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A medium to mild blend of carefully selected Virginia tobaccos with a natural aroma.

Notes: Originally produced by W.D. and H.O. Wills, then produced in Germany, I believe by Orlik but now being re-released by MacBaren

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByHarald Halberg
Manufactured ByImperial Tobacco
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
Packaging50g Tin
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Mild to Medium, Medium
Extremely Mild
Room Note

Favorite Of 3 Users

48 reviews
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Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I had never before tried anything with the legendary Capstan name on it, so I cannot comment on the original virtues of this blend. Hunting for some decent tobaccos whilst on a short trip to Spain (or, to be more accurate, to that Arabic enclave in Southern Europe also known as Andalusia), I spotted these small rectangular tins, a la Dunhill's Light Flake, with the Capstan name clearly inscribed on them. There was a light blue tin, with the inscription Original Navy Cut under the name, and there was a mustard-yellow version, with the Capstan name in red and the inscription Gold Navy Cut underneath. Eager to try some natural tobacco taste (according to the very cute Spanish señorita behind the counter, both tobaccos were of the English type, meaning by that they had no artificial aromatic agents), I bought both.

These are my impressions on the blue tin, or the Original Navy Cut. I kind of expected a Gawith or John Sinclair type of flake, with that soapy and rather sweet Virginia aroma English tobaccos sometimes have. This expectation augmented when I read a very small print on the side of the tin stating: ?made in Denmark under license of Imperial Tobacco Limited, England?. I was wrong. The tin aroma was closer to Orlik's Golden Sliced or Stokkebye's De Luxe Navy Cut. The texture of the flake inside was also rather similar: light and dark brown intermingled in neatly pressed, pliable rectangles. The more I smelled the contents the more it reminded me not of molasses or dried raisins, but of freshly mowed hay, with an agreeable grassy note, quite inviting and fresh. Packing in the flakes was a very simple process. They are easily rubbed up, but they can also be packed in as they are. It looked promising! I lit the pipe, and yes, a wonderful, natural Virginia flavour ensued, ever so smooth, buttery and mild, with a toasty undertone, which I very much appreciate.

As I progressed through the bowl, I was happily surprised by both, the smoothness and at the same time the consistency of flavour of this blend. It is a very mild Virginia, but somehow it also very tasty and rich, in that Danish sort of way. I thought to my self, either Capstan used to taste like Orlik or this is just another excellent mild Danish type of flake under an English name. Then it hit me: this is very similar not to Orlik, but to Fribourg & Treyer's Virginias (be it Cut Virginia Plug or Cut Blended Plug).

In any case, this is a very gratifying, reliable mild smoke, excellent as a change of pace after a couple of weeks of smoking alternatively Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium (a tobacco which, by the way, I have come to appreciate much more in recent times) and some of Mac Baren's aromatic mixtures. As a final note, I can only say that this a very nice Virginia, well pressed, with a very refined taste and excellent burning characteristics. It may not be that original, but it certainly is a good choice when looking for a subdued smoke, that does not seem to bother anyone and that packs enough flavour to make it memorable (03/05).

3 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Capstan has quickly become my favorite morning smoke and is giving Samuel Gawith a run for their money as my favorite Virginia flakes.

The flavor and aroma remind me of freshly baked bread, or toast. A little honey sweetness, especially on relights. No fireworks, just excellent plain tobacco flavor.

My mornings tend to be busy so it's not often that I can devote the time to completely finish a pipe. I'll smoke for a few minutes, let it go out, and come back to it several times throughout the morning. A bowl might easily last me until just before lunch time. Capstan is very tolerant of this smoking pattern. Each relight brings renewed sweetness and flavor. Doesn't get bitter or nasty the way some other tobaccos do when you set them down for a while. If anything, it gets better.

I also appreciate that Capstan is not a palate wrecker. I can smoke it all morning and still be game to smoke anything in the afternoon and evening, whether I decide to stick with straight Virginias all day, or switch to Virginia-Perique, or something with some Oriental/Turkish, or whatever.

Burns easily and stays lit with slow, gentle puffing. Works best for me rolled up, rather than folded and stuffed. It comes apart a little when rolling but I try to keep it together in a roughly cylindrical shape as much as possible and stuff it into one of my preferred flake pipes, either a little Group 2 Parker billiard or an Ashton XX canadian. I do this last thing before bed the night before and it's dried out to perfection for smoking the next morning. I suppose you could also rub it out, but that sort of defeats the whole point of a flake.

