What is your Favorite American-made Flake?

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misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
...bit of a difficult question because there seems to be so few,

most even remotely fitting the correct form are called "broken flake".
That said,

my fave hands down is Dark Star by McClelland.
I consider it to be one of the best dark flakes ever made, I love the taste of it and its burning characteristics always set to sublime slow smolder, although I do wish they'd do a DSExtra version with some burley mixed in the fold for an added body because the notes are mostly all mids with a creamy top of highs, but almost no big bottom, and N is medium at most.
It's beautiful stuff though...


...and, it does fit the form of a true flake in my experience, although, to speak candidly, the flakes aren't as refined as those we've seen from the classic UK houses, and now the Danes and Germans, and I tend to agree with Peter Piper who made a note of it in his review of Blackwoods Flake, quoted here with relevant opinion in bold...
I have managed to get my hands on another blend which is taken for granted in North America, but the rest of us treat as exotica. So please understand any over-enthusiasm I bring to this bit of verbiage!
First impressions: we just don't get packaging like this over here. Ring-pull cans, whatever will they think of next??!!
Second impressions: tear open the can and there it is in all its glory, the "ketchup" smell of which we read so much. What IS that all about? I passed the tin to the missus for sniffing purposes, interestingly her first reaction was "cinnamon," so there you go.
Third impressions: is this what you colonialists call a "flake?" Jeez guys, come on! Seriously, it comes as a shock to those of us used to seeing perfectly formed and uniform rectangles of beautifully pressed tobacco to be confronted with what looks like bits of bark stripped by a naughty schoolboy from a tree.
But for all that it does look straight away like quality leaf, predominantly mid-brown with the occasional fleck of bright and then the even sparser smattering of the dark, stoved pieces. Very attractive.
And very moist too. Which despite rubbing out and resting defeated me with the first bowlful. No problems with lighting, just a somewhat disappointing sensation of warm air and not much else.
So let it rest a good while longer. And try again. Now we're getting there. A lovely fruity tang gives way to the classic undercurrent of grassy hay and this is subtly joined by just a touch of cream, the stoved element I guess? Easy smoking, pleasant on the snork and a decent kick of the old nic along the way.
This is one that definitely needs time opened and then individual doses aired and dried to bring out its best. I was impatient at the outset, if you don't fall into the same trap you will find yourself rewarded with a top class smoking experience.
Highly recommended.
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/719/mcclelland-blackwoods-flake
His commentary is quite true concerning the form of the flakes, but at least McClelland does make an actual flake, unlike some other American manufacturers who've been around for much longer and have never ever produced a flake in their entire existence, houses like Lane Ltd. and Sutliff come to mind here.
Why don't we have more American made flakes?
I mean,

surely it can be done!
Look at the old Edgeworth Sliced from Larus Bros. --- they most certainly made a proper correct flake;

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/edgeworth-sliced-vintage-tin-opening-pics
Even Dill's Best fer chrissakes made a decent flake:

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/jg-dill-co-dills-best-smoking-tobacco#post-716837
For most of American tobacco history, we've called flakes (as we know them today) "slices" or "sliced plug",

in the way way back days, the term flake in American baccy terms denoted a sort of a large rough cut which more resembled corn flakes rather than the British notion of the thin slivered rectangular flake...







 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
I do love me some Dark star, but to satiate the perique ferique deep down inside, gimme some Beacon...



Coming in at a close second is Black Woods Flake.

 

cossackjack

Preferred Member
Oct 31, 2014
819
0
Evergreen, Colorado
+1 for McClelland's Dark Star, Beacon, & Blackwoods Flake

Also, for me:

Low Country Waccamaw

C&D Star of the East Flake

C&D Sunday Picnic

GLP Quiet Nights
Many others.
Tobacco Reviews lists 99 American made flakes & 207 broken flakes, supposedly in current production. So there seems to be plenty of USA flakiness.

