What's America's Most Popular US Made Straight Va Flake?

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mawnansmiff

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Oct 14, 2015
4,794
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Sunny Cornwall, UK.
I ask the question as I am trying to find another straight Virginia flake to sit alongside my beloved FVF.
I am currently working my way through ten McClelland straight Virginia flake blends and though the majority of them are good smokes, they are just that...good smokes. Nothing yet has really hit all my buttons and yelled back at me. Granted it is early days but all of the blends I have have been smoked at least three times in various pipes, plenty of time in my view to get a rough idea of a blend.
In a scoring of 0 - 10 I would perhaps put FVF at 9 yet the best of what I have tried from McClelland only just manages a 7+ on my personal scale.
Now I know FVF is very popular over in the States, indeed it currently has no fewer than 510 reviews on Tobaccoreviews.com (the vast majority being positive) but no McClelland blend comes anywhere near that so perhaps I am looking at the wrong manufacturer?
So folks, what American made straight Virginia flakes should I be seeking out?
Regards,
Jay.

 

woodsroad

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Oct 10, 2013
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It's all about personal taste, Jay. I would turn your ratings upside down and put McClellands well above SG.

 

mikestanley

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May 10, 2009
1,330
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Akron area of Ohio
I personally find smoking FVF a little difficult but I do have a couple of pounds of it from 2006 and 2009 jarred up for the future. The best American Flakes are broken flakes IMHO. McClelland #27, #24 and Blackwoods Flake. Union Square by Greg Pease is showing promise. Smoked a tin from 2009 earlier this year. I better like it. I put 3 pounds of it away that year.
Mike S.

 

johnbarleycorn

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,081
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Jay my personal opinion is that the only flake that equals FVF is F&T cut Va Plug. So if you do find and American flake that equals those 2 please let me know. So I guess I must disagree with all of ^^^^^this and ^^^^^those. But that's just me. And you I suppose.

 

ashdigger

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Jul 30, 2016
5,296
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John, I'm a huge fan of FVF and smoke it daily. The question was about AMERICAN virginia's so it's too subjective. But it's definitely FVF for the win!

 

kanse

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Jul 9, 2016
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As far as popularity goes I doubt anything beats Blackwoods.

If we are talking about the best one, that's a bit more complicated.
Union Square and Opening Night night might interest you, I have yet to taste them, though.

 

johnbarleycorn

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2015
2,081
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Gotcha Ash. And I am truly curious about good American flakes because I would love to find some that I really like but I have trouble finding any that I like as well as European flakes. I have found some good ones just not any great ones.

 

mawnansmiff

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Oct 14, 2015
4,794
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Sunny Cornwall, UK.
As it happens I also have a tin each of Opening Night and Union Square (both with a bit of age on them), again they are OK smokes but not anything special to me.
As regards F&T Cut Virginia Plug, that's an aromatic, I'm after straight unflavoured Virginia flakes.
Basically I am looking for something that is so delightful fresh that I could add to my nascent cellar for future smoking alongside FVF. I am not looking for a FVF match by the way!
Before I bought my McClelland collection I did my homework by reading many reviews so I wasn't buying totally 'blind'. The ones that excited me most (going purely by the reviews) were Dark Star and Blackwoods, and though they are ok (it takes a while for the flavour to come through) I was a little disappointed with the end result.
Thanks for your input chaps.
Regards,
Jay.

 

cosmicfolklore

Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
18,688
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I don't have one particular favorite that just "wow's" me above all others. I do smoke PS LTF with LNF twisted together more than any other smoke. But, FVF is good, as well as all of the McClelland Virginias. In that range of pure Virginias, I do grab Dark Star more than any other. And, I can see where you could say that about DS flavor, Jay. It is subtle. But, all in all, tastes vary. Heck, we all can't even agree on what movies are good, so I guess it's to be expected in tobacco preferences also.

If you like FVF, then enjoy it. But, I think you are like the rest of us also, in just enjoying trying new blends. That's where the real joy is for me.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Paulie, it's definitely the cheapest, and it's good, but I am not sure how to judge whether it is the most loved. I know that blends that I love most aren't necessarily the ones that I buy the most of. Tastes tests, and records for sales, sometimes differ.

 

aquadoc

Preferred Member
Feb 15, 2017
1,543
193
United States
Jay, for you, your inherent taste bias will never place an American or Latvian or Martian Virginian Flake above what you have smoked since the beginning of time. You learned the love of Virginia's with FVF. It is your standard whether you admit it or not. Similarly, I grew up eating Blue Crab and oysters from a Georgia Creek. Apalachicola oysters and Maryland Blue Crab are tasteless to me in comparison. It is what it is.
My first good Virginia was Blackwood and when I tried FVF for the first time, I was what is all the fuss about? BWs seems to me to deliver a richer, deeper more nuanced smoke while FVF was strawish and oat like. Probably a function of my lack of a refined tobacco taster but they did not compare. Or maybe the FVF needs age.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
1,008
110
Right aquadoc - there's no objective standard here. I am a big virginia smoker at this point, my favorite being Dunhill Flake probably, another one which Mawn found pretty tasteless if I remember right. I find Gawith virginias muddy and muted. That doesn't make anything better or worse than one another. Just means I like lighter sweeter stuff.

 
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