Mac Baren Vanilla Flake

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arvetus

Junior Member
Jul 29, 2018
68
0
So...this morning, I packed the Sav 313 with some Mac Baren Vanilla Flake. I tried to roll and stuff, but it didn't go well, so I ended up unpacking and just rubbing it out and filling the pipe that way. I put my leftover rub back in the jar with the other flakes and took my packed pipe to work with me and let it sit in the truck. At lunch, I went out to the truck, rolled down the windows and turned the radio on and relaxed. I lit my pipe and much to my surprise, it was about 20 minutes before I realized I hadn't tamped and then when I tamped, of course I smothered the damn thing out. So I dumped the ashes and then it took me a few more relights to get through the second half, but I got through another bowl. I wouldn't go as far as to say I completely have the hang of it yet, but maybe I'm getting a light cake started in the briar. I occasionally did get some very faint tastes of the vanilla, so maybe I'm starting to slow down enough to where it's not so hot all the time. It's been about an hour since I finished and I still have a slight ashy taste, but it's not as horrible as some previous attempts.
I am hoping to work through this in time. I know I'm setting out to accomplish a difficult task that everyone says not to do and that is being a beginner trying to learn to smoke aromatics in a briar. But hopefully, with some patience, I can get this down like learning to drive a standard transmission. Do the hard part now and then be able to do anything I want to later. I need to get a few more bowls through this sucker before it's broke in real good, but maybe I will get there eventually. :|
I did like the Latakia blend I tried in my 601, but I haven't tried that one again. Maybe later this week or weekend.
Still have much improvement. Don't know if it would be easier to sit with someone that already knows how to smoke a pipe or not, but alas, I don't know anyone who does. One thing I have decided in the last few weeks is that I don't want to smoke my pipe in a social setting. I would rather it be something I enjoy by myself on the occasion that I smoke it.

 

philobeddoe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2011
4,634
302
East Indiana
MacBaren’s Vanilla Flake is my favorite aromatic and I always have some on hand. The flavor can get flat if the tobacco is pushed too hot, but if you smoke it slow, you are rewarded with a fine tobacco flavor as well as a nice vanilla bean aftertaste. If you keep with it and try to slow down a bit, I think you will come to truly enjoy this blend.

 

jazz

Preferred Member
Feb 17, 2014
787
0
UK
This was one of the first aromatics I ever had and before I moved away from them I enjoyed it. Slow sipping was key or it got a little rancid if I recall correctly and the odd expulsion through the nose gave you plenty of vanilla flavour. If I smoked it right it was mostly pleasant. I may give this another go sooner rather than later but it will have had its name changed in the UK due to moronic legislation. Anyone know what it's called over here these days?

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
3
I know I'm setting out to accomplish a difficult task that everyone says not to do and that is being a beginner trying to learn to smoke aromatics in a briar.
Baloney...Chances are you'll end up smoking briar most of the time, so why not start there and learn properly?
As far as tobacco goes, I never understood this whole thing of smoke english blends till you learn how to do it...Where exactly is the pleasure in this if you don't like english blends and prefer aromatics?
Smoke what you like, in whatever pipe you like.
Its not rocket science...dry your tobacco a little while, don't pack it in too tight (you can always make it tighter with tamping) and don't puff too hard. (those thick billows of smoke are your flavour disappearing into thin air)
I honestly don't understand why some people overcomplicate it.

 

workman

Preferred Member
Jan 5, 2018
1,704
21
Mac Baren Vanilla Flake is now Mac Baren Classic Flake. I have not tried it, but I might, eventually.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
3
Other than being a flake rather than loose cut, what’s the difference between vanilla flake and vanilla cream from Mac Baren?

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
34
Las Vegas, NV
As far as I know the flake and the loose cut is the same blend.
I actually have two jars of Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake that's about 3-4yrs old (my dumb butt didn't put the date on the jars). They've REALLY darkened up. I'm assuming the Virginias will be noticeably sweeter. I'm hoping when I finally get around to it that the top dressing remains pretty much the same.
Personally I started off with aromatics until I got my cadence down to the point where I rarely got tongue bite. Then I started getting into Virginias and Virginia-Periques. After that I went back to aromatics and they were a totally different experience. By then I really had learned the leaf flavor profiles better and that really enhanced the experience of the aromatics.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
3
As far as I know the flake and the loose cut is the same blend.
Which now brings up the question of why the flake costs more than twice as much as the loose cut.
Inquiring minds want to know.

 

lordofthepiperings

Preferred Member
May 3, 2010
6,320
34
Las Vegas, NV
Flakes area almost always more expensive, because of the time and process involved. I know Jeremy Reeves said their process at C&D for flakes is about 45-90mins in a 40 ton press, then it's on to a 20 ton press for a bit longer, and finally I believe it ends up in a 15 ton press for a week or two. Then they cut it and hand load the tin. With a loose cut as far as I know you just rehydrate the leaf, blend in the different types of leaves, mix in the casing/top dressing (I think Mac Baren mists the tobacco with the flavoring), and then it's basically good to go.

 

bassbug

Preferred Member
Dec 29, 2016
867
3
Fair enough.
Not trying to be difficult but every single tin of Vanilla Cream I've ever opened has had a significant amount of broken flake in it.
Would it be fair to guess that maybe the loose cut is flakes that somehow broke or were not suitable to be stacked in the square tin? I can see Mac Baren "salvaging" what they can and selling off the broken flakes at a lower price. Not that I blame them a bit for it. As a matter of fact I thank them for it :) Vanilla Cream along with Golden Extra (which, by the way, also is basically broken flake packed in a round tin) is my go to daily smoke.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,464
1,139
This one has been a favorite of mine since I started, and I start every morning with a bowl of vanilla aromatic and a cup of strong black coffee. I have tried other vanilla blends, trying to find one that is equal or better... still looking. :puffy:

 

uncleblackie

Member
Dec 20, 2014
280
0
I just happened to watch this Smoking Pipes video from the Mac Baren factory: Making Mac Baren Flakes
The head blender explains the significant difference in time and energy involved in producing flakes vs. ready rubbed (much less time for the ready rubbed). While he doesn’t specifically say so, it’s easy to assume this information applies to Vanilla Flake and the Vanilla Cream Loose Cut.

 

jmsmitty6

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2018
71
1
40
Austin, Texas
I love the Mac Baren flakes, they are lovely. I wish C&D would press their flakes longer than they do.
+1000.
I never quite understood the C&D methodology with flakes. You're either a flake or not!! Cue Seinfeld music

 

krizzose

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
1,133
187
Michigan
I always enjoy finding a recent thread about the blend I happen to smoking at the time I’m looking at the forums. I think this was the second or third tin I bought when I started smoking a pipe, and I’ve always enjoyed it since.
It’s the best vanilla blend I’ve had. The topping isn’t shy, but not cloying either. But it’s the underlying tobaccos that make it so great. That rich tobacco flavor is always there, and I bet an untopped version would be a superb Virginia flake.

 

jaytex969

Preferred Member
Jun 6, 2017
4,592
1,434
The machine operating in the video at 3:15 is the one assigned to keep up with the consumption of jiminks.


 
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