100g (3.5oz) square tin, very classy. White background, brown lettering. Backside has description and tin date in actual human readable format, which I truly applaud.
Erik Peter, his Father, was a larger than life person, full of energy and passion for his craft. His favorite tobacco was navy flake, and this full-bodied smoke is a perfect example of his passion. It strikes a natural balance in the distinct characteristics of superior Burleys and mature Virginias by using a small measure of Black Cavendish to please true flake lovers. The 1931 flake is primarily U.S. Burley, U.S. Mature Virginias and a little bit of Black Cavendish. It’s an all-natural blend that offers a dry, natural smoke without additives in terms of flavoring.
Gold foil packaging, similar to McBaren Navy flake, 2 stacks of very exactly cut tobacco flakes. Brighter coloring than MacBaren Navy Flake. Intense aroma of honey (not the typical McBaren honey though, but a true honey aroma). Flakes have a beautiful grain of golden Virginia, white Burley, darker (Virginia Based) Black cavendish. Very inviting. Flakes are moister than most tobaccos in the same format, but not overly wet.
Drying time 30 minutes, cut into cubes. Gravity feeding a Brigham 3-Dot Mountaineer with a fresh filter. Light pressure on the cubes, then topping with little leftover for easy lighting.
Takes flame easily. Charring light reveals a warm, full-bodied, nutty flavor, reminds me of walnuts. Charring light already produces a very dense creamy smoke. Wow!
After tamping down the initial charred ash and full lighting the tobacco takes flame extremely easily and evenly across the whole bowl. It’s a pleasure to light up.
First impression is surprising: the tobacco is much less sweet than the initial tin smell would suggest. The honey is present in the smoke. Very enticing taste of honey-covered walnuts. But not musty, more bright and fresh. Yummy.
In the second third, the walnut-honey steps into the background and the tobacco starts developing a very full-bodied aroma. The burleys take the front row, while the virginia provides sweetness and the black cavendish aroma and smoothness. On retro hale you can now start tasting faint spiced rum, notes of vanilla and cinnamon. One in three puffs gives an intense impression of raisins and walnuts. At this point the tobacco can give you a little lashing of the tongue when you push it too hard, which easily happens as the amazing taste makes you crave for more.
Now the tobacco really starts to sing. Flavours of the second third intensify and meld together. Amazing taste of spiced rum. Sweet fresh baked bread with a good amount of almost peppery zing. Faint gloves, cinnamon. Holy lord this is my favourite part of the bowl. Reminds me of Sailor Jerry and Kraken spiced rum.
The tobacco burns down to fine bright white salt and pepper ash on a single light. This is a Navy Flake unlike any other navy flake I’ve ever tasted! In fact, this is the first Navy Flake that I’d consider deserves that name. You can almost imagine standing on board of a late 18th century schooner.
Erik Stokkebye has hit the jackpot. It’s almost as if he took MacBaren Navy Flake and married it to Solani’s Aged Burley flake: 1931 is their lovechild. The blend is described at full-bodied and I can only agree. It’s an intense experience. Medium to strong nicotine, as I write this review I feel exhilarated and buzzed – like after an amazing roller-coaster ride. A delicious taste lingers in my mouth even an hour after the smoke, which I really like: too often tobaccoes leave you with that ashtray feeling when you’re done. Probably not my all-day smoke, but even at this young age a larger-than-life experience. I can only imagine how freakin fantastic this blend will become with 3-5 years of age on it. I’d rank this as my second favourite Burley blend, right after Solani Aged Burley Flake.
Absolutely Highly Recommended to the VA/Burley lover!
[Editor’s note: Read more about the 4th Generation line here.]
Thanks for a first rate review that walks us through the whole sensory experience of an encounter with this blend. So often we read, in other venues, lesser commentaries that merely express opinions, with little content aimed at being truly informative. Here, you succeed in removing the cover from the “black box” that a new blend represents to actually inform the expectations of prospective buyers.
Succinct and helpful review (the best of both worlds!). I have high expectations from Erik Stokkebye, and it sounds like they are not misplaced.
On my to get list!
Really excellent review – thank you very much.
I think i’m going to go and try and get some of this stuff.