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One of John Players classic blends, a beautiful flake comprised of Virginia and burley. Cold pressed with a smidgen of rum into an eye catching flake of brown with golden highlights. A very fragrant smoke with a wonderful citrus and grassy aroma. Not overly strong but very smooth and cool to smoke.

Notes: Trivia: Reputed to be one of author J.R.R.Tolkien's favorites.

Blended ByJohn Player & Sons
Manufactured ByOrlik
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
Packaging50 grams pouch
ProductionNo longer in production
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Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

25 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2158)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

The lighter Virginia is citrusy, grassy, with a faint vegetal tone, and tends to lead the other components. The darker Virginia is lightly earthy, mildly tangy dark fruit sweet with a minor spice and slight bread note. In a minor support role, the burley is a little nutty with some molasses, and a touch of earth. The mildly applied rum is a little sweet with a slight spice hit. It doesn’t detract from the tobacco flavor at all, and weakens just a mite after the half way point. The nic-hit is mild to medium. The strength and taste are both closer to mild than they are to medium. The flakes are easily broken apart at a reasonable moisture level, so it needs no dry time. Burns at a moderate pace with few relights, and a consistent cool, clean, light creamy smoothness, and won’t bite. The bowl is barely damp at the finish, and the tobacco easily burns to ash. Has a pleasant room note.

8 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Aaahh. It's been so long since I've had a tobacco experience similar to the flake types of the late eighties and early nineties. Since Orlik took over most of the English brands, the flake-market has been somehow "Daneificated".

Fear not my fellow pipesters! Imperial Tobacco made this little beauty and it is VERY similar to Simmon's Sixty-Three-Flake.

Top shelf VA, slightly topped (not soapy), and just enough nicotine to satisfy me. It develops into a buttery, caramel-like bisquity creamy experience. Soothing and lovely. I may bite just a wee bit if you puff too hard, so sip it like you would sip Dark Twist, and it will reward you with a good hour of virginia goodness.

British flake tobacco like twenty years ago. Hooray maties!

=== Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark ===

Pipe Used: Gesandt Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: C.B. Møller & Co. A/S - Osborne 63, H. Simmons - Sixty Three Flake.

6 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Players - Navy Cut Flake.

This is a blend that I have heard a lot of talk about in "days gone by", so it excites me to try it. Starting with the unlit tobacco, the flakes are perfect to look at: a medium Brown mostly, with some lighter specks in there sporadically. The moisture amount is excellent: not dry, not damp but just right. The aroma that comes from the flakes is a fairly basic Virginia one with a very slight rum tang in the background, not strong at all but a gentle one.

This one takes to the flame great, for my flake blends I always use my jet ilghter but to be fair if this is prepared and rubbed correctly then a standard match flame would more than suffice. Once lit I can appreciate why this blend gets a lot of talk after many years. The smoke is deliciously cool with a great flavour. The tobacco flavour is very much split equally between the Virginia and Burley and if you retro-hale the smoke then a slight detection of the rum sweetness becomes more available. Nicotine now: very tame so if Lady N is more of a nemesis to you this will make an awesome addition to your tobacco stock. The last point to mention, to end on a high is the room-note: very full Virginia/Burley with a hint of sweetness to it. Mind you, I would say it's only a good point for smokers as it is a little full and non-smokers could find it too much!

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Butz Choquin

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

4 people found this review helpful.

MJG Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MJG (16)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Leaf: As the packaging describes, a flake of mainly brown with gold highlights. Well constructed flakes that were only slightly moist and easy to manipulate without them busting apart. Ready to smoke without any drying time.

Tin Aroma: A tangy and slightly citrus note, the Virginia is noticeable with it's hay scent, but the main scent here is a raisin and dried fruit one, and the smell of the rum casing is easy to pick, possibly a spiced rum.

Taste: A no fuss smoke, I folded and stuffed the flakes with a little rubbed out on top as kindling. In this form I always got consistently good smokes. Not a complex blend, you pretty much get what you smell in the pouch, a nice tangy Virginia, a bit of rum, and a bit of fruitiness. The dried fruit and rum provides a slight spiciness but it's nothing to write home about. This is a good, consistent, very approachable entry level flake blend.