I love this tobacco and will be cellaring as much of it as I can afford. Some days it's seriously the most pleasant thing in my earthly existence and I don't ever want to run out of it. It's a little more expensive than some other Virginia flakes but in my opinion completely worth it.

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Best Brown Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

Corncob3 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Corncob3 (24)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

A really nice find. Beautiful tin/ artwork-lovin' the blue label. Smooth and silky. Slightly tangy in the right places and at the right times with a delicate spicy undertone. Well pressed sheets of brown and yellow flake. I wish it were offered in a larger tin, but a little goes a long way. Just when I think I've hit the bottom of the bowl, there's more to be smoked. Got a good 25-30 minute smoke out of a full bowl. I found no bite with this blend. Just a tamper or two to keep things in check. A must try and must have in your rotation. Four stars for this one.

Pipe Used: Grabow Briar

Similar Blends: Mac Baren Virginia flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

PC Plod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PC Plod (39)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

The first slice of this -- 10 weeks ago -- was certainly good, but in no way exceptional. The tin was abandoned with a feeling of disappointment at having paid such a premium for it.

However a recent second slice was a different matter entirely. Deliciously deep and mellow in flavour, and beautifully fragrant. In just 10 weeks the flakes had darkened noticeably.

Capstan has a unique character: sweet and refreshing. There's also an attractive aroma of roasted chestnuts given off by the burning tobacco. But I don't believe there's any burley present; the leaf is extremely mellow and smokes like a pure high-quality Virginia.

Solidly recommended.

Pipe Used: Stanwell No. 86

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Online Vendor

Similar Blends: Newminster - No. 400 Superior Navy Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Uban Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uban (34)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I really like the MacBaren version. Light golden flakes, perfectly presented, easy to rub out or shred, or cube cut. Starts very sweet but soon grows creamy and full (enough) with great high notes and a little grassy base to go along. Cool & dry smoking, a good intro to a straight Va for anyone. Mixed with 1/3 good Perique, absolute VaPer Heaven.

Pipe Used: Old meers, Pete, Danes

Age When Smoked: 70 for me, new for the tin

Purchased From: Pipe Guys

Similar Blends: Best Brown, DH Light Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

cargohold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cargohold (3)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, as Capstan Navy Cut Medium was my all time favorite tobacco when I smoked it back in the ancient times of the 1970's and 80's, I was hopeful but a bit dubious about Macbaren's ability to even come close to the old Blue Capstan that I remember. Now my taste buds may have cloyed a bit over the past 40 years of pipe smoking but when I opened the first tin of this re-release I was quite pleased, it is virtually identical to the original flake in every respect. If you want to experience a classic from the past jump on the Capstan bandwagon, but do not spread this around too widely or we might have a run similar to the Gawith FVF of a couple of years ago.

Pipe Used: Sasieni, Comoy ,Dunhill, Astleys

Age When Smoked: one year

Purchased From: Carghold Poulsbo, Washington

Similar Blends: Orlik Golden Slices, Dunhill Flake, Gawiths Full Virginia Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (31)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tin is from the early 90's made by "Imperial Tobacco Liverpool England." Tin note: dried figs! Dark, slightly moist flakes rub out into fine shag. Takes the match beautifully. First sips lightly fruity, soft, develops a moderate depth quickly and has a slightly peppery prickle, a prickle which makes you alter your puffing automatically. What an easy smoke! And forgiving! Used to smoke this frequently in the early nineties, and now I remember why. This was my go-to tobacco for televised football (soccer) matches at the pub, just fire it up and let it go. Never required too much attention, tasted great (like bright and red Virginia - with Burley? - not too much sauce), did not punish over-puffing (if the football match became involving), produced plenty of smoke, burned long and dry, went great with a pint (or pints), never elicited complaints from others (in great contrast to Balkan Sobranie OMS), supplied a decent dose of nicotine, was readily available, and not too expensive.

Capstan Blue was not anything really special. It was just plain good; an easy choice at the time.

This was a solid three to four star flake back then. Even today's version, if you like Virginia flakes, is one you should not miss! It may be a solid four stars for you.

