Jim's MacBaren Modern Virginia Reviews.

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jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
46,197
204,810
I smoked both the flake and loose cut all weekend and here are my reviews of both. There is a very slight difference between the two, which I note in the reviews.
Modern Virginia:

The first thing you notice when you open the tin is the sweet fruity topping and Virginias. The yellow and dark Virginias offer some citrus with a few grassy notes and a little earth, and comprises the majority of the tobacco (70%). The dark cavendish is Virginia based, and adds a citrus note with a touch of honey, and bare hit of spice. There’s a little burley (10%) that is nutty with a slight sweetness. The tobaccos are pressed for thirty days and the flake is very easy to break apart for folding and stuffing in your bowl, or rubbing out as you please. The topping is apricot and a hint of pineapple, and is noticeable in every puff, though it’s not strong enough to overwhelm the inherent properties of the tobaccos. I also get a mild fig taste. The topping slightly diminishes after the half way point, and the tobacco flavor is just a little more obvious from then on. The flake is a touch fuller in the Virginia component than the loose cut. It’s a mild to medium very smooth and rather creamy smoke that burns well with few relights, no harsh or dull spots, no bite and no dottle.
Modern Virginia Loose Cut:

The first thing you notice when you open the tin is the sweet fruity topping and Virginias. The yellow and dark Virginias offer some citrus with a few grassy notes and a little earth, and comprises the majority of the tobacco (70%). The dark cavendish is Virginia based, and adds a citrus note with a touch of honey and a bare hit of spice. There’s a little burley (10%) that is nutty with a slight sweetness. The tobaccos are pressed for thirty days and cut into easily managed small strips for easy loading. The topping is apricot and a hint of pineapple, and is noticeable in every puff, though it’s not strong enough to overwhelm the inherent properties of the tobaccos. I also get a mild fig taste. The topping very slightly diminishes a little after the half way point, and the tobacco flavor is just a little more obvious from then on. The only difference between the flake and the loose cut is the the loose cut is slightly sweeter after the half way point than the flake. The flake is just a mite fuller in regard to the Virginia. It’s a mild to medium very smooth and rather creamy smoke that burns well with few relights, no harsh or dull spots, no bite and no dottle.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
46,197
204,810
Gigger48: I wrote an objective review because I prefer people to make up their own minds about the tobacco. I do like it, and I have some here to smoke. But taste preference is always in the eye (or mouth, as this case may be) of the beholder, and though I do recommend it, I feel it is up to the individual to decide.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
35,658
35,414
These sound appealing. They might be mild for me, now into some of the hardy burley blends, but a good

Virginia is an undeniable treat if the flavor comes through. These sound like they have dimensions. Thank

you for the good review(s).

 

pruss

Preferred Member
Feb 6, 2013
3,512
221
Mytown
Jim, thanks for posting this.
I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours in the smoking tent with Per Jensen and Brian Levine (& brdavidson and damnyak) in Chicago last May. Per opened a fresh, and at that point unlaunched, tin of HH Latakia Flake for us to sample at the table, and we talked about tobacco, pipes, wine, travel and such for an hour. As we were all tapping out our bowls Per pulled an unmarked tin from his jacket pocket, opened it, and put it in my hands. He said something to the affect of, "What do you think about that?"
The flake was light brown but woven through with bright hay-like coloured leaf. The first thing I noted was a light apricot note, and then some resonant tropical fruit and fig sweetness. When I got the tobacco into the bowl the flavours remained light, bright, sugar-forward and aromatic. I'm not an aromatic smoker, generally, but I really liked the character of this tobacco.
Now, I might not have been at my most objective from a tasting perspective. I had just been in the car for 12 hours, was sleep deprived, and was running on the adrenaline of arriving at my first Chicago Pipe show combined with being in the presence of pipe luminaries (okay, Pipe Luminaries AND Brian Levine).
When I asked Per what it was, he said, "Just something we are working on..."
I am convinced, now, that this was a Modern Virginia prototype or tester, based on your reviews Jim. I look forward to getting my hands on another tin to see if my enjoyment stretches beyond the one-off bowl, and the bliss of my first two hours of my first Chicago Pipe Show.
Here's a pic. PS - I told you I was feeling a little frazzled!



 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
46,197
204,810
Trailboss: Thank you for that. Generally, the reviews I post on the forum are ones I feel may be of greater interest to smokers. I don't post them all here because they'd clutter up the forum. Brands from companies like House of Windsor, which in their later years quit worrying about quality control, I post at TR.com only.

 

jiminks

Preferred Member
Aug 31, 2012
46,197
204,810
Smoking Pipes is now selling both the flake and the loose cut.

 

sw0snuff3r

Member
Oct 3, 2014
239
0
The description sounds a lot like Erinmore Flake to me, which I really like. I'm still waiting for two orders to arrive and now I have to start loading up another shopping cart with this one!

 

elpfeife

Preferred Member
Dec 25, 2013
1,213
294
Just finished my second bowl of the loose cut. It is a pleasant, easy smoke. I am always on the lookout for good quality non-flake Virginias and this fits the bill. A bonus is that it is moderately priced. I will be ordering a few tins. This is from the free sample being offered by SPC. It came packaged in a nicely sealed pouch. No baggie! I don't think it is like Erinmore Flake but it has been several months since I've smoked any Erinmore.

 
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