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St. Bruno Flake is a distinctive blend of smooth Virginia and smoky dark fired Kentucky — pressed and sliced into thin flakes that are easy to prepare and enjoy. It's topped with subtle floral and fruity notes for a unique aromatic experience.

Notes: Made by MacBaren since 2006, the company has owned the blend since 2015.

BrandMac Baren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeAromatic
ContentsKentucky, Virginia
FlavoringFloral Essences, Fruit / Citrus
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
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Medium to Strong
Mild to Medium
Medium to Full
Room Note

Favorite Of 17 Users

129 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2094)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

The Virginias are slightly grassy and fairly earthy with some citrus and stewed dark fruit, which indicates bright and dark Virginias were used. I notice the properties of the dark Va. more. The dark fired Kentucky has some wood, earth and a little spice to go along with a little boldness as an important support player. I don't know what the floral toppings are, but they are mild and aided with citrus. I'm sure they are rose geranium and tonquin, but while the toppings do sublimate the tobaccos to some extent, you won’t miss out on what they have to offer. There's a vinegar preservative, but it doesn't translate to the taste. The strength, taste and nic-hit are medium. Won’t bite even if you’re puffing like a steam engine. The flakes are easily manipulated to suit your preference. It needs a light dry time, though I find it does well without much of it, and drying it too much would lessen the flavor a little. Burns at a slow to moderate rate with a smooth, consistent taste to the finish. No dull, weak, or harsh spots. Leaves a little moisture in the bowl, but no dottle. Has a very pleasant after taste and room note. Easily repeatable during your smoking day.

9-30-2016: having very recently smoked the 1980s version, I would say that there are a few differences between the two vintages. The flakes are much longer.The older version has a stronger, deeper rose geranium topping. The tonquin was a tad stronger, and a little deeper. The tobacco flavors also have more depth, and a little more earth. The taste is essentially the same otherwise.

25 people found this review helpful.

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

I have been smoking St. Bruno more or less from the moment I bought my first pipe as a young man. It was a standard smoke for so many men then, back in the mid 1970s and I often associate a Falcon with it, which is probably why I have four of those pipes in my current collection. Having enjoyed the Ready Rubbed for so many years, when its cut width was changed not too long ago, I found it less satisfying, so switched to the Flake. It was an instant hit with me and I now love the simple but oh so satisfying habit of selecting a flake and rubbing it out in the palm of my hand. I find this tobacco to be a perfect, workaday smoke. It satisfies in taste and nicotine hit, it has a great aroma and I find its medium strength enough to justify smoking this everyday. In fact, it is the house blend that I always have in the cupboard. The flakes have a floral, heavy, fruity smell, something akin to fruits steeped in molasses and possibly alcohol. They can be quite moist and I've sometimes noticed after rubbing out a yellow stain in the palm of my hand! The smoke is clean,creamy and tasty, combining sweetness/woodiness with a very slight hint of spice (though only just) somewhere along the line. I have never considered 'soapiness' to be one of its qualities. It can sometimes smoke wet, so a pipe cleaner is usually to hand mid smoke, just for inserting into the stem if the goo is rising. I find there to be a good balance in taste and that lovely fragrant aroma. One observation, with some recent smokes that have gone the full stretch in a pipe, is that I discovered a slightly acrid, bitter taste coming through towards the bottom of the bowl. With this in mind, I now rarely smoke right down to the last shred. Be that as it may, St. Bruno Flake for me has all the qualities of a perfect blend for daily use. Medium in strength, tasty to smoke and smell, it satisfies continually. Uncomplicated, or even unspectacular it may be, but it has proven to be a good, solid, reliable friend over the years.

Pipe Used: Mainly Falcons

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local tobacconist

18 people found this review helpful.

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

One of the all-time classic tobacco blends, St. Bruno Flake is indeed star material! Not easily obtainable in the U.S., if you can find a tin, scarf it. This blend is the top seller in the U.K., and has been for many years. Fortunately, I cellared many tins about 10-15 years ago and it ages quite nicely.

St. Bruno is not for those with weak constitutions. It is a man's tobacco with a true tobacco taste and enough nicotine content to satisfy even the most veteran smoker. In looking at some of the above reviews, I get the idea this blend was tested by youngsters with no chest hair. Well, they'll grow a few after an evening or two with St. Bruno!

Seriously though, the flake and particularly ready-rubbed version of this blend were true legends when produced by Ogdens. If you can find a tin on eBay or elsewhere identifying Ogdens as the blender rather than the currently produced St. Bruno's from Imperial, grab it quick! I just finished a tin of St. Bruno's ready-rubbed that was 20 years old. Each bowlfull was like manna from heaven!

Again, this tobacco has some kick. If you like tobacco flavor and a cool, sweet smoke, try this classic. If, on the other hand, you prefer melba toast and milk, look elsewhere!

15 people found this review helpful.

thesmoggypipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
thesmoggypipester (52)
Mild to Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

The quintessential british tobacco that is st bruno. I tried the ready rubbed version of this nearly two years ago and i didnt really care for it. I hace been itching to retry this after members of psf raved about the qaulities of the flake version. Opening the tray the aromas are very full on. A sweet tangy slightly smokey aroma emanates from the fron the tray. The flakes are quite possibly the flimsiest i have ever seen but this is a good thing as they are very easy to rub out and fill the bowl with. They take the flame like a charm and the flavours are beautiful. Sweet, good tobacco flavour, a hint of stewed fruits and touch of sour. If i was blindfolded and didnt know what i was smoking i would swear it was a vaper. To me it is quite a different smoke to condor i didnt detect floral and i found it was considerably weaker in strength than condor. And it maintains its flavour better towards the bottom. An absolutely stunning british flake that can be smoked all day long.

Pipe Used: alco with bulldog bowl

Age When Smoked: new

14 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (820)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Living in the U.S, I was lucky enough to score a series of 25 gram packets of this, the flake version of which I used to smoke in the "old days" when it was as rare in the U.S as dirt. I've since smoked and thorougly enjoyed the Ready Rubbed, giving it a much deserved 4 star rating on TR.

As for the flavor of this in comparison to the RR, I found no major differences. This bursts on the tongue at first light and is a marvelously simple, mellow yet robust and tasty blend. This is elevated above the RR only because I don't find all the stems in the flake version. That gives me the serene feeling that the quality control is better. But I can and do smoke and enjoy both. As mentioned, this is hardly a complex blend but the mere fact that it smokes consistently well from top to bottom is a testament to its understated greatness. In fact, this is one of those rare blends that I could smoke all day every day if I were forced into that. I would long for some other blends, of course, but I'd still be a happy camper. St Bruno is, in my humble opinion, the finest OTC currently being made. Grab either version if you enjoy a flavorful and non-complex smoke.

14 people found this review helpful.

PC Plod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PC Plod (63)
Medium to Strong Medium Full Pleasant

For me St Bruno Flake is a guarantee of satisfaction and comfort in pipe smoking.

The recipe is just about ideal: rich, chestnut-brown matured Virginia with a bit of dark-fired leaf for spice and heft. No effort is required to enjoy St Bruno ... even the tiniest puffs deliver buckets of palate-drenching flavour.

Which is why it's ideally suited to the fold-and-stuff method of loading. A slow cool burn is the best, yielding more than an hour of fragrant bliss in a medium-sized pipe.

Indeed St Bruno is not as strong as Condor or Irish Flake, however it's considerably mellower than those two thanks to its higher portion of Virginia tobacco. But make no mistake: this is rich, dark Virginia with a good dose of Vitamin N. No hay notes here ... just the buttery smooth, deep natural flavours reminiscent of roasted chestnuts and dark, freshly-baked bread.

I am fortunate to have a supply of vintage St Bruno, which is reserved for special occasions. For those who favour the older version, I can highly recommend Mac Baren's Old Dark Fired, which in my humble opinion captures the essence of vintage St Bruno. The aroma of ODF is perhaps not quite as bold and unique as that of St Bruno, but some pipe smokers might prefer that.

Pipe Used: Small to medium-sized pipes

Age When Smoked: Tins dated from the 1990's

Purchased From: Various tobacconists during the 1990's

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired.

9 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1552)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Ogden St. Bruno Flake.

The moment that I open this I am instantly delighted by what's in the pouch. The flakes are of a medium build, very dark brown in colour and seem to be of a good moistness. O.K, a little extra airing would very slightly improve it but it's not at all imperative to do so. The aroma coming from the blend is almost identical to the Ready Rubbed, albeit, not quite as strong. Although it's a touch moist it's still extremely easy to rub and fill with. Once that's done the smoking begins, as does the supreme joy!

As I found with the aroma, the floral attribution isn't quite as indomitable as the Ready Rubbed one, but although more tamed it still makes an eminent impression. The burn's really steady, and the smoke delivered is of a medium temperature. This one bestows NO bite whatsoever, whether I pull like it's a tug of war or gently sip like I'm having tea with her majesty the Queen! On to Vitamin N: perfect, again it's the same as the ready rubbed version. Although the floral touch is a little lighter, if exhaled through the nose/retro-haled it becomes almost identical to the rubbed version.