Age When Smoked: 20+ years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

My wife, an occasional pipe smoker herself, gifted me two tins she found at the West Coast Pipe Show several years ago. I still have half of one tin remaining that I opened from a Ball jar for a Christmas treat this year. This review is based on those aged tins as I was not a pipe smoker back when this Willis version was brand new. If I had to pick one Virginia tobacco to smoke for a lifetime, this would be the one. Its beautifully sweet, with a slight taste of hay and with all of the age on these tins, it was just sublime. Maybe it was more medium when first tinned, but I would place this more in the mild, or mild to medium category. It is topped, but very lightly and at this point can’t quite tell with what. What I can say is that I would happily pay the price on another tin! Great stuff.

Age When Smoked: over 25 years

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (192)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

First reviewed under Original Navy Cut.

I've been smoking the new Mac Baren incarnation of this classic; the flake in the blue tin is what I'm speaking of. Upon opening the tin you are greeted with a predominantly darker brown flake with some speckles of lighter leaf present. The tin aroma is one of prunes and figs with a moderately sweet note. Loading with the fold and stuff method and lighting were a breeze. The taste is very raisiny with little if any Virginia hay/grass present. There is a spice to this one especially when allowing the smoke to enter the back of the throat and come up the nasal passages - not over the top, but present. The smoking experience reminded me of a milder, but slightly fuller in body, Dunhill Flake (one of my favorites). No matter what my smoking cadence, I could not get this to smoke hot nor bite. This was certainly one fulfilling Virginia smoke and I can see why many have raved about it. I have yet to try the yellow-tinned flake yet, but will do so after I smoke more of the blue.

I've tried many Virginias over the years and my biggest complaints were that they were either too grassy/hay-like in taste or they had very little taste and body. The blue Capstan Flake seems to me the near perfect - if not the perfect - Virginia flake. For those who like Virginias, this will not disappoint. All the trouble spent with Sam Gawith's offerings were truly a waste of my time when compared to Capstan Original Navy Cut Flake! As a predominantly Burley smoker, I can smoke this every day and be happy. Truly a 5 star, and stellar, smoke that rates a highly recommended from me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (525)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I had the privilege to smoke a 2 year aged tin of the pre ST Group era of Capstan, when the tin was still rectangular in its presentation. A friend of mine brought the ST Group version of capstan which strongly reminded me of orlik Golden Sliced both in the colour and the tin aroma of citrus and hay. The version I smoked smelled of figs, raisin and a slight smoky note that makes me suspect there might be some Ke into it. The flakes rubbed out extremely easy and were at the perfect humidity level, thus avoiding me to make it dry out prior to fill in the pipe. Smoking Capstan is a real charm. It will bite slightly upon the charring light but will not insist. It smoked remarkably well and brought forward the taste of figs, raisin, a slight plum like note as well as the famous smoky taste I was referring to earlier. Capstan reminded me enormously of the delicious Four Square Red VA flake that has been discontinued for years (sighs...). Unfortunately, I do not think the new version will match this one. I will not even attempt to try it as I have already tried Golden Sliced and can not say I truly enjoyed it.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Arko Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Arko (8)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a Virginia guy, that's for sure, and even though I've tried many interesting takes on this category of leaf the old blue Capstan simply can't be pushed out of my personal top 5.

I prefer the darker types, especially those with red Virginias in the front, and this one (being a golden/brownish composition) technically belongs in another category. But this one doesn't care about technicalities, it seems, and to me it acts more like one of its darker cousins than its obvious, blond sisters.

Meaty, complex, deep, yes, but surprisingly easy to deal with. Wonderful stuff. Only downside is the new square tins. I really liked the older rectangular ones better. Luckily I don't have to puff the tin.

Highly recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Connoisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connoisseur (33)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Capstan Medium Navy Cut is another of my all time favourites...smells good enough to eat right out of the tin. Simple, uncomplicated virginia tobaccos with a light raisin-like topping. Burns beautifully, with rich smooth body nut mild tangy flavour that's easy on the tongue. A good day time smoke enjoyed with a cup of English tea.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Brekken Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brekken (11)
Mild Very Mild Medium Tolerable

One of my very first tobaccos was Capstan Navy flake, it was in fact the second one i ever tried. And it was love from first puff. The tin aroma is indeed as sweet hay, reminds me of when i was a kid i used to go out on the fields with my uncle and grandpa. That wonderful smell of freshly cut hay a warm fall day in the field. This might be why i love it so much, nostalgia. The taste i cannot properly describe as i still am a quite new smoker, only 1,5 yrs with the briar now. But it tastes very pleasing smokes smooth and cool, no bite. As of the comment earlier of where to get this, i buy it in Sweden its sold in 50g tins and are hurtfully expensive, but still half the price it is here in Norway

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Patte Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Patte (8)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Capstan Medium/Original Navy Cut is a tobacco I always go back to after trying different brands. A straight forward Virginia blend, with probably spiced with a small amount of Perique. I'm smoking a bowl right now!

