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S.G. Best Brown Flake and Full Virginia Flake

(28 posts)
  • Started 4 years ago by andya27
  • Latest reply from oldreddog
  1. andya27

    andya27

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    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

    -Andy
    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    BBF is considered FVF's "Little brother". Less dark, less intense on the flavours; but it's still an excellent VA flake. I'm sure you will thoughroughly enjoy it, mate.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  3. andya27

    andya27

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    Excellent. I enjoy both both mild and strong Virginias. These two will be on the list for the next purchase.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  4. lochinvar

    lochinvar

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  5. drennan

    drennan

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    I find BBF sweeter, softer and milder tasting than FVF. I also think BBF isn't as difficult as FVF

    Posted 4 years ago #
  6. judcole

    Jud

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    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!

    Thought in the early morning, solace in time of woes,
    Peace in the hush of the twilight, balm ere my eyelids close
    Rudyard Kipling
    Posted 4 years ago #
  7. jimbo44

    jimbo44

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  8. escioe

    escioe

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  9. beezer

    beezer

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  10. jiminks

    JimInks

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  11. andya27

    andya27

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    I have 13 pounds cellared...

    Now that's impressive. I'll definitely be buying FVF, and probably BBF as well.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  12. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    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 is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 4 years ago #
  13. jiminks

    JimInks

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  14. skapunk1

    skapunk1

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    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...

    Warren
    Posted 4 years ago #
  15. escioe

    escioe

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  16. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Escioe: I smoked some FVF that was six years old. Man, was it great! The flavors get richer as time goes on.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  17. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    as Jim said, same tobacco, FVF receives more heat. For me FVF is more of a one note tobacco. I get a lot more nuance and complexity from BBF. Both are great, I just happen to think that BBF is the world's single greatest pipe tobacco. I also love MVF and prefer it to FVF as well.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    lestrout

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    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

    Posted 4 years ago #
  20. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    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?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  21. jiminks

    JimInks

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    Price wise, Smoking Pipes and 4Noggins are the best places to get FVF.

    Posted 4 years ago #
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    tinpan

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    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.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  23. escioe

    escioe

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    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?

    Happy to help.

    By bulk, I mean the 250g boxes. Smokingpipes sells them for $30, which is a nice deal, although 250g of this doesn't go as far as other blends, due to moisture.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  24. 4nogginsmike

    4nogginsmike

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    I bought 10 tins of FVF at JR almost 2 years ago. I had been talking about aging it to the clerk, and when he said yes, but you're going to smoke some now, I said no. Why smoke any now when it will be so much better with age? He didn't get it.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  25. ruscho

    ruscho

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    I smoke and stock equal (and large) quantity of both, because I am yet to make my mind up on which I prefer

    Fair priced quality tobacco done the "old way". What's not to like?

    Posted 4 years ago #
  26. schaum

    schaum

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    When FVF went scarce I bought BBF and found it to be outstanding. I won't be without either now.

    I wonder if there's any more great ones to be found.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  27. andya27

    andya27

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    I've now smoked several bowls of FVF. And I must say it's one fine tobacco - by far my favorite S.G. tobacco.

    I'm not finding it all that strong. There is minimal bite, even when pushed. There is a wonderful flavor to it - not sure I can identify it - almost a citrus flavor - but not like Orlik Golden Sliced. The tin note is not similar to any of my other Virginias either. The tin doesn't mention any topping, but there's just something extra that seems to be in this tobacco.

    Anyway, this is one I'll be purchasing more of.

    Posted 4 years ago #
  28. oldreddog

    oldreddog

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    FVF has outfoxed me the few times I've smoked it, but I intend to persevere with it.

    Killing me won't bring back your apples.
    Posted 4 years ago #

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