Love it.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Dracula

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: G.Q Tobaccos

9 people found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (62)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

To my shame, I have never tried this tobacco before, despite living in the UK my entire life, and smoking a pipe for over 10 years (with a few breaks). I finally got round to buying some & I'm very glad that I did! Being readily available, it means that there is an alternative to my usual stand-in for my go-to OTC blend of Condor. The flakes themselves are what I would call 'poor' in their presentation, as I'm used to smoking thicker, longer, more uniform flakes. The ones in the St.Bruno pack are quite short, thin & a bit broken, so the appearance is not the greatest aspect of the tobacco, to be fair. However, this is a minor aspect of any tobacco, in my opinion. The pouch note is lovely, a floral, citrus, stewed fruit scent. More delicate and nuanced than many other flakes (i.e. Condor), but the tobacco also comes through gently underneath these pleasant notes. The tobacco can be smoked either folded & stuffed or rubbed out. I found it smoked well either way, but I preferred it roughly rubbed, an it maintained the intensity of flavour without burning too hot. From the pouch, it was possibly ever so slightly over-moist, but not enough to affect the smoke adversely. The result was a cool, fruity, citrus-tinged smokiness that synergised with - rather than overpowered - the tobacco. This is an aromatic, but is not the same as the gloopy Black Cavendish mixtures soaked in PG & Vanilla that we know so well. This is a different class of quality aromatic, highly recommended for those who normally say 'I don't like aromatics.' The pipe rarely required a relight. As I got towards the end of the bowl, and my roughly rubbed bits got compressed further, the flavour seemed to be less casing & more tobacco, which is what I expected to happen, as it normally does. The room note is fairly pleasant, much more agreeable to those around than a stout English blend or Rope. It is also fairly light, and dissipates quite quickly. The tobacco level is medium-strong, although closer to medium than strong. This is a good, readily available tobacco. I don't know why I avoided it for so long - perhaps it was because when I took up the briar, I lived less than 5 minutes' walk from a tobacconist, and could pick up all manner of tobaccos, so overlooked some of the more 'pedestrian' workhorses of the pipe world. However, I am onto it now, and shall be consuming more of this in future. It's not spectacular, but as a readily-available got-to, one could do far, far worse than this. It's a good, solid, pleasant, trouble-free amiable smoke. The only drawback is the taste can become a bit 'samey' by the end of the pouch & one smoke of this is much the same as any other, although none of them are really bad. Since finishing this 50g. pouch, I have bought 50g. of the ready-rubbed & mixed it with 50g. of 'Gold Block' which is stored in a bail-top jar, and shall be opened when I receive a new pipe which I have ordered in a couple of months' time. I believe this mixture is called 'Ogden's Mixture' and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Pipe Used: Parker Billiard, Everyman, Aerosphere Billiard

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokemart Brighton

Similar Blends: Gallaher Limited - Condor Long Cut (Brown) (vaguely).

7 people found this review helpful.

SamH Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SamH (31)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This is to me the best widely available flake out there. Not everyone likes it, but I find it has just the right amount of punch to it and is incredibly pleasant on most occasions. In fact in a tie with Full Virginia Flake (SG's), I don't know which would win. Opening the pack it always reminds me of a sort of Christmas pudding. It rubs out nicely and is just a nice, solid tobacco to have. Occasionally I will buy Condor instead, but generally, like my favourite curry, tea or pint, I'll pick St Bruno. Update, 7 months later, still the best, try it and see. I find it hits all the right balances. Yes occasionally i crave a bit of Full Virginia Flake or Kendal Cream for a change, yes I love Condor and it's ready rubbed is the best burning tobacco i've found ever, but I will always come back to St Bruno and the flake if It's around. It's the pipe equivalent of coming home. Further to this, i'm actually now waiting for the Condor to run out so I can go back to St Bruno as a staple. (I bought too much Condor and like a really rich food too much is more than enough! Also the nicotine in St Bruno is to me really not that far behind Condor's which actually is not that strong really). I have tried a lot of tobacos over the last 15 odd years and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING makes a pipe work for me like St Bruno flake. If it disappears I quit smoking. Simple as that. (I ought to anyway but.... St Bruno!) Stick with this one if you're going to smoke!

Pipe Used: Straight billiards of different varieties

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the shop

Purchased From: mysmokingshop

Similar Blends: St Bruno, Ready Rubbed! Not much else really..

7 people found this review helpful.

BarryChello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BarryChello (7)
Medium to Strong Very Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Pouch notes smell like malt vinegar, and it never seems to dry to the correct moisture level for smoking. I suspect it is coated in PG solution, probably to stop it drying out whilst sat on the supermarket shelf. The lakeland essence is also too much for my tastes, i do like tobacco with floral notes but this is too much for me. Its one of those tobaccos that i want to love for its nostalgia because I grew up not far from where it was blended. Every working class man in the northwest seemed to smoke it at one point. It does have a place in my heart but not in my pipe thanks. If i want a trip down memory lane i will choose revor plug every time.

Pipe Used: Briars, cobs

Age When Smoked: 5 years +

Purchased From: Morrisons

Similar Blends: Dog poo with detergent.

5 people found this review helpful.

TW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TW (34)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

St Bruno flake is one of the traditional mass-produced English tobaccos that's been around for ever. I first smoked it 30 years ago, and it doesn't seem to have changed or suffered much from changes of ownership and production shifting to Denmark. Flake used to be the choice of people who preferred their tobacco a little stronger, the ready-rubbed burning hotter and having a little less flavour and depth to it.

It's a very "basic" Virginia-based (probably African Virginias) blend, in that it has no pretentions and is pretty undemanding. A reliable, smooth, medium strength non-"Danish/US aromatic" tobacco that really tastes of tobacco, doesn't bite, blends well with plugs and twists and you can smoke it all day, every day. If it was a drink it would be a decent large-scale mass-production 5-year old blended Scotch intended to appeal to the masses, not a heavily peated 35 year old single-malt only enjoyable by a few determined "experts".

Which is pretty much what it was always intended to be.

If you want to know what the tobaccos smoked in the glory days of mass English working-class pipe smoking were like, forget Latakia-heavy blends and orientals, this is one of the three big hitters along with Condor and Gold Block. I used to smoke it 30 years ago, and while it's not my number one "go to" choice nowadays it still has a place in my heart and I smoke it once in a while. The world would certainly be a sadder place without it.

Every smoker should try it at least once, and if you're an aromatic smoker tempted to try a first flake or "real" tobacco, you could do far worse than St Bruno.

5 people found this review helpful.

who broke my clay pipe? Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
who broke my clay pipe? (61)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

50g Pouch with inner foil sealed carton.

Pouch aroma golden rich stewed juicy fruits with sourness.

Appearance;bark coloured moist flakes with golden streaks,fairly flakey consistancy but uniform and well packed and presented(if you care about presentation).

To fit in my storage kilner jar i cut the flake piles into 3 equal squares dividing the length where it becomes a broken flake (i tried my best)and for an easy preparation size for my smallish falcon bulldog bowl which i have dedicated to this flake.

As soon as i sniffed the contents i had high hopes that this was going to be the quintessential juicy fruit golden nectar i have been seeking.

Drawing through my as yet unlit pipe for a few clues before ignition,i get the fruit stew(think plums,apricots,peaches,apples,pears) with a bit of soap(the soap may well be a ghost of whatever this estate pipe had smoked previously, but it was reamed and cleaned by me for this. Being already familiar with st bruno ready rubbed i didn't think it would impede the taste,and it was likely that this being purchased in the UK would of probably been smoking st bruno or simular in its past life).

Fairly simular to the ready rubbed except earthier,richer and definately more aromatic. More burley forward and cooler than the already cool(but wet) ready rubbed..Both are cool smokes anyway but do produce wetness in the moisture trap,but its handleable and because it tastes so good strait out of the pouch i don't bother pre-drying.

This i feel is the one i have been looking for,for a long time, and produces a very rich distinct pleasant fruit nectar aroma which i remember as a kid.

Walking or playing in the woods this thick rich smoke would linger wherever a pipe smoking dog walker had been previously. You wouldn't see the walker but you could smell that they had been around.Its like a tobacco equivalent of juicy fruit bubble gum and is for me the quintessential pipe aroma. Before i knew about flakes i always thought this was st bruno,but when i smoked st bruno ready rubbed,although pleasant, it didn't quite produce the results i was seeking and so my quest was still open. I thought maybe it was a forgotten discontinued brand,or that maybe the original recipe had changed over the years,or that my young nose in the 70s smelt things differently. Its not as if i really knew for certain that it was st bruno,its possibly an instinct picked up by hearing or reading what i saw around me or watching what people pulled out of their pockets(yes i was that annoying kid who stared at pipers having their private smoking moments).

Anyway i nearly wrote off my search until i found st bruno flake and read on here that it was different to the ready rubbed;it is different for sure.

This produces as near as dammit to that memory aroma. Being the smoker and not the passing pedestrian, its not as easy for me to tell because i am tasting as well(same as other baccies that i cannot smell as easy when i am the one doing the smoking).

(I have also recently discovered 'condor long cut' flake which is different to the 'condor ready rubbed' version in a simular way to st bruno which made me question my memories to make sure i was correct;they are both rich fruit smokes and do simular jobs(i could try a 50/50 mix).

Anyway this for me is a totally 4 star baccy and its an OTC. Fruity buttery and not quite as soapy as the ready rubbed version.No bite either.

I expect i will always have some of this on hand as long as it is still made.

5 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Strong Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

I have been smoking a bowl of St. Bruno Flake each day for over twenty years, usually my third pipe of the day, and I carry it with me in my pipe bag with its special pipe just in case I stop for a Guinness on the way home. Although I have a lot of it in my basement in tins, I now order it from Europe in bulk. I am keeping the tins for the day the smoke police prevail. I roll out a fistful while it is still moist and keep it in a Ziploc bag where it gradually dries out. It smokes better when it has been dried a little. The smell in the tin is of some kind of spice or herb I cannot identify. The flakes arrive dark brown, pliable and moist. The tobacco loads easily and burns to a white ash all the way down to the dottle. I devote a large Wiley billiard to St. Bruno and smoke nothing else in it; I like a big dose of this stuff and have always smoked it in good sized billiards. In addition to the spices or herbs, a sweetener has been added which I think is neutral, but it is difficult to tell because the tobacco has a distinctive flavor particularly at the start. The smoke is "cool" and sweet with absolutely no bite. It is a typcial English flake with a powerful nicotine content that you can feel humming on your tongue. A third of the way down the bowl, I become inured to the flavoring additives and the taste of rich Viriginia takes over and the strong Virginia flavor builds as does the nicotine. If you smoke it on an empty stomach it can punch you in the gut, and there have been times when on relighting, it has given me the hiccups as Condor Original can sometimes do. You will need to clear your palate after a bowl of St. Bruno because any tobacco you smoke immediately afterward will not convey its ordinary taste. This is a great English flake for its unique flavor, the flavor of Virginia, its smoking characteristics and its strength. I intend never to be without it. Highly recommended. Paddy.