I remember my first tin back in the 1980's. It was a cool autumn evening at our summer home. Fog over the river, and dew started to form in the grass. I remember the fig and raisin smell from the tin, and how good the tobacco tasted.

I have smoked many tins over the years, and it's difficult to say if and how it has changed since the production moved to Denmark.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Puffingstuff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingstuff (81)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This WAS my everyday tobacco until someone took it away from the American Market several years go. This tobacco tasted like sweet hay,and smelled like it. It was sweet Virginia goodness, smoky billows of yummy goodness. I would roll it up tight and rub it out completely. Ahhh the dreams of yesterday. Where oh where do you get this tobacco these days?

Update; It's back! I missed this flake tobacco a lot. After I waited for it to arive at my online retailer I ordered 4 tins. I couldn't wait to open one up. I opened the tin and broke the paper back, I wondered if the new producer had gotten the recipe right. They did it! It's the very same tobacco I used to enjoy! Mellow, malty, mellow, slightly tangy but smoothed over. Welcome back old frined.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Mild Mild Mild Tolerable

This comprises two reviews really.....firstly the modern tin. Medium Navy Cut (which equates to Original Navy Cut) is a perfectly fine but bland flake. It's certainly a step up on the Mild, which I found to be thin in taste and harsh on the mouth, but otherwise it's unremarkable. The only way I can think to improve this is to put it away for a few years....and that leads me to the second review....

Fortune smiled on me recently and I was gifted with two round 2 ounce Capstan Full Navy Cut tins probably from the 1950's and a 2 ounce Medium Navy Cut tin from the 1930's. I've not opened the Full Navy Cut tins yet but I just couldn't resist opening the 1930's tin! The scent was very strong a very old wine, almost a port. The tobacco was a broken flake, fairly dry and ready to smoke. To be honest it smelt so strong, you could almost just sit there breathing in the scent, but when I did light it I was greeted with wonderful clouds of smoke and the taste of alcoholic stewed dark fruits which lasted through the whole bowl. I imagine at something like 70 years old the tobacco has reached about as far as storage can take's been such a privilage to have the chance to enjoy what must be a once in a lifetime opportunity. :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ThomK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ThomK (3)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I have been a pipesmoker since the biginning of the sixties. Since then I have tried more then 30 difrent brands of tobacco and have came to the folloving resolt.

Capstan medium is not medium it is more mild then medium. In the good old days when it vas medium made by Inperial Tobacco Co in Liverpol in good ol England, it was a blessin. Today when made in Danmark it´s more tastless (soft) then before. I cant undersand why Inperial Tobacco accepts the change of this old and famos brand. My Regrets ThomK in Sweden.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Griswold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Griswold (16)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Capstan Medium Navy Cut is my 'default' Virginia tobacco and one of my all-time favorite tobaccos in general. I smoke more of it than all other Va.'s combined, and if I were forced to pick only one Va. tobacco to smoke for the rest of my life, Capstan would be it.

It has just the right amount of strength, a wonderful Va. flavor enhanced with just a hint of sweet topping, excellent burning qualities...what's not to like?

There are stronger tobaccos, there are tobaccos with more complex flavors, but IMO no other Va. flake is as well-rounded as Capstan.

In short: a true classic. If you like Va. flakes, try it at least once.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steden Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steden (84)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Oh, my friends ... you could say I'm a sentimental fool... But yes, this is the tobacco that "really" made me fall in love with the pipe! I must admit that objectively there are other better Virginias, but as noted dryfly11, CMNC is never boring and I can confirm having smoked a lot of tins. This tobacco has in its repertoire of all that a lover of the Virginias may ask: grass, hay, dried fruits, a natural fruity sweetness reminiscent of glycerol, a taste of malt biscuits. After smoking in the back of the palate flavor lasts a long time. The smell of biscuits and hay wafts light in air. A glass of Recioto di Soave or Strevi Passito match this Flake

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dryfly11 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dryfly11 (8)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I've just finished a tin of 50 grams. The tobacco was aged for 4 years and I can tell you it's a great stuff!

