Favorite Navy Flake

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May 8, 2017
Sugar Grove, IL, USA

This one is blatantly called Navy Flake and has Latakia.

Based upon the articles cited, I will grant that historically speaking, Navy Flake was a cut and not a blend. Interesting history. I'm just a little better educated than a few minutes ago!

However, I argue that we should adopt Webster's practice of accepting evolution of language, even when it seems to defy logic. Ask a large number of pipe smokers what a Navy Flake is and nearly all who had some idea what it is would describe it as a generally Virginia-based flake that is sometimes flavored with rum. Not much more. Pretty vague. It's not just a cut anymore.

I should've just addressed the Samuel Gawith Navy Flake at the outset. I KNEW someone would bring up SG Navy Flake. Have you ever actually smoked it? The Latakia is condimental. Occasionally makes its presence known, but is never the star. I chose my words specifically to cover that blend, though --"Primarily Virginia-based". In any case, it is the outlier, being the sole Navy Flake with Latakia, or any other Oriental tobacco, as far as I can see.

As for the idea that Carl Ehwa, co-founder of McClelland Tobacco, wasn't familiar with the term Navy Flake, that seems highly improbable to me, to say the least.
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Nov 13, 2019
With all due respect to shanez, I think there's more than cut that defines a modern Navy Flake. I believe that the definition is murky, as it seems to vary from one producer to another. My reading of the article differs from shanez's. I think the point Chuck was making was that flake tobacco made pipe smoking more practical for seamen and that there is a long history of pipe smoking being associated with the sea. As a result, maritime-related names have been very common for pipe tobacco. Carl Ehwa's excellent The Book of Pipes and Tobacco, makes no mention of "Navy" when listing the various cuts of tobacco.

I don't recall ever seeing a Latakia Flake referred to as a Navy Flake, yet the cut is the same as any Navy flake, so I believe a Navy Flake has come to mean a simpler, lightly cased and optionally rum-flavored, primarily Virginia-based flake.

I too like the Mac Baren Navy Flake, but slightly prefer the 4th Generation 1931, which I believe is virtually identical, but possibly with higher quality tobacco. Both of these are more strongly topped than Capstan Blue, Samuel Gawith Navy Flake, or Peter Stokkebye Luxury Navy Flake.
SG navy flake has lat


Feb 13, 2013
Rum? Nautical name? Yes, yes, and maybe. I can’t pretend to know what the exact definition is, either, so I declare the following as my favorite navy flakes:

McClelland Navy Cavendish
Fribourg & Treyer Special Brown Flake
Mac Baren Navy Flake
Rattray’s Marlin Flake
GLP Windjammer
Capstan Blue


Feb 21, 2013
I've long enjoyed PS Navy Bullseye Flake, which are actually coin, and I have a well aged unopened tin of Dunhill Navy Rolls, also coin, that I look forward to opening, and some McC's Navy Black Cavendish unopened.


Might Stick Around
Can anybody "date" these various tins? I've got one unopened tin (first pic) & two unopened tins (second pic).
I'm curious about the round (third) pic, since it resembles older Mixture Flake (Scottish) tins. I'm greatly anticipating opening the first tin, whenever?

I'm currently smoking an Oom Paul filled with some Navy Flake that I jarred back in '09. Dried it & it's wonderful. Also, I've noticed nobody has mentioned Mac Baren's Navy Mixture, which has been discontinued.

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