What Kinds of Tobaccos Typically Come In Flake Form?

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gamzultovah

Lifer
Aug 4, 2019
2,466
13,672
Back to the thread topic, it's a good question and something I never really thought of till now.

Why not have all blends in Flake format, if say the most popular blends from one company are flakes?

Aside from ribbon cut being more convenient, and easier to sell to the mass market, is there anybody who feels Flake tobacco's are significantly better than other cuts?
No.
 

thebigragu

Can't Leave
Aug 31, 2019
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Needs of the Army
I believe what you are referring to is called “Palate Fatigue”. This happens to me quite often and yes, chamber diameter does play a role. I cannot smoke a red Virginia in a pipe with a large chamber and relegate that genre to only my smallest pipes. On another note: most of the gentlemen on this forum are avid tobacco enthusiasts who smoke copious amounts per day. All of this plays into their experience vs yours, some newbies or mine. Hence the earlier admonition that what you are asking can only be answered by that person’s subjective opinion.
Yes that is what I was referring to. Yes many of the members here are avid pipe enthusiasts, but I posted this more so for those new comers here.
 

thebigragu

Can't Leave
Aug 31, 2019
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Needs of the Army
Back to the thread topic, it's a good question and something I never really thought of till now.

Why not have all blends in Flake format, if say the most popular blends from one company are flakes?

Aside from ribbon cut being more convenient, and easier to sell to the mass market, is there anybody who feels Flake tobacco's are significantly better than other cuts blends Just don’t work as well being pressed into flake.
I personally feel some blends wouldn’t work to well being pressed into flakes, but again that’s just me.
 
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Aug 9, 2013
29,332
53,098
Helena, Alabama
Traditionally virginias were straight virginia tobaccos, though that has been changing. The addition of perique is a noteworthy complement, adding a distinctive aroma and flavor, while also serving to intensify the richness and intensity of the flavor. Perique also serves to cut bite. Escudo and Three Nuns pioneered the addition of perique into popularity.

The addition of burley to virginias is relatively recent and has become common in the old rope, twist and bar tobaccos, supplanting the heavier-grade, bottom-of-the plant virginias to provide the requisite nicotine kick. It also is used in the lighter Northern European tobacco blends. Also recent is the pressing of traditional English mixtures into form, pioneered by Bengal Slices, and continued by McClelland and Esoterica. So today a tobacco can contain almost any kind of tobacco.

Also worth mentioning is the persnicketiness of Virginias regarding the pipes it is smoked in. Since this tobacco evolved in England in symbiosis with English pipes, it is of great benefit to try it in UK/ Irish pipes. Most long-term virginia smokers will attest to the almost magical synergy of virginia tobaccos to certain brands of pipe.
Holy Crap! I haven't seen so many wrong things in a post since... well :::cough cough::: Briar Lee, ha ha. Where did you get this stuff?

Ummmm, I am not even sure where to start.

Virginias almost never have been used straight. Even today, if it is marked Virginia blend on the tin, it most likely has some burley in it. Ask Jeremey Reeves.
I have never noticed perique as having any soothing qualities to offset bite. Smoking slower, the pack, and the humidity of the leaf have most everything to do with that. Actually perique adds more acidity to a blend.

Ummm, Virginias did not evolve in Europe. That's USA, Baby! They can make a decent blend in Europe, but I much prefer the lesser cased American stuff.

American OTCs or codger blends historically have been half Virginia half burley. It's as old as Virginia leaf themself, first flue cured mid 1860's.

Virginias do not add a nicotine kick. They are more acidic with the least amount of nicotine absorption. Also, the leaf from the bottom of the plant is the oldest leaf on the plant, and it has the least nicotine. This is true for burleys, bright leafs, and cigars... every form of tobacco. Bottom to top is lower to higher nicotine content with the most coming from the more floral ligero leaf up top, the newest leafs on the plant. Those are where the gut churners come from.

I'm not even sure what to say about the pipe thing, ha ha.

This gives me a headache. Ha ha. Are you sure you're not a Briar Lee alter ego, ha ha. puffy
 
Aug 9, 2013
29,332
53,098
Helena, Alabama
This isn’t law. What might work for you might not work for joe down the block from you. Their are many different variables but for someone who is just starting out, or maybe for someone like me where if I see something different from how I would do it I will try it out to see if it works better for me then how I was doing it.
Ok, something I do agree with; however, I’m not sure European pipes is the…. But anyways, I digress.

I was able to better taste and enjoy some varieties of Virginia better in a more narrow chamber. The thinner smoke from a narrow chamber allows me to focus in better on the flavors. Like a more narrow cigars verses a wide ring cigar.

But, it gets muddy… some bitey Virginias smoke with less bite from a wide chamber. I can’t explain it unless more smoke means that the acidity affects me less when it overwhelms my tasters.

When I say narrow, I mean the .50”-.70” range. When I say wide, I mean .85”-1.0” chambers. This is to focus in on all of those subtle tea-like flavors.

Is this what you mean? If so, I agree… despite all of the other stuff you mentioned.
And, yeh, it’s not a requirement or rule…. Just a suggestion that might help some better pull those flavor notes from a Virginia. I think it does the same for burleys also. Not so much Englishes. The problem with latakia blends (or kitchen sink blends) is that the lower the diameter of the pipe, the less ratio of all of the components get burned at the same time.

But, these aren’t my ideas. I learned it from the PM radioshow where long time tobacconists, pipemakers, and hobbyists discuss such with Brian. I can’t argue when someone says it doesn’t work for them. But, it seems to work for men who’ve been tasting deeper into their tobaccos than just the casual smoker. YMMV
 
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condorlover1

Lifer
Dec 22, 2013
6,623
18,271
New York
Flakes are for people who don't want to cut up plug tobacco. Those new plugs that came from Pipes and Cigars under the Arcadia name are mostly unsliced flake tobacco like Peterson University Flake. The cut of the plug effects the taste. I used to thinly slice Warrior Plug to the consistency of pubic hair and roll it as a cigarette. Tasted like a RYO but if cut thicker and smoked in a pipe it tasted like regular British pipe tobacco. Actually if they sold BB Flake No:2 as a plug I would probably buy nothing else but then I said that about Grassmere Flake as well so I guess YMMV
 

chopper

Lifer
Aug 24, 2019
1,338
2,865
Back to the thread topic, it's a good question and something I never really thought of till now.

Why not have all blends in Flake format, if say the most popular blends from one company are flakes?

Aside from ribbon cut being more convenient, and easier to sell to the mass market, is there anybody who feels Flake tobacco's are significantly better than other cuts?
MacBaren Vanilla Cream Flake v MVC Loose Cut comes to mind.
More than a few reviewers at tobacco reviews prefer the Loose Cut. Me? I like both.

It depends on the tobacco and how it's treated [How long was it pressed? Long enough to get that fermented taste? Was steam used in the pressing? etc] as to whether it's "significantly better" and in the end, that's subjective according to the individual smoker.

There appears that some have some sort of romantic notion towards Flakes where there's a preconceived idea that Flake tobacco is superior to Loose Cut as a matter-of-course.
I'm no expert but think that it's more accurate to say that Flake is just different to Loose Cut.

Whether it's "better" usually comes down to individual taste.
Each to their own and all that. puffy