blend is spectacular, dare I say almost as good as you’d find in a McClelland Virginia? The upside is Silver Flake is one of the few Solani blends that’s actually easy to get ahold of.

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,767
1,241
United States
mt, their 633 blend is a Virginia/Perique blend and it is also excellent. I have both of those Solani blends deep in my cellar. I have not tasted any of their other blends.

 

mtwaller

Preferred Member
Nov 21, 2018
507
185
30
Atlanta, GA
660 and 633 are the two I’ve been eyeing the most, I’m going to try both of them! I hope 660 is good since it only comes in 100g tins, but I’m not too worried about it. Also I forgot about St Bruno, I’ve been wanting to try that as well. Looks like I have some good ones to try! Solani and St Bruno are a bit pricey but if they’re as good as everyone says, probably well worth the coin to cellar a handful of each.

 

alexnc

Preferred Member
Oct 25, 2015
612
22
Solani is good stuff. The 633 to me, is somewhat similar to Escudo - love it. The 660 is quite good too, an excellent VA base with a nice touch of DF, maybe a mild sweet edge. Have to open that jar and revisit. If you get accustomed to HH ODF and want to amp it up powerwise you might try HH Bold Kentucky. Though not similar, St Bruno is def worth a try.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,704
20
All the ones I like have already been mentioned: ODF, Irish Flake, 1792 Flake, Lakeland Dark.

Bold Kentucky was too much burley for me, and I don't consider St Bruno a dark flake at all. It's more of a faux va/per and a good one at that.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
349
If St. Bruno Flake is too pricey, I recommend St. Bruno RR. It is literally St. Bruno Flake thrown in a tumbler, put in a pouch and they charge ya $4 less for it. That’s the one I cellar most of and if you’re lucky they may still have some 2016 pouches on hand. I have 150 pouches of RR and 50 tins of the Flake. It’s one of the best baccy’s on the face of the earth just 2nd to Condor Plug and it ages extremely well.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,051
349
I don't consider St Bruno a dark flake at all. It's more of a faux va/per and a good one at that.
Get some age on them and they turn very dark and have quite a nice warm glow of lady nicotine living inside. But like I mentioned with Erinmore Flake there is a bit of inconsistencies that I’ve found, sometimes the Flakes are very dark sometimes they are more of a light golden color. I think it depends on who’s running the steam press at the time, the longer left in the press the darker they come out. I prefer both EF & St. Bruno to be on the dark side.