5 people found this review helpful.

hawky454 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hawky454 (88)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

This review is in regard to both the Flake and the Ready Rubbed versions of St. Bruno as they taste identical to me.

I discovered Condor before St. Bruno even came to our side of the pond (U.S.) and I fell head over heals for the stuff, hard and fast! When I finally got around to trying St. Bruno Flake & Ready Rubbed I didn't think much of it, I thought it tasted like a light, weak version of the almighty Condor. Over a period of about a year I kept going back to St. Bruno to check up on it so to speak and I was always left feeling good knowing that Condor will always be my go to.... then something happened.... maybe I got a little softer in my older age but damnit if St. Bruno ain't just the perfect smoke. It's got dark Virginia's to add depth, a little Dark Fired for complexity and spice and the subtle top dressing is just enough to keep things interesting with it's complex fruity/floral components that work synergistically to weave a beautiful tapestry that I consider an absolute masterpiece. As with anything of course you'll hear about the glory days of yesteryear and how it's just a shell of it's former self but hell, it's one of the best tobacco blends I've ever gotten my hands (palate) on so Mac Baren is doing something right. I find that the top flavors come out a little better in a tall and narrow bowl and I actually prefer this one right out of the tin/pouch as it seems to smoke just fine with the moisture level it's packed with, which is odd for me cause I usually prefer to air out my tobacco until it's just short of crispy. This one has plenty of nicotine to satisfy the addict and enough to give the novice a nice warm buzz, it's not too over the top in any shape or form and I now consider this one my holy grail all day smoke. I'll always have a place in my heart for Condor but I prefer to use that more as a treat than an all day smoke. Yes there are a lot of similarities between this and Condor which one fits your fancy? Only you can decide but I would say they're both worth trying at least once and if you're anything like me you just might find a place for both in your rotation.

ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL (both RR and Flake cuts)

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Gallaher Limited - Condor Long Cut (Brown).

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Users have rated this highly. I think I reviewed this sometime ago here too. I am not surprised, as this brand was very popular over the counter pipe tobacco during my childhood in the 1970s and has been produced for ages in the UK. It is a strong tobacco but for the experienced pipe smoker an easy medium smoke. To me this brings back fond memories of the old stalwarts down the pub, or some of my school teachers gently musing on this stuff on their lunch break, or my late grandfather watching the cricket on the box. Yes it goes without saying then I enjoy this, and it goes so well with a strong mug of tea! This is to me one of those quintessential pipe tobaccos of its time and a regular stand by. For me this is a late afternoon smoke, after work or in the garden at home. Sip it gently and enjoy.

For the record the late great Tony Benn MP smoked St. Bruno in his pipe whilst debating politics, or as a guest on TV or chat shows.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: Smoked when bought.

Purchased From: Local supermarket

Similar Blends: English Virginia moderate strength related tobaccos..

4 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (222)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

Although a bit pricey, the two tins I ordered arrived today. Both had a Jan 2016 production date. Upon opening a tin, there was no "rush" of any aroma as with some tobaccos. Mild sniffing brought out the vinegar preservative used (an insert inside the tin explaining the reasoning for this), and not as prominent as with Mac Baren's ODF. Deep inhalation of the tin contents was the mild vinegar presence and a subtly sweet, fruity presence. If I had to say what fruit, I would choose apricot, and certainly not over the top. The tin note and ultimate smoke reminded me of Erinmore Flake; although I get no florals from EF as with SBF. The flakes were arranged in three neat layers and very thinly cut ala Mac Baren. I like to fold, twist, and slightly break my flakes before packing. This was very easily done with such a thin cut flake, making the packing easy. Lighting and keeping the bowl lit was no problem. Definitely a Virginia forward blend with a spice note I feel is from the Kentucky. I like some body in my smoke, and for a Virginia it has more body than what I'm used too. I'm sure that's due to the Kentucky presence and a good thing by me. I would not consider this a Lakeland in a GH or SG way. GH is definitely more flowery whereas SG is more incense like in their respective presentations. There was, however, a mild hint of what I would describe as a light (emphasis on light) rose flavored soap, very enjoyable for me and unlike Condor, and fading away to nearly imperceptible by the bowl's end. A mild and agreeable sweetness was present with every puff. Perhaps due to its freshness, there was a slight bit of moisture present during the first half of the smoke. It didn't smoke hot nor was there any bite, just a mild tingle to my tongue that I find when I smoke Virginias. Only toward the end of the bowl did I experience any nic hit. As I mostly work from home I'm puffing on a pipe all day long and am used to smoking much stronger tobaccos (Irish Flake, Stirling Flake, Aged Burley Flake, Wessex Burley Slice, GH Brown Flake, rotating through them on any given day). Nice fine ash at the end without dottle.

All in all I enjoyed smoking St Bruno Flake. Mac Baren has done a nice job with its manufacture and presentation as can be said with all of their pipe tobaccos. I do, however, find it to be too expensive for 50 grams. It is a very nice and satisfying smoke for every day use, but the price point is too high to do so. As I prefer a flake cut I most likely will pass on the St Bruno Ready Rubbed.

UPDATE 2-11-17: For me, as with most flakes I enjoy, smokes best when bone dry (crumbles into small pieces but not tobacco dust).

Pipe Used: Stanwell Featherweight Poker

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin.

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: Erinmore Flake, Condor Longcut, Original (Walnut) Flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (123)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

For a cheap convenience store blend you can still buy at Tesco's, this is one of the best all-rounder full-bodied every-day smoke I have ever had so far. These flakes comprise of virginia/burley tobaccos, and the room-note is something to die for. In the description above it says this is an aromatic tobacco, but it is not. The Lakeland casing does not smoke, nor feels, like aromatics at all. For one thing it does not bite, and the Lakeland essence is only there to compliment this blend, not to exonerate it. I don't see much of a Danish potpourri here. Secondly, as the Lakeland casing starts to wane, you will be greeted with some baccy that is good enough to be had on its own. I am finding this smoke very fulfilling and pleasing to pass through your nose. It reminds me a little bit to GH Best Brown 2, but this one is probably more sort of an everyday any time blend. It gets stronger and sweeter the more you smoke and, if smoked properly, a couple of flakes will keep you busy for a few hours. The moist content is about right, so I don't recommend drying these flakes for too long. In the strength department I'd say it is medium, but its flavour is more akin to that of stronger blends. In my personal opinion, and this is one of the reasons why I like this tobacco so much, the burley is this play's main character giving this blend its own signature and character. I can detect earthy undertones from the virginia, but the floral essence is more in the foreground. This blend is going to get a four star rating.

Purchased From: Tesco

Similar Blends: Gawith Hoggarth Best Brown 2.

4 people found this review helpful.

FiremanMick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FiremanMick (11)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Fantastic tobacco readily available here in the UK.Always reminds me of the old TV advert fronted by the late John Arlott the old Bobby turned cricket commentator and his fruity Hampshire tones.I have always found this tobacco quite variable from pack to pack.Moisture? age? or just quality control with the common to be found twigs as long as a pipe stem. However, it is a rich nutty tasting quite strong baccy which usually for me needs a couple of charring lights to get going.Taste is consistent from top to bottom of the bowl leaving a fine ash with no wastage.Can gurgle a bit though.I always leave out on a plate overnight to rid any excessive moisture. A very yummy baccy which really satisfies with a long lingering aftertaste. One could be forgiven for thinking it an offering of Gawiths with its slightly floral aspect especially on first light.Very recommended.One of my mainstays.

Pipe Used: Peterson,Falcon,Blakemar

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Anywhere in UK

Similar Blends: Most Lakeland blends..

4 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Being of a newer generation of American pipe smokers, the glory years of this fine flake had passed me by. After reading Keith Richard's (yes...of the Rolling Stones!)autobiography where he discussed the wonderful smells of this flake in his father's home, I was incented to take a look for it. I was gifted some by a friend from the Ogden's era of St Bruno and it was excellent. There is an underlying sweetness that I found very similar to Dunhill's MM34596, but where that tobacco fails to deliver, St Bruno brings along some great tobacco flavor to boot! It packs well and burns to a white ash. There is plenty of Lady Nicotine in St Bruno as well. I truely enjoyed this historic blend. My only reason for 3 stars instead of four is simply because I found the flavor to be one dimensional. However, I would strongly suggest trying this grand blend.(if Ogdens can be found) 3 1/2 stars!

4 people found this review helpful.

Alguhan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alguhan (140)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

Packs very well and lights easily, it is also easy to keep lit. Offers a long lasting, rich smoke. It has a cool, semi-sweet true tobacco taste which becomes full bodied at the middle of the bowl. The nicotine kick just fits my needs.

It deserves a four star rating but for an all day smoke I need something much more tasty, not this much monotone.

4 people found this review helpful.

Jakob Kiilerich Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jakob Kiilerich (120)
Strong Mild Full Tolerable

Oh, sweet lord this stuff is good!!

Rumours say that this wonderful tobacco is on its way out of the market (it is long gone here in Denmark); well not in the UK that is. It is as common as baked beans and Guiness are in the same country, and it is still produced by Ogden's of Liverpool. Indeed! It is available in every newsagent in London but only in pouches.

I've found a place on the internet where it is available: Enjoy!

I recently went to London to look for pipe tobacco not available in Denmark. I stumbled over St. Bruno and bought a pouch, and boy am i glad i did! This overly matured VA flake reminds me of that certain smell of dark pine forests in the springtime; moist, swampy, earthy, deep and with a very faint scent of stinkhorn (yes, I know it's crazy but it is not meant as a bad thing!).

It will never bite you, it may knock you out, but if you are gentle on the puffing action it will reward you with a strong, deep and very complex aroma.

Yes, there is some light soapy topping added, but it tastes very natural and very good as well. I cannot quite seem to put my finger on it, but it is unique, delightful and discrete.

This is on my top 5 list of flakes; a worthy competitor to the esteemed Marlin Flake and Astley's No. 44.

Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark

4 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (225)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I was highly curious to try this blend! Somehow unavailable in germany I had the luck to get ahold of a 50g pouch of St. Bruno today. Even tho it has a german revenue stamp and even the pouch description is in german, yet no german shop has it, not even online. Strange (and a pity)!

The old ads made me wanting to try this classy blend even more and when I got my pouch I instantly opened it! Inside there's plastic container sealed with golden aluminium. Opening it I was greeted by two rows of small (~1,5cm) and long flake slices. Thinly cut (~1mm) there are 10 slices per stack, so 20 in total.

The scent is sweet, fruity, slightly floral, and somehow remind me a tad of Erinmore Flake (this juicy-fruit-ish aroma that I love)! Medium- to dark-brown in color with very few bright speckles in it the slices are very appetizing in both scent and appearance. Really can't get enough of this lovely aroma.

As usual I packed a bowlful of it in my clay for the first smoke to get the most defined tasting experience. The moisture is not moist, but a bit too moist to fold&stuff it fresh from the pouch. Pretty well conditioned for a flake cut - not too moist, not too dry. Excited and therefore impatient as I was I rubbed it out for my first smoke, like this its smokeable right away.

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the taste. I've read some reviews in forehand, but still I was unsure how it would actually taste. First light instantly got me hooked! Unobtrusively floral aroma that's underscored and harmonized by citrus the topping is leaving enough room for the tobacco to shine and is underscoring and enriching the tobaccos aromas. Rich stoved fruits, slightly bready and sweet aroma from the Virginias. Earth, wood and gentle, but satisfying spice to it. from the Kentucky. I think the Kentucky is dark fired as it adds a mild smokiness and sports a very delicious spice to the blend that's harmonizing very well with the fruity-sweet Virginias to create a unique, rich and full-bodied smoke!

Here comes the "problem"....I like this blend so much so that I am desperatly looking for ways to get more of it!!!! :-P It's a real pity you can't buy it anywhere over here, as this is a classy, characterful and very satisfying All-Day smoke that will appeal to any Burley/Kentucky lover just as much as to Virginia fans who like some spice to their blends by times.

A outstanding(ly good) blend that deserves to be a classic that's been around for decades, I have nothing more left to say but: 4/4 stars and a instant favorite of mine! Try it, or you'll miss out on a exceptional smoke.

Pipe Used: Clay Pipes / Various Briars

3 people found this review helpful. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note (109)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The perfect all-day smoke balances the different characteristics of tobacco, and "St. Bruno" hovers between sweet and dark while keeping natural leaf flavor strong as slightly aided by toppings. The dark Virginia taste dominates, aided by small amounts of dark fired Kentucky Burley, with light Virginias entering the play mostly to naturally sweeten it. On top of this is a combination of floral, citrus and possibly tonquin-like flavorings that meld into dark fired flavor and are absorbed by the sweetened dark Virginia. The result is mellow like molasses and marshmallows melted onto a rich grain, burns smoothly, cool and slowly, which presents the ideal convenient tobacco experience of picking up a packet of "St. Bruno," letting it dry slowly after opening, then folding and stuffing a flake for an hour of contented sipping. If this were priced more reasonably, it would be a daily smoke for me.

Thanks to Pipes Magazine Forum member "misterlowcase" for this sample.

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

Gestalt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gestalt (20)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

I recently purchased this from a supermarket when I was caught short of tobacco away from home. I had previously smoked a couple of pouches of the ready rubbed version, which I enjoyed, but had not tried the flake.

I really like this tobacco. The flavorings work so well with the Virginia and Kentucky, all of which are perceptible without dominating the smoke. I also like that it is strong enough to satisfy my need for Nicotine, yet not so strong that I have to pick my moment to smoke it. I do find it a bit moist straight out of the pouch, but not so moist that it needs drying out, just a couple of sweeps with a pipe cleaner will clear up any gurgle. If I have time I'll use the DGT and this stops any gurgle altogether, although I mostly just stuff and puff it.

I was recently smoking this outside my local watering hole and smokers and non-smokers alike commented on its great aroma and shoved their noses in the pouch with great delight when it was offered. I think this is a great blend if you want a smoke that really satisfies and doesn't create an exclusion zone around you when your friends get a whiff of it.

I will revisit this blend more often in future and will be sure to retry the ready rubbed.

Pipe Used: Briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh pouch

Purchased From: Supermarkets

3 people found this review helpful.

ruffinogold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ruffinogold (107)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Tolerable

Juna Gu said "It seems to me that references to soap travel on the Western winds from our good friends accross The Pond; their culture, being what it is, demands that they portray the English as namby pamby fairies of dubious sexual persuasion at every available opportunity. " ...... If this were true it would be only because of statements like this . That being said ... it tastes like soap .

3 people found this review helpful.

Briarabbit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briarabbit (116)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Overwhelming

What did they put in that stuf? Is that tobacco? My goondness, I believe someone is trying to poison me with this weed! My head is spinning,and I think I see the light! I just saw Elvis and Jim Morrison!And Mister Rogers ,and John Wayne...and...

I respect those of you who enjoy this tobacco.But to me, It's like eating Chiterlings when you could have had pork chops,(IMO only). Stout and strong enough to knock a grown Santa Gartrudis Bull over. If you need this much nicotene you're a better man than me Gunga Din. Truly a nicotene power house!!!!!!!!!!

3 people found this review helpful.

A Scot in Argentina Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
A Scot in Argentina (13)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable

I can't for the life of me understand why this is classed as an ''Aromatic'' on this site when it comes nothing close to being one....same goes for Condor as well.

St Bruno is what my father used to smoke back in the 1960's...I know because it was me as a small boy who used to rub the flakes out on a sheet of newspaper for him and put it in his tobacco jar. I seem to recall the flakes being darker compared to today but could well be mistaken.

I like the size and thickness of the flakes...they are thin but it makes rubbing them out easy and one nicely fills my Falcon pipe bowl. It's a good honest virginia tobacco smoke and typically British. Not as flavoursome as Condor which I much prefer but a good over the counter substitute to have now and again. Just wish it were as easily available here as it is in the UK.

Pipe Used: Falcon

2 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (475)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

I was fortunate to receive a good size sample of this from a friend and really enjoyed it. It is a nice vabur with a hint of floral essence. It also has a pretty good nic hit. I enjoyed it mostly in my Meers, but found it pretty tasty in my Dunhill 1985 5103 shell also.

It is a shame that this is not available at all over here in the states and the cost to ship it in is pretty high. There is really nothing comparable to it in the states. I guess my JKP RR will have to fill this niche for me.

Pipe Used: Altinok Canadian, Dunhill 5103

Purchased From: Gift from friend

Similar Blends: Condor Long Cut.

2 people found this review helpful.

shrimpy jim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
shrimpy jim (5)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Very Pleasant

I can buy my St Bruno Flake from my local newsagents which is about 100 yards from my house.I smoke and have smoked 100 types of tobacco and more but St Bruno flake and to a lesser degree ready rubbed is and always will be my everyday smoke.As we say around my neck of the woods, Its the kiddy.

Pipe Used: falcons bewlays petersons ect

Purchased From: newsagents

Similar Blends: to me st bruno is not similar to any other blend I have smoked.It is a one off..

2 people found this review helpful.

cigarcohiba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigarcohiba (30)
Medium to Strong Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

A well balanced tobacco. A pleasant easy smoke. Leaves a smooth aftertaste. Classic virginia with a punch of nicotine from the cured Burely (Kentucky). The Burley/Kentucky is noticable especially for the slow,cool,dry smoking characteristics of this pipe tobacco.

2 people found this review helpful.

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

(This review is based on the tin version from 1982)...a fine flake indeed...I have smoked this flake since 1961 and fortunately with traveling in Europe for many years, I was always able to keep a supply as well as having it available here in the US until recently.

As other have noted, this is a classic English/British flake, that has stood the test of time...I am reviewing this based on the original manufacturer and not Orlik...

This is a blended flake and not 100% Virginia...rather "other fine leaf" added to a base of Virginia...Quality leaf, consistentcy, and midly flavored, are characteristics of this flake, and an easy flake to prepare and smoke.

Best in a medimum or smaller pipe and can serve as an all day smoke...

With the history of this flake, I highly recommend it, as it is one of my top 15 tobaccos and has been for many years...

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

2 people found this review helpful.

Claudius Stradivarius Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Claudius Stradivarius (171)
Very Strong Mild Extra Full Pleasant

Now I was in my fifth year as a pipe smoker. I tought I was a tough pipe smoker and could handle anything.

St-Bruno flake proved me wrong. I almost got sick and had to stop around half bowl.

It was too much.

I guess they would be a lot easier to handle today if I could get some...Because now, I really am a tough pipe smoker and can handle anything.

2 people found this review helpful.

Monopod Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Monopod (24)
Strong Strong Very Full Strong

What happened to St.Bruno rough cut ? It was the staple of the smoking contests back in ......when a measured amount, complete with clay "dodger", were given to hopefuls. I actually came second to my friend, who was an inveterate Dunhill smoker. He agreed to " slum it " for the evening. Another tobacco which made me vomit, and had to take the following day off work with nicotine poisoning.

2 people found this review helpful.

pencils Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pencils (43)
Extremely Strong None Detected Extra Full Tolerable

I guess this was the pipe tobacco that my uncle used to smoke when I was a lad in the mid 70's, and that eventually encouraged me to start smoking a pipe in the first place about 15 years ago - well, that and the cave scene from Dead Poets' Society.

Isn't it funny how the years change your perceptions?

I have to agree entirely with Guyrox. If Satan were to blend a pipe tobacco, this would be it. With his bottom.

2 people found this review helpful.

Guyrox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Guyrox (131)
Overwhelming None Detected Overwhelming Pleasant

St-Bruno Flake was my first very, extremely bad experience in pipe smoking...I still remember how bad and dizzy I felt once I hit the mid-bowl, and that was it between me and St-Bruno!

The ready -rubbed red VA, on the other hand, was a different story.

