Best "Bulk" Navy Flake/Straight VA Flake

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I just received a bulk order of Mac Baren Golden Extra that is basically tobacco dust. It must have been the literal bottom of the barrel.
I can understand, not caring about whether flakes are in tact or not... but it would seem like a tobacconist would have noticed that it was pulverized garbage before mailing that out. That sucks.
 

Zeno Marx

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2022
240
1,269
I certainly understand how the packaging sent from the companies, could be an issue, and then the difficulties trying to deal with the packaging on the receiving end.

I’ve always assumed, the reason we want flakes, is for their pressed process, that yields a supposedly richer smoke. So I want to experience these flakes as they are meant to be.
It's the nature of the orders. The only way they could avoid constant handling and breaking up of flakes, etc is for the factories to package it in 1-16oz packages. Wait...I have to think of statistics and permutations. It would be several different weights of package to be able to fill 1 thru X weight of orders though, which would be rather absurd and very costly. And then Retailers would have to buy more of some weights and less of others. It would be a nightmare to try to anticipate what would be necessary to fill orders if they were restricted to set packaged weights. Or they would only be able to offer quantities in those set weights, which would prevent quantity discount.

I'm not sure I understand the second part of what I quoted from your post. Most people smoking flakes don't leave them as is. Maybe if they're smoking in the wind, but most often, they break up the flake. The benefits of the flake are already there when received. They were pressed and/or stoved, and it really doesn't matter much if they're picture perfect or semi broken up. In my example of the Stokkebye cubes, most people leave them as cubes and just gravity fill them, but that's a unique case.
 

Zeno Marx

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2022
240
1,269
I just received a bulk order of Mac Baren Golden Extra that is basically tobacco dust. It must have been the literal bottom of the barrel.
When I first worked at a grocery store as a teenager, I was told to man the cheese counter. Didn't receive any training or guidelines. Someone ordered a bunch of cheese, and I sliced the block right down to the heel and metal staple at the very end. If you don't know, the ends of a lot of cheeses and meats are held together by a metal staple-like fastener. I thought I was being a good employee by getting every little bit of the cheese available. What I didn't realize was that the cutting disc had hit the metal staple and made metal marks on the slices of cheese. Of course, the customer returned the cheese and complained about it. I'm an ignorant kid. I didn't eat deli cheeses, and if I would have, I wouldn't have cared if there were some metal swirls on the cheese. I had no real knowledge of what I was doing or what customers expect. Still, I was in the wrong.

I'll never order another tin of new Bengal Slices because of how it is made of dust particles (I still don't understand that). You're likely right that your order was taken off the bottom of the container, and I would bet the person filling your order wasn't a pipe smoker. Just a lowly untrained laborer making bags to weight.
 
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NomadOrb

(Nomadorb)
Feb 20, 2020
1,673
13,652
SoCal
I can understand, not caring about whether flakes are in tact or not... but it would seem like a tobacconist would have noticed that it was pulverized garbage before mailing that out. That sucks.
I'm going to try layering in between other burleys to try and salvage it. But I'm definitely not pleased, it was a 6oz order.

When I first worked at a grocery store as a teenager, I was told to man the cheese counter. Didn't receive any training or guidelines. Someone ordered a bunch of cheese, and I sliced the block right down to the heel and metal staple at the very end. If you don't know, the ends of a lot of cheeses and meats are held together by a metal staple-like fastener. I thought I was being a good employee by getting every little bit of the cheese available. What I didn't realize was that the cutting disc had hit the metal staple and made metal marks on the slices of cheese. Of course, the customer returned the cheese and complained about it. I'm an ignorant kid. I didn't eat deli cheeses, and if I would have, I wouldn't have cared if there were some metal swirls on the cheese. I had no real knowledge of what I was doing or what customers expect. Still, I was in the wrong.

I'll never order another tin of new Bengal Slices because of how it is made of dust particles (I still don't understand that). You're likely right that your order was taken off the bottom of the container, and I would bet the person filling your order wasn't a pipe smoker. Just a lowly untrained laborer making bags to weight.
I understand their thoughts if they were not a pipe smoker, I would hope the manager/whomever is in charge of that department would train them better, but it's not that big of a deal. I'll find a way to use it or just throw it out if it's too troublesome. I won't name the retailer, but it wasn't Smokingpipes! Which may have made all this my fault :ROFLMAO:
 
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PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,745
Hawaii
The benefits of the flake are already there when received. They were pressed and/or stoved, and it really doesn't matter much if they're picture perfect or semi broken up.

The Newminster I received wasn’t semi broken up, it was a complete bag of just thin slivers, that were somewhat dried out, so this could certainly change the flavor profile.

573EBA04-B9DB-49C7-8E02-D6C90EA32FCE.jpeg
 
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Zeno Marx

Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 10, 2022
240
1,269
The Newminster I received wasn’t semi broken up, it was a complete bag of just thin slivers, that were somewhat dried out, so this could certainly change the flavor profile.
On the bright side, dried out a little means you got more tobacco and didn't essentially buy water. As for how that looks, I smoke it like that, even if not a little more rubbed out, and I would guess the same for the great majority of people who smoke it.

Really not trying to argue with you here. I wouldn't be too bothered if it was on the dry side and looked like that. But I also don't like buying water. That is a REAL pet peeve of mine.
 

PipeIT

Lifer
Nov 14, 2020
4,453
26,745
Hawaii
On the bright side, dried out a little means you got more tobacco and didn't essentially buy water. As for how that looks, I smoke it like that, even if not a little more rubbed out, and I would guess the same for the great majority of people who smoke it.

Really not trying to argue with you here. I wouldn't be too bothered if it was on the dry side and looked like that. But I also don't like buying water. That is a REAL pet peeve of mine.

On weight, from what I understand unless it’s like G.L. Pease which uses water, then it’s PG weight.
 

Bobby Bailey

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 8, 2021
203
348
69
Upper Southwest Arkansas, USA
@Bobby Bailey , you might be the right person to ask...

I recently bought 4oz of #558 from watch city. I'm struggling to get past that pouch note. It smells like fertilizer to me. I really enjoy Virginias and VaPers, and 558 is so highly regarded, I was sure I'd love it too. That smell tho.

Do all the WCC Virginias smell like that? Will that smell settle down with time?

I've enjoyed plenty of VAs from other blenders, but I've never had one smell quite like 558. I'm kinda shocked by this one.
I did a nose test, using my very unlearned nose, of several W.C. Va. blends. 558 smells much like the others. 558 is the only one of theirs that I stove first to bring out a deeper flavor.
I ranch and raise cattle for a living, so I'm probably partial to that "fertilizer" smell ;) .
 
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brandaves

Can't Leave
Jan 5, 2020
347
2,661
Kentucky
Another vote for Newminster 400 Superior Navy Flake. I love LNF but Newminster 400 is my go to. Great blend.

That being said, the Perique and rum notes in LNF are definitely swaying qualities. If those things are on the top of your list then I'd say LNF. If you're looking for VA sweetness the 400 is your huckleberry.