I love Virginias and Latakia Blends. This one is a very smooth smoke without boring you. Some blends get boring after aging.

Smoking slowly and you get the reward of excellent flavour. Is it pure virginia? I cannot detect artificial flavour, but do I perceive Perique? Nobody mentioned it.

Highly recommended for Virginia aficionados!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

N7COF Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
N7COF (56)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I was surprised with a tin of this from DubInTheDam and I can see why he & others love this stuff. Very pleasantly falls between Peterson's University Flake & MacBaren's Navy Flake in its flavor & aroma. A milder version of UniFlake & a great tobacco that is well suited as a all day smoke.

I'd buy lots more if it were available in the states.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

AlbinMattsson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AlbinMattsson (2)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

A beautiful flake with a strong scent of fig, a little bit wet but still beautiful. It grinds perfect in the hands. It is easy to pack and lights even more easily. What is keeping me from giving this wonderful tobacco four stars is that it has a little bit to fruity taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Moçambicano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Moçambicano (13)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

A pure, strong, honest, high-quality Virginia flake. I'd love it, if VA happened to be among my favorite types of tobacco; but it isn't so ? my preferences go to Burley and aromatic types.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Piperpan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piperpan (9)
Medium to Strong None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

After 1 tin of this tobacco, I can say that this is a good blend that could be better smoked with a "full stomach" (after lunch)due to its nicotine percentage. It burns very well in any kind of pipe. 2 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

At Last I had the pleasure of smoking the flake, purchased in Germany, as opposed to the ready rubbed available here in England, what a difference, the RR looked, felt and smelled like cheap han rolling tobacco, where as the flake was a world apart.

My only complaint being that it did burn somewhat hot in the bowl, not quite asbestos gloves time, but not far off. I'm unsure of any toppings, although I am sure they are there, this is most likely due to my poor sense of smell, but then, I'm more interested in the taste, after all, what use a wonderful smelling tobacco if it tastes like dogs vomit, (which has a distinct buiscuity flavour and poor burning qualities I might add) IMHO Capstan Medium simply tastes like a good quality Virginia, a good daytime to early evening smoke.

Towards the end of the day though, I go looking for inspiration from Sammuel Gawith Navy Flake or FVF or maybe Gawith & Hoggarth Bobs BB No 2

Still, Capstan Medium, 4 Stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

The main difference between Capstan "Medium" (or Original) and "Mild" (or Gold) is not the strength, as the name suggests, but the type of Virginias: while Capstan Mild is mostly (if not all) lemon leaf, Capstan Medium is a mix of lemon and red Virginias, the former being dominant. That gives Medium a bit more depth, more sweetness and less tang. It is a bit stronger, but other than that they're both quite similar.

It won't replace FVF or HoTW in my regular rotation, but the quality tobaccos used here make are enough to give it 3/4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stieltje Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stieltje (14)
Very Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Now smoking my fifth tin of this blend, I think I can do a good review, for clarification, it is the light blue tin of Capstan Original Navy cut, made by Orlik under Licence of Imperial Tobacco Ltd.

This is the flake that led me into virginia flakes in the first place, telling the tale of how sweet a tobacco can be, and that there is a great difference when it comes to flakes VS ribbon cut tobaccos.

the tin aroma is kind of sweet, fresh fruity smell, a tad of honey as well. The flakes are as wide as the tin, and not really thick. Easy to fold, and there is no extra stiffness at the edges, as there might be in other flakes. The color is lightly brown with some golden streaks.

The thinn soft flake is easy to fold, sometimes I roll it a bit between my thumb and index finger, to give a torpedo like shape before putting it into the pipe.

It lights easy, maybe a bit too easy, the first few puffs can be quite hot before tamping and slowing down. Carefully smoked, it is sweet and mellow, not alot of nicotine, sometimes an slight earthy tone is present, and this is a nice thing, keeping it from being overly sweet.

The smoke is consistent all through the pipe, giving a fine white ash. A freshly opened tin might, sometimes, give a bit of gurgles. Not to overly moist like penzance thoguh.