The flakes are very dark, and the aroma was discreet, but I could already feel the strenght of the tobacco before lighting up. It smelled of natural, strong tobacco.

Of course, you need to rub out the slices before smoking; the flakes were somehow on the moist side...

Upon lighting, it was strong, but still okay; a good taste, and the room note was very discreet. As I was getting closer and closer to the mid-bowl, things got worse and worse; a very strong taste started kicking in at an exponential rate! If it was the nicotine, then boy it was like smoking a full pack of smokes at once!!! Then, it transferred to my stomach all of a sudden; I felt sick!

Of course, I didn't throw up, but I would have gotten there if I would have insisted another 5 minutes...So I stopped smoking, emptied my pipe, cleaned the pipe as well as I could to rid it of that nasty, disgustingly strong tobacco and thought of whom I hated enough to the point that I could give him the reminder to get him sick. As I couldn't hate anyone that much, I just threw the devilish thing in the garbage.


2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (302)
Strong Medium Medium Tolerable

Good for the soapbox or for smoking? What the hell do these mad english flake blenders put in their creations? Upon opening the tin and sniffing, I was shocked by the smell: this tobacco was VERY reminiscent of the tin aroma of Erinmore!!! The same strong perfume that someone calls "pineapple", but most likely comes from bergamot and other citrusy-flowery essences!!! Really, it is SO strong that you have to wonder if some idiot poured his aftershave in your tin before you opened it! And leaving it to the open air won't do: the flavoring persists and refuses to die! As a matter of fact, I must admit that the smoking experience is better than with Erinmore mixture: at least you don't get that harsh feeling in your throat, or that weird sensation in your mouth. Crumbling the flakes is easy, and the result is a cool, slow smoke: perfect for getting all the right nuances from the virginia base of the tobacco. The taste IS similar to Erinmore, but it is more rounded and allows for a more pleasant natural sweetness to come out among the citrusy and soapy overtones. It is a strong tobacco, too: the fact that it is easy to "accidentally" (yes, tell someone else...) inhale is worsened by the high nicotine content. Anyway I only had problems when I smoked it in ridiculously huge bowls, so don't fear. At first I enjoyed this original tobacco, but now I am growing more and more tired of it. The soapy flavoring grows boring after a while, and as usual I start to crave for the inimitable king of virginias (Marlin Flake) and its never-tiresome sweetness. As far as weird english flakes go, this is one of the most tolerable (and one of the most respected by fans of the genre), but I don't feel much need for tobacco like this in my rotation.

2 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Overwhelming Strong Medium Tolerable

Every time one of these fancy makeovers sweeps over this site, one of my reviews bites the dust. In this case it was St Bruno, the only tobacco that has ever made me sick. I didn't like the taste much, either. Smells like moth balls.

2 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1270)
Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the only tobacco, in 23 years of pipe-smoking, that has made me queasy and green-faced. This was probably the result of choosing too large a bowl. I have since taken it in smaller portions, in a darling little Algerian-made slim dublin?El Morjane El Kala: how's that for a brand name??or in a baby Peterson's bent, and all was well.

The dark-brown flakes are neatly laid out, sideways in the tin, which gives off that slightly soapy redolence?Rasierseife, shaving soap, called it one German review; another compares it to Nivea Creme...?that is sometimes encountered in slightly topped English Virginia flake. I believe the smell may be oil of bergamot, as I find the odour identical to that of Earl Grey tea, which is certainly flavoured with that favourite compound of perfumers. And several snuffs, described officially by their blenders as being scented with oil of bergamot, smell like this as well. One either likes it or one doesn't.

Red and Dark virginias, with some périque, are supposed to be in this; but it doesn't taste like the classic Virginia/périque blend at all. There is very little peppery-périque flavour, and this is not at all a sweet-tasting composition. The basic note is a nutty smokiness, quite agreeable, quite smooth, never cloying, but, ultimately, not all that memorable.

The principal virtue of St Bruno, to me, is as a transitional choice, between the sweeter blends I prefer at an earlier hour, and the darker latakia mélanges I smoke in the evening. If I 've had enough sweetness for one day, but do not yet want my palate taken over by the leather-clad Ms Latakia, an un-syrupy Virginia, like nutty St Bruno or smoky Full Virginia Flake (S. Gawith & Co.) does very nicely, with Lapsang Sou-chong tea, or a single-malted apéritif.

Like all Imperial Tobacco offerings, this tobacco is not, at this time, regularly available in the United States of America.

2 people found this review helpful.

Fazby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Fazby (66)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant

I, too, felt overpowered by this blend. The descriptions above are fitting.

The aroma, however, always struck me as being similar to suntan lotion.

2 people found this review helpful.

mailman 5000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mailman 5000 (60)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The best of our supermarket brands and a real popular one .Availble also in England in six inch strips which you wont find in the supermarket. Devotees are split down the middle and those who have the packet will not have the strip and vice versa. The packet stuff is softer and smaller. I prefer the chunky strips.

It must be one of the most stable products as every batch seems to be the same and I have never noticed any changes over the years . A real stanby product.

A great virginia flake. Highly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful.

Noorrmm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noorrmm (193)
Strong Medium to Strong Very Full Tolerable to Strong

Appearance: Very dark, almost black flake.

Aroma: I guess this is what is meant by soapy aroma. I can?t tell if this is an additive, or the result of fermentation. Whichever it is, it went too far for me. Reminds me of Vitalis hair tonic. Anyone out there old enough to remember that?

Packing: needed to be rubbed out for any size pipe, or it would not light.

Lighting: Took flame reluctantly, needed several charring lights.

Initial flavor: Very intense. Some Virginia taste, but swamped by the processing.

Mid-bowl: Hard to keep lit, and the flavor is too intense for me.

Finish: Hard for me to get through a bowl of this product (I can?t really refer to it as tobacco), leaves a residual aroma and flavor in the pipe.

Summary: This can be used sparingly to beef up a wimpy virginia. A few strands on top of the bowl impart a good deal of taste to an otherwise mild tobacco. Other than that, I can?t recommend it..

2 people found this review helpful.

dgifford Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dgifford (8)
Overwhelming Mild to Medium Overwhelming Pleasant to Tolerable

Smelled great in the tin. Ended up physically ill from the strength and chucking the remainder.

2 people found this review helpful.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (1270)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Compared to the previous versions (I'm mostly thinking about Gallaher's production, in the 1990s, which I have smoked more than once), the current version has not much in common. The flakes are a lot less dark; as for the topping, it is not the same; and the nicotine is a lot less present. This being said and when assessed taken on its own, MB's St Bruno Flake is still a very nice smoke. The flavoring is pleasant; the tobacco is top quality; and the nicotine level is ideal for my liking. Not very similar to Gallaher's version, once more but still worth it. The only issue I have is its pricing, which I find slightly overboard.

1 person found this review helpful.

PastorPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PastorPipe (21)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

After a lovely Father's Day dinner, I opened this new tin of St. Bruno. I had wanted to try this classic British working man's tobacco for a long time, but couldn't get it here in the States. Happily, we Yanks now have it available to us. It's a bit pricey--$14.45 from Upon opening the tin I could smell the vinegar which is used as a preservative. (While others said they couldn't taste the vinegar when smoking, I got a little hint of it early on in the bowl, though I didn't mind it.) The tin aroma also had some light floral and citrus notes, as well as a grassiness from the Virginia. The flakes were a little moist--next time I'm going to give them some trying time (about ten minutes under a desk lamp). They rubbed out easily (I have always had terrible luck with packing flakes that haven't been rubbed out, though I know it can be done), and I packed my big 4 panel St. Croix with two and a half flakes worth. Despite the slight moisture the tobacco lit well and burned well--a little too well about 1/2 of the way down and I had to start sipping lightly. The flavor is very delightful--like I said, a little vinegary for a few puffs, but then grassy and citrusy and a pleasant bitterness like a beer with a good amount of hops. There were some woody hints from the darker Kentucky in the blend, but the grassinesss of the Virginia dominated. There was just a hint of pleasant sweetness which lasted about a third of the way down. The last third was a bit harsh and soapy, though bearable, and I smoked right down to the bottom. It definitely was not wet--just a wee bit of juice in the stem. It left no tongue bite and I drank seltzer afterwards with no pain. Over all it was a fine smoking experience and I definitely recommend it. One of the reasons I wanted to try it is that this is the tobacco that is smoked by Alf Garnett, the main character of the old British sitcom "Til Death Do Us Part" on which our own "All in the Family" was based. Archie smoked cigars, but Alf smoked St. Bruno!

Pipe Used: La Croix panel briar

Age When Smoked: New Tin

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

So I'd had this on my wishlist for the now 6 years I've been smoking -primarily at first from the allure, history, and respect this blend has received world-wide... but until very recently it wasn't available in the States.

During my patience I grew to really appreciate both dark-fired and flued flakes, in no small part due to HH's signature series Old Dark Fired, as well as McClelland's Dark Star (Hell-all their Virginias are first - class for that matter).

Being a sucker for quality in both packaging and presentation, this square tin opens to present a placard card atop a heavy gold liner. The placard points out in detail the fact that vinegar is used in this blend-as has been the tradition since the Tobacco Purity Law of 1863?

It's almost a disclaimer of sorts to point out that this preservative -while imparting flavor- may actually rust the tin itself.

I point this out as I expected some derivative of "Lakeland Sauce" to be the flavorings to this blend- rose, geranium, licorice... a very muted version of Ennerdale if you will (as that blend contains the kitchen sink of sauces)!

I got none of that here. The only component I perceived other than high quality Kentucky & Virginias was the tanginess multiple reviews have agreed exist. I get nothing else.

Having stated this- it does impart a different 'effect' on the palate as without said vinegar this blend would surely present some sugary component, early to mid-bowl perhaps...? The tanginess is altered , offset it you will by those sugars, giving the blend a unique but in no way off-putting profile...

I'd consider this a "muted" Yang to Erinmore's "over-the-top" Ying. Perhaps it will grow on me, but I think I built up my expectations too much to gjve thus blend a fair shake.

