S.G. Best Brown Flake and Full Virginia Flake

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andya27

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2014
501
0
I've smoked a number of Gawith tobaccos - haven't really found one yet that I would purchase a second time. Most have been Lakelands - and I'm thinking it's time to branch out from there.
As I tend to gravitate to Virginia flakes, life probably would not be complete if I did not get my hands on Best Brown and FVF at some point. And these both receive very high ratings.
I'm laying in a winter stock of tobaccos. Several aros should arrive today, along with Capstan Original Flake and the new Orlik Racing Green (I have no idea what this one is about, but I figured I'd give it a go). Next weekend I plan to purchase another round of tobaccos, concentrating on Virginias.
Question is - what is the difference between these two S.G. flakes? Both receive very good reviews. But I can't get a sense from the reviews how they differ from, or are similar to, each other.
Thanks.
-Andy

 

andya27

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2014
501
0
Excellent. I enjoy both both mild and strong Virginias. These two will be on the list for the next purchase.

 

lochinvar

Preferred Member
Oct 22, 2013
1,319
53
I've not tried BBF, although if its anything like FVF it has to be good. I seem to remember a few reviews complimenting the blend and saying it had flavor very akin to FVF, but reporting they had gotten bitten trying to coax more of that flavor out. If you already like medium-full, you may be better off doubling up on FVF. If you are looking for a flake to smoke all day and can control your puffing (I can't) BBF may be the answer.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,685
53
Detroit
These comments are pretty accurate. BBF is a regular feature in my rotation, and has been for a good ten years. I've been smoking only 5 year old stuff from my cellar for years; in the near future, however,I am going to be popping a 10 year old tin. Anticipating that! :puffy:

 

jimbo44

Junior Member
Aug 2, 2010
62
0
They are both exactly the same blend of "Empire" Virginia tobacco's but the FVF has been hot pressed longer making it much darker and fuller tasting; both are great.

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
To me, Best Brown Flake is a good deal grassier than Full Virginia Flake. It's in the same color country as far as flavor, but it's a few shades lighter. Best Brown burns a little more easily and is a better companion on hot days.
Full Virginia Flake is the one I'm making damn sure I have on hand at all times. One of the true classics of the pipe tobacco world.

 

beezer

Senior Member
Jul 12, 2013
365
1
I agree with escioe...I love FVF. As a matter of fact my 10 tins from the recent 4noggins sale arrived an hour ago and were just introduced to my cellar. I haven't had Best Brown Flake yet, but I've got 2 tins waiting for me.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,401
3,202
I like Best Brown, but FVF is much more pleasing to me. I have 13 pounds cellared whereas I have one pound of BBF. FVF fits my flavor profile more.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,741
427
I'm just getting familiar with FVF. So far I'm less than wowed by it and do not plan to buy more. But I'll continue to play with what I have so see if it grows on me. Maybe it needs to age for awhile before it turns into something. How do you aficionados prep it for smoking?

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,401
3,202
I leave a little moisture, and cube cut with my fingers as I drop the bits into the bowl. I don't pack it very tightly. That works for me.

 

skapunk1

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2013
495
0
I prefer the BBF personally between the two. I have 4 tins of FVF aging.... we'll see how it is in another year or two...
I have tins and bulk of BBF on hand all the time...

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
I'm just getting familiar with FVF. So far I'm less than wowed by it and do not plan to buy more. But I'll continue to play with what I have so see if it grows on me. Maybe it needs to age for awhile before it turns into something. How do you aficionados prep it for smoking?
It's a little subtle if you're used to smoking latakia blends like I am, but what I struck on is this:
Buy the stuff in bulk, split it up into 2 oz quantities for jarring. I cut my flakes to be about 3 inches long.

Take out two of the 3" flakes, dry them whole on a plate for 4-6 hours.

If they are crumbly dry at that point, I just breathe on them a bit until they don't turn to dust.

Rub out fully.

Pack pretty firmly.

False light with a few matches until it's toasted pretty well at the top.

Set aside for five or so minutes.

Light.

Enjoy your next two hours. Sip, don't huff and puff.
Of course, all of this is dependent on your techniques. I've tried folding and stuffing this with no success at all. I've cube cut and found no real advantages over my technique. I've only smoked 4 oz of this so far, but I'll be buying this in megabulk.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,401
3,202
Escioe: I smoked some FVF that was six years old. Man, was it great! The flavors get richer as time goes on.

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,741
427
Escioe,
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll give that a try. I have a 250 gm box, so there's enough with which to experiment and still jar some for later.

 

lestrout

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2010
1,637
3
Chester County, PA
In line with Jimbo's post about the difference between FVF and BBF, it's surprisingly how much influence processing has. BBF is more accessible to me and less finickey - always very consistent with its rich and varied taste. That said, I have had some stellar smokes with (aged) FVF, but sometimes my experience, while good, is just not memorable. I'm still trying to decode the variables with FVF.
hp

les

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,741
427
Today I tried out escioe's suggestions. I left out some flakes to dry for about 6 hours, rubbed out a flake fully and packed a pipe, in this case, a Dublin churchwarden with a five knuckle bamboo shank that was made by Walt Cannoy.
Man oh man, what a difference! Instead of tasting like something that got mucked out of a horse stall I got a beautiful smoke with a variety of notes, spice, citrus, grass, and it burned effortlessly. Thank you for your guidance! Where does one find it in bulk?

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
33,401
3,202
Price wise, Smoking Pipes and 4Noggins are the best places to get FVF.

 

tinpan

Member
Oct 17, 2013
137
0
It's good to see FVF available again. I used to buy it when it was in the bulk section in 1 LB boxes. Then it disappeared ...I didn't want to buy it in the tine because it was very reasonably priced in the bulk section. Thanks to this thread I was able to get a couple 250gm boxes on order.