Room note: the room note does not scare off the spousal unit from the living room

The lack of nicotine is, to me, the major flaw, I can smoke Irish Flake in the morning, even before my morning coffee, without feeling any nicotine hit, this makes me still want to smoke even more, even though I just spent 40 minutes with my pipe.

Compared to SG - FVF, or another favorite: Solani - Silver Flake, this is kind of meek, therefore the 3 stars, it is good, but there are better alternatives at hand.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

To be clear, I am reviewing Capstan Navy Cut Ready Rubbed as sold in a pale blue pouch in UK newsagents. It is a very easy tobacco to find in the UK. Not at all sure if this is the same one as others have reviewed here. I can't find the Flake anywhere. The tag line 'A medium to mild blend of carefully selected Virginia tobaccos with a natural aroma enhanced by a subtle flavour' is the same though.

The cut is virtually shag. Very thin ribbons of bright, light Virginia that looks and smells very like cigarette tobacco. Not very promising really. But I have found this is one I go back to regularly. It is just an easy stand-by. It lights and smokes very simply. The taste is pure Virginia - sweetness and brightness. It will bite if you really try and it will burn too fast if you puff like mad, but most of the time it is just a reliable uncomplicated smoke. The strength is much higher than the appearance of the tobacco would suggest. This is often a 'have a rest in the middle' tobacco for me.

Nothing special, but a repeat buy for me and it does the job. 3 stars.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

When I first started smoking a pipe -in 1964 - the variety of tobaccos available to me was limited to a few heavily cased and highly moist tobaccos, infrequent tins of Three Nuns, an English style scented flake called Prince Henry, and Wills and Capstan flakes. Both the latter were made by WD & HO Wills. They came in two presentations, a fine cut for rolling cigarettes and a flake cut for putting into pipes. The capstan, in a blue pouch containing a sealed gold foil inside was definitely the better of the two, though the default choice was Prince Henry. That experience kept me from ever trying the Capstan Flakes elsewhere.

After reading reviews on this site I decided to give the trademark another try. What a revelation it has been! This is a delicious tobacco for any time of the day, in any pipe, with any beverage. Sweet and nutty, it reminds me most of the richness of Cut Blended Plug by Fribourg and Treyer. It has a dark, coarse ash often found in blends containing some perique or cavendish or both, and I would not be surprised if I was told that the blend contained one of the two, or both, in some measure.

I thought the social contract behind trademarks was that goods bearing the same trademark would be of exactly the same quality everywhere: it would appear it is not the case.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Dubinthedam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dubinthedam (133)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

This is an edited review, last time I gave it a one star, I up it to 4, why? Well by the time I finished the tin, I'm begging for more. I love the mild (yellow version) but this is quickly taking it over. For me it is similar to R. McConnell's Scottish Cake and Petersons Uni Flake. It is milder in strength to Uni Flake and not as hay/grassy as Scot Cake. Top flake, ages well in tin, doesn't dry out to much by the end. I get a nice sweet VA with a little sour after taste and a hint of Licorice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

UPDATE: i've been informed on that this blend does not contain burley. quite surprising, really! END UPDATE

of course, this is not quite the tobacco it used to be in the days when it was made by will's, and neither is it as good as when it was made by imperial. some 20 years ago it used to be almost full strength, fig-smelling, dark brown, sour-nutty-sweet. now it's mild-medium, citrusy, medium brown, with no sourness and some nutty sweetness. but still, it is a decent enough virginia tobacco (with a touch of burley), considering that it's made in denmark by orlik.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Talonr1701 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talonr1701 (119)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

In choosing which Straight Virginia I would take to the proverbial desert island, I would be torn between this one and Sam Gawiths FVF. This is a wonderful Virginia flake, with beautuful presentation. One of the few flakes I can smoke a little moist without any bite. A sweet grassy/hay flavor which is nothing short of delightful. Flavor intensifies a bit as it goes down, but never bitter. Nicotine is satisfing....I love to take this flake in a bulldog for long walks as it takes very little attenton- It just gives good flavor..... Well recomended. Only 3 stars as its hard to get being only sold in the EU.

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traveler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
traveler (40)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I've been smoking a tin of Capstan Navy Flake (at least I think it's the same stuff) by Imperial that is made in Denmark but now comes in a blue tin that I bought in Barcelona in one of the ubiquitous TABAC stores.

