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Blend of Virginia tobaccos producing an exceptionally smooth smoke with a pleasant aromatic flavour.

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

BrandPlayer's
Blended ByJohn Player & Sons
Blend TypeUnknown
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryUK
ProductionUnknown
Product Image
Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
Extremely Mild, Mild
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 4 Users

3.4
16 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
8
3 star:
7
2 star:
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Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (118)
★★★★
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: mysmokingshop.co.uk

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Wince Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wince (10)
★★★☆
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I picked this up to simply experience what I thought was one of J.R.R Tolkien's tobaccos of choice (I understand he smoked a fair amount of Capstan Navy cut as well). Upon buying the pouch and discovering the 'cat food tray' I was disappointed. However, upon opening the tray I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing chocolaty aroma that hit my nose. As a newbie to the pipe, this was not my first non-aromatic but my first over the counter blend. The aroma was like chocolate covered raisins with a hint of hay.

The flakes are nice and plentiful (think there are 14) and are easily rubbed out or folded. I tend to rub out the flakes but I have tried them folded as well.

Upon lighting, this tobacco is a good burner and I only relit once. The sweetness of the Virginia is very nice but if you puff away, the tobacco can be a little harsh. I have experienced some bite to this (my own inexperience) and I recommend taking your time with this one with sipping rather than chugging away. The taste is similar to the smell. I couldn't detect any of the soapishness of St Bruno and I recommend this to those wanting a quality smoke.

On the down side, this was as expensive as my tinned faves but minus the tin. To echo the other reviewers, this dries out very quickly without a jar or a tin so be warned.

Overall a pleasant introduction to virginias and whilst not a fave, I will choose this over St Bruno. The Vitamin N is medium (felt it burn my throat a little) and just right for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Zeus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zeus (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm a newcomer to Pipe smoking and this was only the fourth tobacco i tried. Being a Tolkien fan since only 10 i'd read this was his favorite brand and though it's no longer available in newsagents in the UK as it was in his time it's still easy to buy online.

Anyhow, it's the first flake I tried and I do enjoy the control you get over the rub. The smoke is pronounced Virginia but has a taste all of it's own, the room smoke isn't unpleasant and doesn't overly bother others which is great as my girlfriend and most friends are non smoking. Though one of my non smoking friends liked the smell so much he insisted on having a pipe, though he went all Gandalf and insisted we inspected his prowess in smoke ring blowing, obviously a heavy ex smoker!

I'm ordering several more packs of this soon and will be one of my staples i think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

PipesterJim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipesterJim (44)
★★★☆
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 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (155)
★★★★
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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (108)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I first smoked Player's Medium Navy Cut forty years ago. In those days, it had a number of stable companions – Gold Leaf, Navy Cut de Luxe, and (a rubbed-out version) No Name. All these excellent tobaccos have ceased to be available, at least in the UK; but Player's Medium Navy Cut is still easy to come by and, as far as I can tell, almost unchanged from what it was in the old days. (I say 'almost unchanged because it isn't, strictly speaking, a 'navy cut' any more; the tobacco now comes in small, rectangular, very thin flakes.) It's still an absolutely first rate smoke.

As one finds so often nowadays, the packaging is a weak point. MNC doesn't come in tins any longer. The little sealed plastic container that it does come in keeps it fresh and moist until you open it, but won't re-seal, so the tobacco starts to dry out straight away. Where I come from, MNC is only available in 50 gm pouches, so this is a real drawback, given that I don't smoke all that much. A tobacco jar is the only real answer.

Personally, I can detect only Virginia flavour and fragrance – i.e. no casing, or none to speak of – so this would perhaps not be for you if you like pronounced flavours and aromatics. If, on the other hand, you like a mellow, subtle, ‘traditional' Virginia flake, you could hardly do better than this. The pouch aroma is rich and deep; it lights easily, burns well, and has a very pleasant room note; it won't deliver a nicotine overdose. It is, to me, a little bit like Escudo, but more fruity and full-bodied and without the slight pepperiness that Escudo has. It's better to smoke it folded than rubbed out; but it's easy to rub out if that's what you want to do.

I see that some reviewers find themselves bitten by it. This isn't a problem that I've had; but I'm not a puffer. Like everything else, though, MNC is better if you don't rush it. If you sip it and enjoy it slowly, I don't think it'll bite you. It's a civilised tobacco that pleases without making huge demands on the palate: a good all-day smoke that won't tire you out. Too bland for some tastes, perhaps, but highly recommended as far as I'm concerned.

In terms of personal preferences, I tend to circulate between Player's MNC, G & H's Brown Flake, Escudo (when available) and S. Gawith's Medium Virginia Flake. These are my desert island baccies. G & H's Brown Flake has the edge on the others, but they're all mighty good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

update, a couple weeks later:

the flavouring permeated my whole "cellar", to the extend that i smelled it every time i was close to it. in the end i had enough, and simply threw the pouch out. never player's medium navy cut again for me, unless i can lay my hands on an old tin. their cigarettes are top class, though.

end update.

as others have noted, this tobacco only comes in pouches these days. if you want to age it, you'll have to transfer it to some kind of jar.

i'm not sure, though, that it will age that well...

upon opening the little plastic box inside the pouch, you're greeted with a very fruity/winey aroma, somewhat reminiscent of st.bruno but stronger, and without the smokey scent of kentucky. very thin slices of perfect humidity. packs and lights easily.