After all I love all things Gawith & Hoggarth, and they throw more Lakelands at you than grandma did with her sausage gravy - drowning those scratch biscuits on Sunday morning...delectable on both accounts.

St Bruno is I'm sure consistent and reliable, it's not too strong, still demand a respectful cadence whIle being consumed, but it -to me at least- lacks je ne said quoi.

Pipe Used: Briars & Meers

Age When Smoked: 18 months?

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

1 person found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

A pleasant and very relaxing smoke. The natural tobacco flavors are mostly Bright or Golden Virginias with a light Kentucky backing. The Kentucky does bring a little more to the table toward the end. The topping is citrus/floral and has nearly an equal influence with the natural flavors. I think there may be another fruit flavor other than citrus, but it's lighter and less identifiable. A fairly smooth smoke with only a little sharpness here and there. Burns cool and burns well. Has all the strength you would ever need. Great tasting flake.

Medium to strong in body. Medium to full in taste. Flavoring around medium.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

Stefanos Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stefanos (139)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I opened the pouch to find a small plastic box covered with a foil. Not a very posh presentation but the brown/black flakes contained in the box in two rows are packed very tidily, are extremely thin and look very appetizing. They are so thin and contain just the right moisture that you just have to fold, pack and light.

From the first whiff I was greeted by a dark, yeasty and sweet molasses-tasting tobacco. Having read the many reviews mentioning a floral aroma I was expecting something like the Lakeland aromas of Kendal Cream or Ennerdale Flake but I found St. Bruno very dissimilar to either of them. If I had to name floral aromas for St. Bruno, I would say dried rose petals, violets and even geranium. I would not call its aroma soapy though and the main aroma for me is something molasses-like together with licorice probably.

The amount of casing perceived is mild, so I would not call St. Bruno an aromatic tobacco; scented is a more appropriate term given the fact the taste of the tobacco is not completely obscured by the scenting. Strength-wise it is medium, with neither lack nor excess of nicotine for an all day smoke. It smokes slow, burns cool, evenly and dry and taste is consistent throughout the bowl.

It’s a very enjoyable tobacco of very good quality surprisingly so for a so-called OTC blend. If you haven’t tried before it is highly recommended as it deserves at least a try. Then one can like it or not, but it surely is a very good quality and no-fuss tobacco.

I think I prefer St. Bruno to Orlik’s Dark Strong Kentucky, but J.F. Germain’s Rich Dark Flake is more impressive, if a little fussier.

1 person found this review helpful.

LannarkGent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LannarkGent (105)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

I enjoyed this smoke as being smooth and satisfying, with some fig flavor. I have had a number of blends in this genre, while it can be recommended, there are other choices that can entice and satisfy.

1 person found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (98)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

The St. Bruno’s Flake I’m reviewing is the tinned, “throwback” version from MacBaren. Popping this tin, the lightly mottled, brown flakes inside are uniform and attractively presented, with perfect moisture for in-tin aging or smoking. Tin note is slightly bready, brown and yellow, air and flue-cured VAs over nutty Burly that barely comes across as KY, apart from just a little of KYs signature sharpness, along with a bit of ripe, dark fruit. The heralded top note is very evident at first, more vegetal than floral, rather mysterious, then it fades over time to geranium oil and lemon grass. The flakes handle well, and I prefer to fold and loosely stuff an SB flake into a group 4 pipe and just deal with it until it’s well lit. Then it burns OK for me, with a little poking and careful stirring, and a proper bowlful lasts a while. At first I was not taken with this blend, and I did not think much of the topping, either, even though the tobaccos seemed to be high quality. But after it spent some time in a jar, I came to really enjoy SBF. With some “rest”, the medium-bodied VAs seem rich and well met with the buttery, tannic and pungent, very slightly smoky KY, with the much fainter topping hardly qualifying SBF as an “aromatic” any longer, but it still lends a distinctive quality to the smoke. Aromas are first class VA/Bur, and they align with the tastes, including traces of the topping. The lot just gets better as it is slowly smoked down. Over time, I’ve finally come to enjoy younger and fresher SBF, and now I like it straight from the tin, as well. Strength is past medium. Tastes are medium to full, or they can be so. Room note is pretty good. The aftertaste is stellar, even richer and fattier than the best of the smoke, very nutty, and it lasts for hours.

I have to give “rested” St. Bruno’s Flake four stars, and I recommend that any VA/Bur lover that doesn’t take to it right away jar it and leave it there for a month or two, anyway. If you keep after it, perhaps in due time you will find yourself enjoying a bowl of SBF that you’ve plucked straight from a freshly opened tin.

Pipe Used: various briars; wound up preferring VA/Per pipes

Age When Smoked: fresh to 3 mos.

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Compare to Peterson's Perfect Plug.

1 person found this review helpful.

Newbie2010 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Newbie2010 (18)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable

At $20 a tin, plus tax, you won't get what you pay for. This flake is a whole lot of nothing and a bag of chips, the salt and vinegar type. No matter what pipe I packed with this, my Savinelli pot, a Danish churchwarden, my Peterson system 315, and others, my mouth felt like I had just eaten a whole bag of salt and vinegar potato chips. It had flutters of my beloved Erinmore flake, but nothing remarkable. Upon opening the tin, I was hit with a ketchup-like aroma. The flakes were perfect, too, delicate and easily rubbed out, save for wads of stem. That enchantment disappeared within a few puffs. There are many raving reviews of St. Bruno, but in my humble opinion, there are far better, and less pricy flakes to be had. Maybe I should have cellared it for a bit, for the tobacco seems young. Not sure I would try it again; once bitten twice shy, as the saying goes.

Pipe Used: Many different pipes

Age When Smoked: Three months

Purchased From: Watch City

1 person found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (106)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

Update: This has grown on me, despite the lukewarm initial review. I smoke this at times when I used to smoke the old University Flake, which used to be a go to when I didn't want anything dramatic.

The flavoring is very subtle (Unlike Condor) and I really only notice it at the beginning. The body is straight medium with decent but not remarkable strength, but mainly it is soft and gentle on the palate, an easy smoke.

However, the price of admission in the US is all wrong for a dependable, no drama, easy tobacco with some backbone, precluding me giving it 4 stars.

Do not be scared away by the classification of this as an aromatic, or by the supposed floral essences. It is about as much an aromatic as Royal Yacht, and I can detect no persistent florality.


St. Bruno has finally come back stateside, the old St. Bernard finally wandering back, the worse for where.

It's just not the same dog. First of all, it costs as much in the USA as it does in the UK. Maybe there is a reason for this that I don't understand, but it has nothing to do with quality.

Also, it doesn't taste like it did the last time it was imported into the US. I remember more of a deep, stoved VA flavor and a more winey top note.

That said, it is still a pretty good tobacco. Biteless, smooth, monochromatic, friendly. And yes it does taste like there's some Perique even though there isn't. Not near as floral or dark as Condor. I don't detect much or any "soap".

I would give 3 stars if it were fairly priced.

I'm afraid this will wind up in the doghouse here, or worse, the pound.

Purchased From: USA

1 person found this review helpful.

Causeway Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Causeway (8)
Strong Strong Full Pleasant

For me St Bruno is perhaps the best of the Over the Counter brands to be found in shops and supermarkets across the UK. The flake variety is somewhat rarer, but is luckily carried by my local Tesco (which now appears to have dropped Mellow Virginia, hmm).

St Bruno flake provides a rich, creamy, delicious smoke which is almost impossible to describe - the flakes are like dark meat; the experience of rubbing them out is one of near-regret and if this smoker was not on a very limited budget, he would be happy to fold the flakes into the pipe. The tobacco is rather gracious - it gives off a white smoke and sequences a not unpleasant room note. The taste is sublime; indescribable. The best I can do is say that when you take this smoke into your body it is like taking a weather system to heart. It is like a low fog on the brain, so easy to lose your time and your senses over it.

The Ready Rubbed is not disimilar - not quite so nice, but still haunting. Both are highly recommended by me.

Pipe Used: Dunhill Bruyere

1 person found this review helpful.

Puffingthebriar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Puffingthebriar (17)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Truly a fantastic flake, its worthy to be any ones rotation, 5 stars from me

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (264)
Strong Extremely Mild Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I can't say I've yet to find any of the 'soapiness' some others have found. For me, a straightforward dark VA/KY; slow burning, strong, and basic, yet v appealing.

1 person found this review helpful.

Connoisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connoisseur (42)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

What can I say about St Bruno that hasn't already been said? The quintessential British flake tobacco that's in good company with other classics like Capstan, Condor, Dunhill Light Flake and Dobie's Four Square. I was lucky enough to store a few tins of this marvelous tobacco away for a rainy day, and recently had the pleasure of popping the lid on my last remaining 100g "Made in England" tin I purchased around 2003. It had been a few years since my last indulgence and I was not disappointed. Those neat medium brown, ever-so-slightly oily flakes with a light dusting of sugar crystals and that wonderful but non-cloying fruity/perfumy aroma was indeed a sight for sore eyes. As usual, it smoked effortlessly, with rich smooth full virginia flavour right to the bottom of the bowl. St Bruno is an all time favourite of mine and I only wish I had a dozen more tins in storage. Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (139)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Pleasant

Much like SG's Squadron Leader, this is one of those brands whose name seems to pop up alot when I am reading reviews on here. So, when I saw this at my local supermarket to get my monthly condor long cut, I thought I'd get a packet of this too. The funky plastic carton and the condor like smell were, indeed, a crowd pleaser to me, very nice. My initial smokes, however, left me not sure to make of it, though I did pick up little hints of soap and nuts. After taking a little break from the packet though, I found myself pleasantly surprised over the past few days. A good, pleasant smoke over all, nuts and soap are the main things that come through. What has also impressed me is the easy rubbing, the handy packing and lighting and very little, at worst, tonguebite, even without filters. On the whole a great little package. Not fantastic enough a flavour for me to give it a four, doesn't knock me off my feet enough to do that, but trapped in a post apocalyptic warehouse full of the stuff, I think I would be a happy camper.

1 person found this review helpful.