Not a complicated tobacco, but an honest, high quality, medium Virginia flake. It is a bit damp in the tin but smokes sweet with little residue even in that condition.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

gho Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gho (8)
Mild Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

I decided to give Capstan a last chance and packed it into a clay, which I am smoking right now. First off, let me say, that the presentation and quality of the tobacco itself is quite good. The flake crumbles down nicely to consistent strips, packing is easy and there is nothing to be wished concerning burning characteristics.

What turns me off is the topping. To me, the tin smell is not very appetizing. While burning, the smoke carries a very distinctive falvour which reminds me of orange peel. Slightly sweet, slightly bitter. The taste will stay in the bowl for some time. If you like it, go for it. I didn't get the hang of it.

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Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (87)
Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

My first foray with the famed Capstan house. My (one) tin was blended by Imperial and I have not tried the Danish offering. I am too young to harken back to the days of old with nostalgia brimming in my eyes, so it seems fair to say that I was somewhat underwhelmed by this tobacco. It is tasty and serviceable but does nothing spectacular. Yet, perhaps one should not ask for more than consistency and good manners from such a classic. I enjoyed my tin and, occasion occuring, would purchase more.

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sasha Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sasha (228)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

3 stars upon trust of what the British version of this truly legendary flake used to be. Now it's made in Denmark and don't know how does it taste. It's plain, good virginias, with just a little flavour of dried fruits, nothing else. It packs well, smokes cool and dry if you leave it on the air for a while. Maybe a bit too "normal", but it's the standard against which you judge every Virginia flake. A Classic.

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Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

An old classic. It is sold anywhere here in Denmark, and Capstan is what i buy when I am out of my favourites.

Dark, pungent and fruity (dried fruit) with hints of well.. Just plain old, good quality matured VA. It is way better than Yellow Capstan and much more complex. The nicotine-level is satisfying and it does not burn at all.

I have not tried it aged yet, but it is very nice fresh. A little drying should be necessary; It is a little too wet, straight out of the tin.

I like to smoke it in the evening, together with a nice cup of hot strong coffee..

One of the Patriarchs of VA-flakes

======= Update, June 14 - 2004=================

Blue Capstan is growing on me. The past 10 days I have been puffing it all day long. It will never burn and can easily be smoked on mornings as well as evenings.. Gets better and better!

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

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Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (297)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

A good, not spectacular, traditional British flake. No awkward flavorings like the ones found in St. Bruno, rather a nice Virginia taste from the start to the bottom. Good balance of sweet and sour, fruity taste: I might even be tempted to suggest the presence of a bit of perique and burley, but it might just be the particular kind of Virginia to give such impressions. Think of a McClelland tobacco like #22 but without the ketchup (and with some vague hints of Limerick), and you might have an idea. The flakes are very elastic and can be folded easily to pack the bowl: I feel, though, that the humidity level in a freshly opened tin is a bit too high. This results in a higher number of relights compared to other products like Full Virginia Flake, some wetness and some tonguebite. Nothing that can't be solved by some exposure to air of the flakes for drying before smoking. Anyway, the decent taste of the tobacco (though some off-notes can be detected once in a while, and it can be weak tasting compared to McClelland virginias) and the attractive price compared to similar products in Italy can be good reasons to cellar a few tins: beware that I tried the original light blue British tin, and that the new version made in Denmark is reported to be of inferior quality. One MORE reason to cellar some of the old while it still is in stock...

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LoisKelly Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LoisKelly (55)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

God, do I miss this stuff. It's far from the best flake I've encountered, but it's just so damned yummy. Dunhill's Light Flake looks like it, but lacks the sweet, zippy taste. My substitute du jour for this legendary blend is Fribourg & Treyer's Cut Virginia Plug. It's a most worthy alternative that is perhaps even better qualitatively, but this 8yo tin of Capstan I'm sampling is awfully hard to beat.

Basking in the sunshine of a bygone afternoon.........