the taste is of fine quality virginias, for sure, but the flavouring, which now is of red berries/red wine/citrus, is too dominant to my taste. it fills the mouth so as to almost block out the virginias, and doesn't at any time meld with the tobacco taste. this is rather disappointing, as i feel that it might be a very fine smoke if the manufacturer (imperial, i guess) had held back on the flavouring. as far as i can discern, the virginias are almost similar to those used in the british version of capstan rr. nothing wrong with the raw tobacco!

for those who like me have smoked the tin version 10-15 years ago, i can report that this is not as clean tasting a blend as it used to be, and that the flavouring profile has been changed from something molasses/coffee/berry like to the mentioned berry/wine/citrus. it's not awful, but neither is it really to my liking.

somewhat recommended for the quality of the virginias and the burning properties.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

Tin Aroma: I guess this should be pouch aroma because sadly this blend is no longer available in the round tins. The tobacco has a rich aroma remeniscent of Christmas cake lightly topped with caramel.

Room Note: There is certainly no topping detectable in the room note which can only be described as a generic virginia tobacco aroma with a slight soapiness about it. Similar to St.Bruno in aroma; nothing to offend but then nothing to make the smoker's companions appreciate it either. The best I've heard it described is 'old fashioned in a classic way'.

Packing: If smoking 'pressed' the flakes are thin enough to fold easily into the bowl. If rubbing out the small, thin flakes transform quickly and easily to an almost cigarette tobacco consistancy. The stands are a nice length and the mixture packs well and evenly with little effort whichever method you prefer. I do find the flakes an odd size though, as I always seem to need 'one and a bit' flakes whichever size bowl I'm using. Moisture content is perfect; dry enough to smoke easily but moist enough to be easy to handle and rub out without turning to dust. Because the mixture is a bit springy as well as fine, I pack on the light side as you could easily pack it a little tight if you're not careful. This can make drawing a bit of a pain.

Lighting: The weed takes the flame very well as long as you pack it right. I find one charring light, a very light tamper and a second match are all that's required to create a good and even burn that creates copious amounts of wonderful white clouds of virginia smoke.

Appearance: An attractive flake that's medium to dark brown mottled here and there with light tan and yellow bright leaf. When rubbed out it produces a pleasantly light brown, fine stranded blend.

Smoking: Although I find this tobacco very mild, I really enjoy the light but rich flavour. There is a classic taste of aged virginia, melded with a subtle spiciness which is topped off by a creamy almost caramel top note. Underneath is a hint of soapiness that reminds one this is a classic English virginia blend with an almost 'Empire' feel to it. I have to say when compared directly to St. Bruno, the latter wins due to it's superior flavour and superb coolness. Nevertheless, Player's Medium navy Cut comes a close second and indeed might actually be preferable depending on your mood as it is a lighter smoke. Because much of the complexity of this blend is subtle, I would never smoke it after eating a strongly flavoured dish or it would come across as quite bland. The first half of the bowl is velvet smooth but you need a degree of measured puffing or it can bite a little. I found the blend burns evenly to a medium grey ash but produces a fair bit of moisture which leads to gurgling and a bit of gooey dottle in the base of the bowl. I admit as it's been about twenty years since I last smoked 'Navy Cut', I can't remember how it compares to the original round flakes in the tin. But I did enjoy it in it's current form so I guess it coudn't have changed that much!

Pros: A truly classic blend that smokes cool and evenly with a light but wonderfully rich flavour. Rubs out and packs very well. A great 'mainstay'.

Cons: Can bite a little if you're not careful and does produce a lot of moisture whilst burning which in turn creates a bit of dottle on the last leg of the smoke. Very light in the nicotine department, which ofcourse can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you want out of a blend!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Flatcap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Flatcap (7)
★★★☆
Mild Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This famous mix is often recommended to beginners and is a good introduction to flake tobaccos. On opening it has that traditional sweet Virginia aroma and breaks up easily. Reassuringly straight-forward to light and maintain, it has a delicious soft sweetness for the first half of the bowl and as you progress so the intensity of the sweetness seems to build, tasting as it smelt when you first opened the pouch. Despite being a bit of a 'puffer', I found it easy to smoke nice and slow and it offered no harshness or discernible bite at all. Sure an all Virginia mix probably won't ever top your Christmas list, but it's a good reliable blend that is honest and rewarding.

Of course the cool picture of the sailor on the front and the fact you have to break it up in your fingers makes you feel like a genuine seaman plying their trade on a 19th Century square-rigger between Liverpool and San Francisco, rounding the horn in a force 10- and all without even getting your feet wet!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Reiny Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Reiny (5)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Some brief impressions after smoking my first bowl

Pouch aroma: Raisins and stewed figs with a slightly alcoholic edge, yummy.

Smoke: Just lots of sweet virginia goodness, a good one for sipping.

Burning qualities: Rubbed out 1 flake fully and packed 3/4 of it into a Missouri Meerschaum legend, this provided a 45+ minute smoke(!), never got bitter or harsh unless pushed. Very good.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (74)
★★★★
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 (12)
★★★☆
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.

Daggers62 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Daggers62 (18)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

This is one of those hidden treasures that you can stumble upon. It comes in a psuch but is packed in the same way as St. Bruno and Condor in a foil sealed tray with the flakes being very precisely cut.

It lights very easily and takes a few puffs to start getting the flavour but when you do it is a very mild sweet virginia that leaves you wanting more. Because it is easily smoked and easy on the palette means I smoke it too quickly.

It is available from online retailers and you can still find it in B&M's in the UK but not OTC from supermarkets.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1004)
★★★☆
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!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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..

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.