?pe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
?pe (41)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

Packaged in a foil covered plastic box inside a pouch (more on this later).

I can't find anything in the flavour of St Bruno flake to recommend it. Not only is there nothing distinctive about it, but this flake has a muddy flavour to it. It's like listening to the clumsy ramblings of a befuddled man, and when his monologue is finished and analysed you realize that he had nothing interesting to say anyway. It's not offensive, just dull and leaden.

Offering a somewhat limited mitigation: It's when you decant the flakes from their tub you start to understand their raison d'être. Take an Irish flake tin and empty the tub into it. Because the flakes are very thin and loose they fill the tin a lot more than the same mass of Irish flake. You do get a lot of flakes for your money. It also means that a single folded and stuffed flake is a pretty quick smoke. It's suitable for a break time, which also means you don't really have time to get too bored with it.

Buy Condor long cut instead.

1 person found this review helpful.

supersmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
supersmoke (12)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

I could probably smoke this all the time, my Grand Father did actually, its been top of the tree in the UK for decades, you can buy it in any supermarket and is available all over Europe. I think U.S pipe smokers will swim across the pond to get at it.

Some one at work said to me he was thinking of having a go with a pipe and I recommended St Bruno,its likely that if you don't like that the hobby may not be for you.

I like to rotate a few different tobaccos but I have nearly always got some of this to hand.

Its basically a Virginia mixture no problems with heat or bite, it doesn't foul you're pipe or burn youre mouth.

Its still available, surprisingly enough, in flake form as well as ready rubbed, I have a slight tendency for the flake. You used to be able to get it in plug form and various other forms, including a stronger version, but these are no longer available.Its been a long time since I have seen it in tins, or loose for that matter.

Very easy to pack and light and smokes nice and dry, its a very well manufactured product. There is a hint of something slightly spicy in the background, maybe a slight floral note. This why it sometimes gets called a Lakeland style tobacco, it may be a Lakeland style but last time I looked St Bruno was mass produced in a factory in Liverpool, some way from the Lake District.

However do not be put off by the Floral references, it is no where near as pronounced as some of the SG or GH floral's

Highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

strongirish Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
strongirish (249)
Medium Mild Full Pleasant

I was unable to find this while over in Ireland but a week later I received a package from Kent, England containing a pack of it. It is in a creamy beige plastic wrap up pack and upon opening it...well, it smelled sour and musky and very fermented. I had my doubts about it. Then I lit my pipe after packing it easily into my pipe. Wow! What a great taste! It lit on first light and stayed lit all the way down. It is very much a VA but very gentle and with a great aroma that I could smell while I was smoking it. It does have a good "N" hit but I found it to be very enjoyable with a nutty, sweet, little bit fruity flavor and no goop or gurgling of my pipe. I smoked another bowl of it this morning with a cup of tea in a large pot bowled pipe and I had an hour of pure enjoyment. ;Again, this blend is not available in the states and it's a shame. I am finding the Brits really know how to blend great tobaccos and this is one of them. Very good stuff!

1 person found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (136)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Popularity and good reviews means a must try!once the seal opens florall notes,citruses and spices all in a soapy topping prepare you for a different smoking experience.the flakes are brown dark and moist.once rubbed some drying time is needed.lights with effort and several relights are needed.while smoking there is a complexity between the flavours and they are almost balanced.citruses,dark fruits,figs and grass notes offered by the virginias are dominant°accompanied by some woods,spices and earth notes from the kentucky burleys.the topping is descreet and present till the end.also i detected some vinegar notes occasionally.burns slow and cool without moisture being tongue bite chance.the nicotine is medium.the room note is almost pleasant.not an all day smoke to me because the flavours are too soapy to begin with.

Age When Smoked: Rubbed and left to dry for 1/2 hour

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bud_Harold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bud_Harold (22)
Very Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Long awaited smoke. Wasn't worth the wait. So far I've only smoked one bowl of this out of a cob, so my opinion may change. If it does, I'll update this review.

I found it flatter than Kansas. No noticeable flavor at all. Therefore no enjoyment. Maybe I got a bad batch.

Burnt well after some drying time. Room note was ok.

Pipe Used: MM Cob

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Gifted

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pecheur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pecheur (19)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Perhaps because I live in a country where this is available at the local supermarket - I don't get the hype.

The flakes are thin and a little moist, I like to dry the flakes for a few minutes before smoking. It lights and burns easily and leaves the pipe dry.

It has a topping that reminds me of stewed fruit, I don't really notice the florals. I find the fruit topping does cover the flavour of the tobaccos some what although you can pick up on the dark virginias. The fruit topping burns off around half way though the bowl and at this point I end up smoking a blend that reminds me a little of sweet tea, I can pick up on the tonquin along with the kentucky although are both present in the background. Medium flavour and strength, not a particular exciting blend and it certainly doesn't grap your attention but I suppose thats why it's regarded as an all day smoke.

Pipe Used: Quite a few

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Tesco

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (57)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Unnoticeable

I first smoked St Bruno as a spotty yoof back in the sixties. It was the only pipe tobacco I was aware of back then on the mean streets of Bristol.

I bought some nostalgically, it having become available where I now reside. That unidentifiable flavour. You shouldn't like it, like Old Spice, yet somehow you do. Those aromas belong in a different time, used by a dying generation.

A lot of baccy has burned through my pipes since then and tastes have changed.

I can't tell if it's the same St Bruno although I reckon it's fairly close. I doubt I'll be buying it again because for me it's a tad bland and lacks edge.

But it's still a good smoke. I wonder if Weights or No 6s are.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billard.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the pouch.

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop (nice chaps)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Nwpipesmker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nwpipesmker (27)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin note definitely smell the Virginia like dried hay. Fold and stuff in to my pipe lights well with an unimpressive taste. Flat like the flake. Will finish the tin but probably won't buy again.

Pipe Used: Missouri meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (202)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

St. Bruno’s tin note is somewhat reminiscent of a rich Gawith Hoggarth flake. It’s sweet and a bit smoky with a faint but decernable scenting. From the tin the flakes are British-moist, so I found a bit of dry time to be necessary. Roughly 30 minutes worked fine for folding and stuffing. At that point the flakes were still pliable but quicker to light.

St. Bruno has a palpable fruitiness to it. The flavor of the finish and side stream aroma reminds me of the scent of chewable citrus flavored multi-vitamins. The smokiness of the Kentucky never gets ahead of the flavor of the Virginias, it does however create spice, depth, body and potency. There's a light floral note to the finish that is more blossom like than it is herbal or talc. The mid to end bowl flavors are a more robust variation of the first half, with layers of sweet dark plum, honey, earth & wood-smoke.

This is a smooth, bite free, well balanced blend that's easy to enjoy and hasn’t once left me wanting. The flavor and nicotine strength are both a firm medium, pushing medium-strong. St. Bruno Flake is fitting for a leisurely afternoon smoke, and robust and nuanced enough to be a suitable nightcap.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

potica69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
potica69 (1)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I wonder if anyone knows that St. Bruno Flake was the tobacco of choice for Bert Richards, the father of Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones?

Just thought this was of great import.

I tried a tin of this tobacco and must say it was a decent smoke, but I doubt I'll smoke it again. I was only curious to know what my guitar hero's father saw in it! LOL


Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mawnan Smiff Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mawnan Smiff (28)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

Having tried the ready rubbed version of SB it was only natural that I would move onto the flake version.

Opening the wallet I was surprised to see a sealed plastic tray holding the flakes, a new one on me. Peeling back the film revealed neatly packed flakes of a mid to dark brown colour, the smell of which was to me a rather vague sweet grass aroma that struck me as being rather 'thin'.

I tipped out the contents onto a copper tray to rub them out and to allow some airng time though they weren't as overly moist as some blends I have tried. They rubbed out easily enough and wasn't too sticky either.

Loading up a bowl I sat back to enjoy this new to me blend. Well I say enjoy but unfortunately that wasn't really the case. Once the burn got going I was reminded of cheap cigarette tobacco tastes, nothing really distinctive in there really. Only occasionally did I get a burst of sweet fruitiness come through but it wasn't present in every puff. Mid bowl I was aware of a slight pepper/spice flavour but that was pretty much it.

In my view this is a pretty bland smoke, somewhat reminiscent of Gold Block and far too much like cheapo cigarettes. Nicotine is there of course but not enough to totally ruin an already sub standard blend.

I appreciate SB is a very popular blend but am always puzzled when I read folks comparing this to Condor. There are no similarities at all in my view.

I have mixed equal quantities of SB with some Old Dark Fired (Mac Baren) and stashed it away for a week or two hoping something interesting may come of it...fingers crossed!

Not one for me I'm afraid.

EDIT: November 2017. Smoking some St. Bruno from June 2014 and this is a totally different experience. The flakes are a much darker brown than when fresh and the flavours that many reviewers have mentioned I now taste! So clearly, for me at least, this blend needs some age for it to show its true colours. Thankfully I have another pouch with the same date so shall sit on that for a few more years. I am now able to mark a higher star score from 1 to 3 stars out of 4.

Pipe Used: McQuade bent bulldog and Upshall Rhodesian.

Age When Smoked: Fresh and 3.5 years old.

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Gold Block when fresh but with a bit of age rather like a mild Condor Flake..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Calamiti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Calamiti (54)
Medium Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

After finishing my first pouch of St Bruno I well understand now why has it been such a popular blend for a very long time. It's satisfyingly potent and tasty! I don't find it to be a typical aromatic, it's flavoured and cased way more delicately than most aromatics, and it's not gooey like most of them.

St Bruno is simple, reliable and honest blend, giving thick smoke, strong flavour and pleasant taste, sweet and spicy (almost VaPer-like). I won't call it friendly though, as it tends to bite and changes unfavourably down the bottom of the bowl.

It will not become my staple tobacco but many like it, and not without a reason. Recommended.

Pipe Used: Comoy's Tradition Yachtsman

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (161)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I smoked a full tin minus some scraps. This seems much closer to Former's SGF and Astley's 109, than the former European St. Bruno Flake. SGF is supposed to be an older knock off of SBF.