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provguy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
provguy (52)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The tin is actually blue of this Capstan Medium. It is a lovely blend of Virginia tobacco. It has a longstanding reputation and is favored by many a pipe lover as noted from the reviews above. I have tried only 1 bowl so far and feel compelled to write a review even though I cannot say very much about it. It was a little hard to get going after several lights. Lovely flavor and will continue smoking this until my tin is used up. Which means I like the stuff although my socks are still on my feet. I will return to update later. ==update== It is now about 3 weeks since the above review and I have not changed my opinion. It is a very good virginia blend and is growing on me. I seem to enjoy it mostly in the morning with some espresso. Because of the nature and cost to procure this tobacco I will not likely purchase any more, however.It is not available in the US of A.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pounder 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pounder 5000 (178)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a nice medium level Virginia flake and is certainly much improved over its brother- Capstan Mild! This flake actually has some flavor and even a tiny bit of complexity. It's great in the morning with a good cup of English Breakfast tea. It doesn't bite and its aroma is a pleasure. This is what is so very wonderful about the diversity in pipe tobacco. A great tobacco for any situation! I had to order this from Synjeco in Switzerland, but sometimes it's worth the extra money to be a part of these sublimely perfect moments.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Ok, I lied I don't smoke this everyday,BECAUSE IT'S NOT SOLD IN THE U.S. ANYMORE! @^%&(*&^&%#$ Please, please bring this back to the U.S. and quit punishing us inocent pipe smokers. This (IMO) is the worlds best Virginia flake. I know there are lots of Virginia flake adicts who would agree. Mild,wonderful Virginia, cut into long rectangular strips, and naturaly sweet.Burns so good and long,and tastes oh so good...Please bring this back to the United States.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

bumbum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bumbum (20)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

One of my favorite tobaccos for years. I've now shifted to Paul Olsen's "Plantagenet", but still smoke Capstan Medium (or Full) on occasion.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant

As far as I'm concerned-the way this tobacco is described, is exactly what you get.And I go along with all that has been said in the "positive" review's before me. It's easily rubbed out & light's very easily.It give's me a nice uncomplicated smoke,but with a satisfying flavour & doesn't bite the tongue.It leaves my pipe nice & clean,with a nice lightly grey ash.In it's class I'll give it 3 star's out of 4.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have just completed my adventure with a 20-plus year old tin of Capstan Medium and found it to be a delightful experience. This is an old classic, and while nostalga probably played a part in my determination to like this flake, the leaf itself also had a lot to do with it.

Capstan Medium had a pleasant enough smell in the tin, but certainly nothing unusual. My nostrils detected a slight essence of hay and fermented fruit. The strips were moist but not overly so. I did rub out fully for an easy pack job in one of my smaller Mark Tinskey Billiards.

The flavor was bold, my Virginia Bite-O-Meter barely registered, and the pipe kept the weed at a wonderfully even burn throughout each smoke.

Is this one of those rare "I've gotta celler some tins" type blend? Not to me. But, I was certainly pleased to meet Capstan Medium's acquaintance!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild Mild Medium Very Pleasant

I will not belabour the point made admirably by the esteemed NOORRMM, with whose review I fully concur, except to say that this is one of the classics, and just about as pleasant a middleweight Virginia flake as I know.

It has not been distributed in the USA these last few years, but the suggested renewed availability of the AMPHORA blends lets one hope that it will soon again make the delights of American flake fanciers. Now that unrubbed tobacco seems to be in vogue, everyone should make the acquaintance of this old desert island favourite.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Appearance: Well made flakes, finely cut, about 2 by 3 inches. The color ranges from lemon to rich chestnut, with no dark traces. Over time, a cellared tin will turn .mostly dark, but this takes several years.

Aroma: The aroma is well matured Virginia, with a small quantity of Burley, and a trace of top dressing. Overall, the bouquet reminds me of Fribourg & Treyer?s Cut Va. Plug.

Packing: Owing to the fine cut, it packs well in any bowl. Rolling the flakes into cylinders is very easy..

Lighting: The quickest lighting flake I can recall. A one match light is possible.

Initial flavor: The initial flavor is sweet medium strength Vrginia, quite beguiling and gentle.

Mid-bowl: The tobacco burns cooler than expected unless puffed too quickly. There is a full range of medium to high notes that keep you interested, but don?t stress the tongue or palate.

Finish: Even at the finish, there is no harshness. The ash is medium gray and quite fine.

Summary: This is to me, an excellent all day tobacco that can be smoked either casually or contemplatively. It is rewarding either way.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Paul Tatum Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paul Tatum (86)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I was able to smoke a ten year old tin of this . It had a fruity smell in the tin , but the flavor was not heavily artificial . I'd smoke it again but I wouldn't stock it in the cellar without smoking it some more .It was intriguing , but not exciting . Not bad in any way though .

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