Smokeability:The flakes were easy to fold and stuff, easy to rub out, easy to roll, it all works well with this. It was fine to smoke straight out of the pouch, no moisture in the pipe throughout the smoke, it lit easily and stayed lit with barely any tamping. Being a flavoured VaBur it can burn a little hot, but that's easy to fix by controlling your cadence. I got bit a little once, but I was smoking outside in a breeze so what can you expect. Simple and effective, low maintenance, no fuss smoking.

Summary: I enjoyed this smoke enough to keep reaching for it, more so because of it's good behaviour and simple smoking, it was easier than working through a big bowl of something super complex. It makes a decent all day smoke but there are better options out there at the same price point, especially in the U.S. Still, if I saw it OTC here in Australia I wouldn't hesitate to grab some, it isn't disappointing by a long shot. It doesn't do anything fantastic, but it doesn't do anything wrong. I guess it is still just a good old fashioned blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (129)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I heard with shock and disbelief that this iconic blend has gone out of production. My impression was that it was perennially popular among English pipe smokers, and I can’t imagine what commercial considerations can have led to its discontinuance. A light, grassy, cool, slow burning sweet Virginia flake it was an archetypal traditional blend. It was a favourite of people like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. My headmaster was smoking it more than fifty years ago! The nearest thing to a substitute that I have been able to find is Gawith & Hoggarth’s Brown Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (62)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have recently returned to the pipe after smoking cigarettes for the past few years, and this was the second smoke I chose to consume upon my return to the brotherhood of the briar. This tobacco had been sitting sealed in my drawer for 5 and a half years before being opened. The note straight of the packet is a fairly typical Virginia scent, with slightly more fruitiness than some others, but not overly so. Sweet, with a medium scented body, not too heavy. The flakes were difficult to separate, I was expecting them to be looser, but perhaps as they had sat together sealed for so long in the packet, they had melded together somewhat. I could see when lifting the whole clump of flakes out that they had been cut straight from the same plug as the beautiful mottling of the tobaccos ran the whole length of the entire mass. Rubbed out fairly easy to a mixture of between a fine ribbon & medium ribbon cut, with a few crumbs. Packed easily & took the light well. The smoke was very pleasant, quite what would be expected from this simple tobacco. A medium body with decent slight sweet/hay alternations in taste, and a subtle undertone from the rum. Burned easily, needed about 3/4 relights down the bowl (but I am out of practice on the pipe - so is probably down to me). The entire smoke is a bit 'one-note', but as that note is not unpleasant, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn't have a particularly powerful room-note & is light enough to be considered an all-day smoke. In the overall analysis, a fine tobacco - nothing too exiting, but one that it will always be a good idea to have around, and will not disappoint if something is required just to relax with and not have to think about or concentrate on too much.

Pipe Used: Mr. Brog No. 12 churchwarden

Age When Smoked: 5.5 years

Purchased From: Burkitts, Hove

Similar Blends: Peterson - University Flake, Mac Baren - Navy Flake (maybe, although it's been a long time since I smoked this one, and I can't quite remember, but I think it was more burley based).

2 people found this review helpful.

Harry Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Harry (13)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a pleasant tobacco, light and golden in appearance and fresh smelling from the pack. It rubs out easily, lights up well and carries with it a good volume of smoke. Flavour is clean, grassy and very tasty indeed. I first came across this whilst watching a pipe tobacco review on YouTube, so thought I would give it a go. It isn't available over the counter here so I got it online. Medium strength in my opinion and has a very nice room note that is hay-like. I would certainly recommend this tobacco. It has a decent strength and taste that satisfies. It isn't, I think, a complicated tobacco, but then not all of us want that anyway. For an everyday smoke, or just a lighter one every now and then, this would fill the gap. For storage, it is in a small jar. I haven't bought a large amount of this, just one pack, but I can see myself buying more in the future. It probably will not be a regular favourite, but it certainly has a place on my list.

Pipe Used: Falcon, Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Online, Green's of Leeds

2 people found this review helpful.

Nick Waude Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nick Waude (2)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This has been my regular day smoke for quite a number of years now. As far as a medium Virginia with no detectable additives or toppings I rate this as one of the best available. I do recommend getting into an airtight jar soon after opening,as it can quite easily break down to useless crumbs.

Pipe Used: Turks head Meershaum.

Age When Smoked: 5yrs

Purchased From: Aston of Manchester.

Similar Blends: Germans Medium Flake..