 

misterlowercase

Preferred Member
May 31, 2012
4,296
1
Tobacco Reviews lists 99 American made flakes & 207 broken flakes, supposedly in current production.
So there seems to be plenty of USA flakiness.
The entries from TR can be misleading.
For example,

some are mislisted as flakes when they're really not:
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/9479/brigadier-black-antietam
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/2093/just-for-him-shortcut-to-mushrooms
I'm pretty sure that this one is mislisted too:

"As with all Dream Castle tobaccos, this one is shit. Scrub burley coated with flavoring and PG. A wet, bitey mess than only a novice would enjoy...and not for long at that."
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/2690/dream-castle-tobacco-company-vintage-buttered-rum
...and although TR lists a couple Sutliff flakes, those entries were only distributed by them but actually made by Stokkebye...

"Appearance is brownish-yellow, almost green. Since Altadis does not make this and only distributes it, it isn't loaded down with propylene glycol."
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/3210/sutliff-tobacco-company-buckheads-best
...and other American brands which are using Stokkebye flakes branded under their own name...

"It's been several years since I sampled this blend and there have been many others in between. Although the name sounded enticing and it was a nicely prepared flake in the Danish Cavendish tradition, I well remember that it reminded me of smoking a flamethrower.'
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/1648/consolidated-506-sweet-danish-slices
Some are renamed house brands in the Lane 1Q tradition of renaming an existing baccy and therefore alotta overlap of the same things...here's only a couple of examples:

http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/533/faders-st-johns
http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/blend/514/faders-danish-flake
Some are out of production,

like the ever classic Edgeworth Sliced...
...more errant anomalies are there too and the above was just from a quick critical perusal.
:puffy:

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,886
63
Glad to hear it; Dark Star is one I have waiting in the wings. So many good options on hand it's numbing.

 

jackswilling

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2015
1,777
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Tudor Castle

Matured Virginia No. 24

Beacon

Cooper

Quiet Nights
All tied for No. 1 in my book

 
Mar 16, 2014
1,584
1
I don't have a specific favorite, but enjoy McClelland VA's the most. If I had to choose, probably Blackwoods or Dark Star? Thanks for the pictures of the old tins. I really enjoy seeing things like that. Especially, the one called Loving Cup. I had no idea?

 

simong

Preferred Member
Oct 13, 2015
548
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Looking forward to trying some of your American flakes next time I put an order in. Would beacon be a bit stronger than the dark star?

 

kola

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2014
600
2
GLP Quiet Nights.
Followed by SG BBF, St J-F and FVF
Gotta try Dark Star....but not much of a McC or C&D fan for that matter.
And honestly I wish all tobaccos were in flakes, cakes, plugs or ropes.

 

bpftc

Member
Jan 21, 2016
147
0
How does Darkstar compare to Orlick dark strong Kentucky? Because right now that is one of my favorite flakes and would love to try something American?

 

jefff

Preferred Member
May 28, 2015
1,917
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Chicago
I have never smoked the Orlick...but Dark Star is not what I would call a heavy tobacco. I find it light, with great depth if that makes any sense. I generally rub it out..between my palms to be clear. But if folded and stuffed it changes.. a bit heavier.
Also, while I love Blackwoods Flake, I find it pickier about the pipe I smoke it in. I have smoked Dark Star in every pipe I have bought in the last 25 years. Only the Eltang Cutty rejected it.

 

hawky454

Preferred Member
Feb 11, 2016
3,005
164
My favorite is also a McClelland tobacco. Their Red & Black VA flake is out of this world and you being a fan of Dark Star will definitely have to give it a try if you haven't already!

 

jaydublin

Member
Aug 11, 2015
217
0
Gotta go with GLP Quiet Nights. I just love the stuff - just added an 8 oz. tin to the cellar.
Honorable mentions:
McClellan Christmas Cheer 2015

McClelland Matured Virginia #24

GLP Sixpence

GLP Sextant

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
17,874
66
Dark Star is a unique straight Virginia in that no other dark flake is going to be as sweet and mild, yet deep in subtle flavor. Sometimes it is too mild for my tastes, but all in all, you won't find anything exactly like those hard and rubbery difficult little flakes. It is not an aromatic like DSK, and has no Kentucky in it.