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Review: Mac Baren Navy Flake

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    Blend Name: Mac Baren Navy Flake

    Tin Description: A mild flake blended from the finest Burley tobaccos with added ripe Virginias and Cavendish. Navy Flake is light burning, making the lighting of the pipe very easy.

    Leaf: Burley, Cavendish, Virginia

    Appearance: Flake tobaccos with medium and light colored tobaccos evenly distributed throughout. Moistness is good – not too sopping wet like some other flakes (SG being the main offender there).

    Tin Aroma: Sweet Virginia aroma with a bit of hay and grassiness. A vaguely sweet flavor (honey? Caramel? Molasses?) is present as well, making it an altogether pleasant smelling flake. Mild, but pleasant.

    Taste: A light Virginia taste with a touch of sweetness from the added topping. It burns well after being slightly rubbed out – I have also tried it by folding in half and stuffing with the ends up, which I find provides a nicer flavor but not as nice a burn. Getting down the bowl a bit, the nuttiness from the burley comes out and gives the blend a little bit of a backbone. This blend doesn’t have much spice, but then again I expected it to be exceedingly mild, which it is. I’m especially happy about the back seat the topping seems to take, allowing the Virginias and burleys to come to the forefront. But the honey-like sweetness is definitely still there.

    Strength and Nicotine: Fine nicotine amount that is about medium, and the strength is mild. Easy to smoke and smoke and smoke…

    Smokeability: Perfectly smokeable all day long. This blend is one that I would enjoy sitting around and puffing at all day. Doesn’t bite like some Mac Baren blends can, which I appreciate. Loads and burns easily. No fuss and pleasant taste. Good stuff.

    Room Note: Pleasant room note with the same sweetness and vague grassy/hay like qualities from the smoke. Nice to be around.

    Thoughts: A tasty VaBur flake that has some light topping for interest. This is not something that will knock your socks off with taste or flavor, but it doesn’t make you expect that out of it. It’s all about sitting back and enjoying some mild, sweet flavor that you can sit and puff at all day.

    Recommend to: An aromatic smoker that wants to dip their toe into something a bit more on the non-aromatic side, a non-aromatic smoker who would like something sweeter for themselves or their guests, someone who wants to sit back with a tin and put flake after flake in their pipe and smoke it for a while.

    Summary: A pleasant topped VaBur blend that I’d be glad to have fill my pipe for an all-day smoke. You will too.

    My Background: I’ve been smoking for about three years. Have all types of pipes in all different price ranges, and have tried a lot of tobaccos. My favorites are Vas, VaBurs, VaPers (lots of different flakes) and I also love pressed Englishes (flakes and cakes).

    Disclosure: I contacted Sutliff myself a few months ago to ask to be a part of their reviewing team. I was accepted and have been receiving gratis Sutliff products in the mail. The only condition on this free tobacco was to provide honest reviews to the community, so this is one of many that I'll be doing as part of the program.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  2. cobguy

    Darin

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    Great review and I wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation:

    Recommend to: An aromatic smoker that wants to dip their toe into something a bit more on the non-aromatic side, a non-aromatic smoker who would like something sweeter for themselves or their guests, someone who wants to sit back with a tin and put flake after flake in their pipe and smoke it for a while.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    @cobguy Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way, haha.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. cobguy

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    It's one of those tobaccos that I don't keep in stock or smoke most of the year.

    However, usually around Fall, I'll grab a tin and tear through it in a few days.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    Well done review. How might you compare it to their Va No 1 as far as presence of the topping?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. cobguy

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    Va #1 has more of a clean, light honey casing that just peeks through.

    Navy Flake has a sweeter topping that, besides honey, also includes a rum / spice note.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. warren

    warren

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    I used to enjoy that blend a few years ago. It was a tasty and trusty blend.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Thanks, cobguy.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    kimbiker

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    Good review, I like navy flake too, lovely topping on Macbaren tobaccos IMO, just tried roll cake, lovely smoke.

    Got 50g of V no.1 up next, never tried it before

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. lordofthepiperings

    lordofthepiperings

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    This was one of the first flake tobaccos I had about five years ago when I started pipe smoking regularly. At the time the nicotine was a bit much for me. Now that I can handle Luxury Bullseye Flake on practically an empty stomach I think it's time to order up another tin of Navy Flake and give it another go. Great review!

    "The thinking man always smokes a Peterson." -Peterson of Dublin
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    leadtungstate

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    I am wondering how does this compare to Peterson's University flake?

    I got last summer some McBarren Navy Flake and the first smoke I didn't like it at all. Then I left it in a jar for several months and tried it again. That time was much better. (who knows maybe I didn't dry the flake well enough the first time).
    I am planning now to try some other VaBur and I am wondering what to expect in terms of flavor. Thanks!

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. seadogontheland

    seadogontheland

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    Nice review of the finest flake/offering that, IMO, MacB has in its line.

    Life is good...I have truly been blessed.
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    kimbiker

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    seadog

    Digressing slightly but Macbarens roll cake is a nice bakky, creamyish with a nice 'pipe smoke' aroma.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. klause

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    Excellent review, Soyamilk - enjoyable, and made me think much more carefully about what was,once, a staple in my rotation - a fine blend by any measure.

    I have a few tins at the back of the sock draw, a couple of which must be knocking on a decade old - I may crack an old one and a new one for a comparison smoke. I think this stuff can only improve with age.

    Ars longa, vita brevis.
    _____________________________________
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    jitterbugdude

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    How does Navy Flake compare to Navy Mixture?

    Posted 4 years ago #

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