2 people found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (187)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Player's Medium Navy Cut completes the panorama of the "tobacco menu" of my December 2009.

In spite of the VaB(Ky) formulations referring to Walnut and St. Bruno, here we are talking of a straight Virginia blend, and of a milder strength as well.

Just like its British companions, PMNC shares the same packaging: a sealed plastic tray inside an unsealed pouch. It goes itself that, once the tray is open, the tobacco should be put in a glass jar, unless one would commit himself to smoke all the contents out in few days. Even jarring the whole content, I see that PMNC is prone to a quick drying, and this feature makes me think there is not any substantial casing, and that's so good to me !

I'm thinking to the nice reviewer before me, talking of something as PMNC being Escudo minus the Perique. Uhm, very interesting point of view ! In effect, PMNC is showing the typical medium Va Flake behaviour, and some peppery note without the sweet & sour thing.

Side-by-side to some companions (Capstan Medium - currenty Original - and Orlik's Golden) PMNC shows a fruity characted instead of hayish. In case, seems to me that a bridge is with Torben Dansk's no. 15, but the latter has a more generous body, is stronger, and has definately a (stwed fruits) casing. PMNC wins the match being something in the old tradition, well balanced and consistent, apparently without recurring to remarkable external helps.

I've smoked PMNC in various shapes, for this review it's an aged BBB straight billiard (gr. 5). This lady, able to contain two flakes and half - which I have just folded and plugged inside the bowl - has the great value of smoothing the unavoidable rough edges of a flake of this kind, delivering nearly two hours of excellent smoke.

Four full stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I have not seen a new tin of this stuff in years. I stored away a dozen or so tins in the 1980's, and go back to it from time to time. Quite frankly, I find it odd that it has not previously been reviewed.

This is a virginia mix of decent quality. But, even though the tin I just finished the other day was 20 years old, the 'baccy still burned warm and a little harsh. Typical of what I always get when smoking this blend.

It will bite, so hard puffers and beginners should steer clear (unless, of course, you have a leather tongue!)

2 people found this review helpful.

MadMick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MadMick (4)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Now discontinued. The Danes strike again. I guess there's always a chance Peterson's will have bought another mock up from the culprits, seems to be the game lately.

Pipe Used: Rhodesian

Age When Smoked: all ages.

Purchased From: various

Similar Blends: Absolutely nothing now available. Thanks again Orlik..

1 person found this review helpful.

Deimitori Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deimitori (11)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A classic pipe tobacco being around for a long time. It is a blend composed of Virginia and Burley tobaccos, which also has a very light touch of tasty rum.

It belongs to the English "school" of tobaccos if we can use the term. The taste palette is citrus fruits coming from Virginia and in a supportive role there is the taste of nuts coming from Burley. These flavors are soft and gentle and also very gentle is the taste of rum. It is a tobacco which keeps it's smoking identity of "old-fashioned" classical tobacco.

The flakes, mainly brown with golden accents, are beautifully cut with nice thickness and the moisture is excellent. The packaging of tobacco is in a pouch, in which in it's internal the tobacco is sealed airtight in a plastic box. The smell of tobacco when opening the packaging is very attractive. A sense of earthy aromas found in Virginia tobaccos in combination with fruit aromas.

Rubbing the flakes I noticed that the taste of the tobacco became a bit more rich and also acquire an extra light sweetness. I did not notice any "tongue bite", but that has to do with the calm way that I smoke my pipe. If you smoke intensely and fast it will "bite". The power of nicotine lies somewhere between the light - medium category.

Can be smoked comfortably throughout the day. I rather liked to smoke it during afternoon or evening hours. Not a great complexity of flavors, but in any case it is not flat, tedious or boring smoke, and the aroma in the room is very nice and not bothering the others.

The ideal humidity makes it very easy to lighting and also it is smoked very easy. It is good to be smoked as a flake form in a pipe bowl relatively small -it reacts better-, and as a broken flake or rubbed flake it can be smoked comfortably in a larger pipe bowl.

Not noticed liquids on pipe or bitterness. In the last level of the bowl it becomes more pungent but without being annoying or tedious. Leaving only ash on the bottom of the bowl at end of the smoking.

Also, it's good reputation accompanies the fact that it was one of the favorite pipe tobaccos of author J. R. R. Tolkien.

