Virginia Flake recommendation

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atskywalker

Member
Feb 23, 2015
283
0
Canada
I'm having a bowl of my 2013 Christmas Cheer and its blowing me away! Deep earthy sweetness almost caramel in taste with a heaviness and a luxuriousness that I haven't tasted before (I'm relatively new to pipe smoking). I love Virginia tobaccos but this is something else all together. For example, I love Union Square, it has an exuberance and youthfulness to it that is wonderful and is very tasty but also very different sweetness (I would say its the vibrant citrus notes) than what I experience with Xmas Cheer now.
Is there a flake out there that is as deep as this taste of Xmas cheer with age when young :)? I know age does wonders but I'm sure something out there must have a hint of this depth and musky sweetness of dark Virginias . Any suggestions?

 

cigrmaster

Preferred Member
May 26, 2012
13,671
710
United States
McClellend Dark Star

Rattray Marlin Flake

Wessex Brigade Campain Dark Flake

Solani Silver Flake

Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake

Mac Baren Old Dark Fired

Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky

Perterson University flake( this has a nice plum topping)
These should keep you busy for a while.

 

agnosticpipe

Preferred Member
Nov 3, 2013
2,604
48
Orlik Golden Sliced - there's some debate whether it has Perique in it. IMO it doesn't.
McClelland No. 2025 - called an English Cavendish, but is really a very different tasting Virginia, has a little Xanthi tobacco leaf in it. Just remember, Cavendish refers to a tobacco process, not a tobacco variety. The English use it to bring out the natural sugars in the tobacco, while others use the process to add other flavors.
Have fun!

 

delkhouri

Senior Member
May 4, 2013
440
5
Columbus Ohio
McClellend Dark Star

Rattray Marlin Flake

Wessex Brigade Campain Dark Flake

Solani Silver Flake

Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake

Mac Baren Old Dark Fired

Orlik Dark Strong Kentucky

Perterson University flake( this has a nice plum topping)
These should keep you busy for a while.
+1

Listen to Harris.

 

hiplainsdrifter

Preferred Member
Jan 8, 2012
981
0
It is amazing how much the genre of 'Virginia flakes' ranges in flavor. I tend to like the bright citrus notes a lot, and I think F&T Cut VA Plug is one of the best for that. I haven't had the 2013 Christmas Cheer, but I understand that it is straight orange Virginias? As far as earthy VAs, I am currently really digging Astley's #44, it has a lot more character then I expected.

 

blueeyedogre

Preferred Member
Oct 17, 2013
1,539
0
Capstan Blue. You'd be missing out if you didn't add this to your Virginia flake search. I've tried Dunhill flakes, Orlik golden slices, SG Virginia flake, PS Luxury flake, Peterson university and Irish flake and none has surpass Capstan for me.

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,883
2
I really like McClellend's Old World Cake, it's bulk only and it states there's a topping on it but I never can really pick it up, it really flies under the radar for McC va's

 

nachman

Member
Jun 27, 2013
229
2
McClelland Black Parrot is a Vaper, but the Virginias are quite sweet. I also would recommend Rattrays Old Gowrie and Rattray's 'Hal O The Wynd. I also would second cigrmaster's list with the exceptions of Old Dark Fired and Dark Strong Kentucky. When you add that much dark fired Kentucky it makes it a different animal altogether.

 

escioe

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2013
702
0
If you enjoy the red and orange Virginia flavors, you can't do much better than McCranie's Red Flake.

 

rigmedic1

Preferred Member
May 29, 2011
3,893
5
As much as I love Christmas Cheer, I think it a more bread like sort of taste. Peter Stokebyye Luxury Twist Flake is my go-to for a sweet, tasty smoke, but I like to add a couple shreds of Perique to bring out the Virginia. Capstan Blue and Orlick Red are my other go-to flakes for Virginia, and GL Pease Sixpence is a perfect red- Virginia with just a touch of Perique and Yellow Virginia to accent the Reds.

 

smoketime

New member
Aug 2, 2014
15
0
McClelland's Boston 1776 is a good one, too. To me very rich and deep. It seems to fly under the radar, so when I order it the tins are already aged. The last batch I got a few months ago came dated from 2010!
"A very special Virginia Flake, created to celebrate the exceptional tobaccos of the United States of America. Red, Lemon and Orange Virginias, aged through summer sweats for over five years, then hard-pressed in cakes to age again, to mellow and marry and form this rich, bold tobacco long sought after by devoted flake smokers."

 

andrew

Preferred Member
Feb 13, 2013
2,883
2
G&H bright CR flake is another extremely good one that doesn't get talked about much. Probably my favorite.

 

judcole

Preferred Member
Sep 14, 2011
4,683
40
Detroit
I'll add the thumbs up for Marlin Flake - a recent discovery, but very good.
You might enjoy Benjamin Hartwell Signature - another red flake.

On a lighter note (tastewise) I am quite fond of SG Best Brown Flake and Dunhill Flake. (Light Flake in older incarnations.)

 

tarak

Preferred Member
Jun 23, 2013
1,527
0
South Dakota
So a lot of good flakes thrown out - but some that I don't think are comparable to what you are looking for. For example, flakes like Orlik Golden Sliced are good in their own right- but I don't think it will scratch your itch.
I find McClellands have kind of their own profile - which I love. Now just know, Christmas Cheer is special for a reason- you simply won't find the same thing. However, some things which I think you will like:
McClelland Blackwoods Flake - this has a sweet and tangy thing going on even when young - its definitely worth a try. If you like Christmas Cheer I really think you should give this a whirl to see if you like it right out of the tin.
McClelland Dark Star- full confession - I haven't had it yet- I have some aging. But how I hear it spoken of...I think you'll like it. I heard it can be a bear to prep.
Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake- flavors of brown sugar, caramel, etc. right out of the tin.

 

cobguy

Preferred Member
Oct 18, 2013
3,743
2
So a lot of good flakes thrown out - but some that I don't think are comparable to what you are looking for. For example, flakes like Orlik Golden Sliced are good in their own right- but I don't think it will scratch your itch.
I find McClellands have kind of their own profile - which I love. Now just know, Christmas Cheer is special for a reason- you simply won't find the same thing. However, some things which I think you will like:
McClelland Blackwoods Flake - this has a sweet and tangy thing going on even when young - its definitely worth a try. If you like Christmas Cheer I really think you should give this a whirl to see if you like it right out of the tin.
Exactly what I was thinking ... Stick with McClelland and McCranie's for that signature taste.
While all the McC's mentioned are worth trying, I have to 2nd the Blackwoods Flake to try next.

 

atskywalker

Member
Feb 23, 2015
283
0
Canada
After smoking a few more bowls of 1.5 years old Cheer 2013 I'm starting to notice that its quite similar to a new tin of Six Pence! Not sure if anyone here can relate to this connection.

Interestingly Six Pence is a VaPer + Kentucky + a touch of some liquor!

 

atskywalker

Member
Feb 23, 2015
283
0
Canada
@blueeyedogre I found a tin of Capstan Blue at my local store from 2013. I'll pop that open when I finish my 1/2 tin of Cheer.

 

troutface

Preferred Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,388
3
And sticking with McClelland I would also add Brindle Flake, which flys a bit under the radar and Butera Mature Ribbon, which is actually a broken Flake, also made by McClelland.