In conclusion, this is a very good pipe tobacco which left me only positive impressions.

1 person found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (47)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The received wisdom is that the UK has two over-the-counter baccies that are worth smoking, the stalwart St Bruno Flake and the mighty Condor Long Cut. Leaving aside the fact that there is getting to be no such thing as an 'over-the-counter tobacco' anymore (St Bruno Flake is getting increasingly hard to locate without recourse to one of our rapidly dwindling number of dedicated tobacconists), I would like to propose a motion: Britain has three great over-the-counter blends!

PNC is a thoroughly delicious virgina flake with the tiniest smidgeon of sweet, fruity topping that blends very nicely with the base tobaccos. It isn't strong enough to be termed an 'aromatic', but it just adds that extra little something to the flavours on offer. Although the N-factor is only moderate, there is plenty of smoke, and satisfaction is easy to come by.

This blend takes a light easily and, like most brit flakes, seems to last a long time in the bowl. There is a tiny bit of harshness to the smoke which, in my view, just helps to add an extra bit of body. It certainly isn't enough to cause any discomfort.

I am very pleased I decided to take a chance on this one and would recommend that anyone else who stumbles across a pack does likewise. It's a good 'un.

P.S. and yes, I had forgotten about Walnut!

Edit Aug 2012: I am revisting some of my reviews and regrading, reserving 4 stars only for a select few that have become mainstays in my extended rotation. I still recommend this tobacco, but my tastes nowadays tend to run to stronger, more flavoursome fare. I am therefore docking a star.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

A very easy flake, easy to rub and pack and easy to smoke. It could be a good introduction to the world of flakes if it wasn't for its habit to bite the tongue. If smoked slowly it gives nice satisfactions and a good complexity.

1 person found this review helpful.

Causeway Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Causeway (8)
Medium Medium Full Very Pleasant

I can't write very much about this tobacco, which I found very agreeable, because it has now been discontinued in the UK (as of Summer 2016). I only got to try a couple of pouches and then it was gone; considering it had been in production since 1883, I put this down to my usual bad luck. I liked what I smoked very much - it reminded me rather of St Bruno but milder, slower to smoke thus longer-lasting, and it hit the nicotine spot very nicely. A substantial and elegant smoke, with a good deal of frown in its brown study. In fact, I'm so aggrieved that it's gone that I'm seriously considering quitting pipe-smoking altogether. If you have any of this delicious tobacco cellared, treasure it, because it was one of the best.

Pipe Used: Stonehaven

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (266)
Mild Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A basic, straightforward blend, the VAs give it a slight complexity and the rum is light. The flakes are thin and separate into long thin strands for easy packing. If you are looking for a mild, 'traditional' rum blend that isn't really on the sweet side, this might be for you. If you need more (N, flavor, sweetness), this might be a bit on the boring side.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: upon arrival

Purchased From: GQ

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

...I like this tobacco! It meets all my criteria for what I consider a great smoke...and it always has. I smoked this in the mid-1960's and whenever I was in Europe, I would always stock up.

Like its cousins; Condor, Walnut, St. Bruno, Mellow Virginia, etc. it is distinctive, uncomplicated, and one of the best mild flakes still available.

It does not have the floral taste or scent, nor the parfume, that seems to be attached to British flakes...yet has its own character.

Fortunately, I have friends that can send me what I need and while there have been subtle changes over the years, this flake remains pretty much the same as I remember it from my first introduction to it in 1963.

Definitely worthwhile and can be enjoyed any time of day or evening...A great smoke with coffee, tea or a wee dram of single malt!

...a pipe is to be savored...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmileyOrb Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmileyOrb (15)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has been going for donkeys years! A friend told me JRR Tolkein use to smoke this frequently. Putting that to one side, this is a straight virginia mix and whilst the tins are now collectors items you can only get it in a plastic foiled tab, which is disappointing as once opened you need to put a in a sealed storage jar otherwise it will turn as dry as a bone in hours. The taste is quite wholesome, and you need to draw carefully as for beginners it can knock you out towards the end of the smoke! But, as a mainstream (over the counter) tobacco) it is I think a fine tobacco. The virginia leaf is quite pronounced but well balanced. A delightful typically English tobacco that is pleasant to smoke. Room note is mixed as my company felt it was "nice, but a bit strong".

Nobody has rated this review yet.