But this is still close to SBF of old. Close but not as magnificent. St. Bruno of the not too old was/is a stout, darker, and intensely sweet flake, but not as sweet to me as Condor long cut or Ennerdale Flake. But still in a class by itself.

This is probably red Virginias plus dark fired Kentucky that gives it extra body. Semi-sweet, fruity flavor (not orange) that doesn't cover the tobacco like a full Lakeland may. Easy to rub, smokes steady, not too moist, and didn't bite but was a tad spicy. This is what is left of the old recipe, and is not bad at all. Even rich I'd say. If you've not tried older SBF, you will like this more.

Recommended for fuller flake fanciers with a touch of darker sweetness.

Pipe Used: Rattray

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: smoking pipes

Similar Blends: Astley's Medium Flake 109, Former's Straight Grain Flake, and perhaps G&H Ennerdale Flake or Condor..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

William H. Hardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
William H. Hardy (74)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

I bought this tin recently, as I have always wanted to try it. I'd read that this is a full-on Lakeland-style tobacco and when I saw it was finally available in the States, I had to try it. It is a good Lakeland tobacco, but there are others I prefer.

At first match light, I can taste the Lakeland sauce and a dark burley flavor, which may actaully be dark fired Kentucky. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this was Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired sprayed with Lakeland flavors. (Especially since Mac Baren is producing St. Bruno now.) The Lakeland flavoring is there, but you can definitely taste the tobacco, as well. The strength of this tobacco builds towards the bottom of the bowl and it has given me the nic hics (Nicotine hiccoughs) on occassion. The Lakeland sauce is present in the smoke throughout the burn, but it fades into the distance after a while.

Though quite enjoyable, I'm not sure that i will order any more of this. St. Bruno is very similar to GH & Co.'s Brown Flake, scented or Dark Flake , Scented and is something of in between the two in strength. All in all a very good tobacco, but I really like GH & Co. for the same experience (and GH tobaccos are much more economical). I do recommend it, however.

Pipe Used: Peterson Donegal 408

Age When Smoked: Straight from the tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: GH & Co. Brown Flake, Scented.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (12)
Very Strong Very Strong Full Strong

2014-5-22This stuff is truly horrible. How they manage to peddle this for a hundred years is beyond me. It smokes like old rags soaked in cheap aftershave. Tobacco taste ? None that I could discern, it has more cosmetics than a street whore and probably tastes the same. They should have added a diuretic, never have I had a tobacco take so long to dry out to a level you can light it.Five days open and still soggy. Anything positive? Well it does not bite at all, although it leaves a taste on your tongue like you have been sucking on a public toilet deodorant pellet. It also gives me a headache,made me sick, then comatose.

Age When Smoked: fresh

Similar Blends: any bad cheap aromatic., Sam. Gawith's Kendal Cream Flake packs a good hit , is easier to digest,less floral and tastes good..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Mac Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mac (19)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A tobacco that has that has stood the test of time and one well worth seeking out from the the UK.I wish it was readily available here in Australia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stephen Redrobe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stephen Redrobe (5)
Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable

To paraphrase an earlier reviewer, In Britain the the smell of pipe smoke was synonymous with St. Bruno. Unfortunately, whatever essences that used to be added to it are no longer present. It still tastes pretty damn good though, and has a good helping of vitamin N. I prefer Condor however.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taipanmamba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taipanmamba (16)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

In Britain the the smell of pipe smoke is synonymous with the aroma of St Bruno and it is likely the most widely available blend (along with Condor). The flake version is certainly better quality than the ready rubbed. A faultless flake in terms of preparation - easy to fold and stuff or rub out and stays lit with minimal fuss. Very smooth and consistent smoke - full and flavoursome. Personally I dont find it that strong although I know some people find it potent stuff. The room note is great and is the very definition of old time pipe smoke aroma. This is not one of my favourites but it is certainly a quality tobacco. I probably wouldn't recommend it to a novice pipester - one to work your way up to.

Update November 2011 Found myself craving this after my last pack was finished . It leaves a delicious full and toasty taste on the palate. Updating to 3 stars

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (260)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable

The famous, but (for me) so far elusive St. Bruno Flake. I had not expected too much when I bought it at a Morrison's while on holiday.

The packaging is a little curious for me; the pouch contains a tiny plastic tub sealed with tinfoil, containing the tobacco. For the 50g pouch, that means two rows of slices, very thinly cut and still a bit on the moist side. The tub note is somewhat alcoholic and floral, with citrus notes.

The tobacco is not pressed as tightly as I would expect from the size of the slices; it is more in the range of the classic fold-and-sink 'baccies, so I take two slices and fold/twist/sink in my usual flake pipes -- narrow and tall. Lighting is no problem even fresh from the pouch, and the floral note is present in the taste -- I can understand those complaining of a soapy taste, though I think it is kept well in check by the sweetness, nuttiness and a hint of spice. I think there may be some Burley in there, btw.

The room note is a bit on the floral side, but also sugar-ish (raw cane sugar, that is) and fragrant; not too objectionable. Maintenance is easy for a flake; the occasional tamp-down will do it, the burn is cool, and in the end, there is some fine, grey ash left over with little moisture.

Overall, I can understand why this blend is regarded as a fall-back blend by many (not only in this forum). In its characteristics, it is a bit like MacBaren Navy Flake -- a handy, affordable blend to have around that provides a satisfying smoke while not causing one to be expelled from the premises -- though not 100 % perfect. It's stronger than the MB offering, though, and so I would recommend a little experience in pipe smoking before making friends with this one.

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Alim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Alim (3)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This is my favourite brand of blend. You can't go wrong with this one, but if you don't like the taste at the start, it won't grow on you.

The Flake is cut into extremely thin layers - rubbing these out causes them to form into a springy, very easily handled mass that's easy to put in the pipe and pack with the right pressure. I usually use a large-bore bowl so for me it's 1.5 to 2 flakes per bowl. However this tobacco is perhaps best enjoyed with a narrow, small bowl, in which case 1 flake rubbed-out will fill it. I only use a larger bowl because I prefer my smoking sessions to last longer.

The downside of rubbing out the Flake is the accumulation of debris - small particles of tobacco that gather near the bottom of your tin. When you reach the end, you will need to slightly rehydrate those particles before putting them in the pipe.

The Flake is simply superior to the Ready Rubbed version in every way except the 'convenience' factor of a shorter preparation time. I have found that the Flake cures very well over longer periods of time, stored in a jar. The flavour improves and is not lost with a bit of drying out. Which brings me to the point, that the Flake needs a bit of drying time when removed from the packet. In my opinion this is necessary. Otherwise, a few relights will be necessary and there will be some gurgling.

The room note of this tobacco is pleasant to smokers and non-smokers alike, and is noticeable even when you are the one smoking it. However, if you're in the mood to try out this tobacco for the first time you should bear in mind that it will completely change the character of your pipe. Frequent and thorough cleaning of the pipe will be necessary, even if you smoke nothing but St Bruno in it. It's not just a 'ghost' - it's an overpowering smell it leaves in the wood so it's a courtesy to others to clean your pipe well to remove as much of this smell (which isn't reminiscent of the tobacco when it's burning) as possible.

Overall it's a great smelling and tasting traditional tobacco that isn't fussy about being left in storage or being smoked slightly dry. These isn't (much) bite, you can make it burn hotter or smoke it slowly and keep it cool, and the only negative is the smell it leaves in the pipe. It's predictable so you can also experiment with adding a casing or a bit of latakia.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

St. Bruno Flake is my all-time favortie tobacco. Reviewer Grimpeur dated October 31, 2002 said it all and I cannot articulate my experience with St. Bruno any better then what this reviewer posted. I will add though, I have always felt that there is a whisper of perique in St. Bruno. I say this for a couple of reasons, the first being I can taste it and the second being I feel the fruity taste of Bruno is a result of the perique mingling with the first-class Virginia. In a test recently, I added 3% perique to a sample of Bosun Cut Plug produced by G&H in Kendal, a mixture I find exceedingly close to St. Bruno already. With the perique addition BCP became much more fruity than flowery and IMO compared even closer to the taste of St. Bruno. In any event there is only one true St. Bruno and that is of course St. Bruno itself.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

dangousb6 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dangousb6 (2)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

1 of the first tobaccos I ever smoked, Its a great smoke nice flavour and cool smoke. Watch out tho it does tend to bite if smoked to fast. It's one I will always go back to

Nobody has rated this review yet.

M.Toney Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
M.Toney (59)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

One of the finest & strongest blends that I highly recommend. I prefer stronger blends & St. Bruno Flake delivers exceeding well. Tin note is a musty tobacco smell. I notice only a slight soapy or floral-like taste initially which quickly dissipates and good flavor follows...for me anyway. In no way does this flavoring deter from a thoroughly enjoyable smoke.

I'm presently sampling a tin with ten years of age. Tiny sugar crystals adorned the leaf & glistened in the sunlight. The flakes are dark and sliced very thin. The aged stuff rubs out easily and burns just fine. Very tasty in my opinion & I wish this blend were still readily available.

St. Bruno has blessed my pipe on many occasions and is a mainstay in my top ten. It always delivers in strength & flavor. I have five old, 100g tins aging in the cellar. It is getting very hard to come by nowadays & commands a premium. Therefore, IMHO & because I love this stuff, St. Bruno shall be blessed with four stars.

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Piper@thegates Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Piper@thegates (20)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

This is it! This is THE aroma of the 'old days' that people often refer to on so many reviews, at least from a British standpoint. The quintessential traditional British tobacco which instantly brings back the atmosphere of the fifties and sixties.

Both Condor and St Bruno would be hugely missed if they were to dissappear from our supermarket and local tobacconists. St Bruno Flake in particular provides the smoker with terrific value for money and in all honesty stands up there on merit with the finest of the more 'elitist' flakes on offer. No longer available in tins, its now presented as super cleanly thin cut flakes in two neat stacks sitting in a plastic foil covered tray which is inside a plastic pouch. The tobacco itself visually is dark and speckled with the lighter VA portion. The aroma immediately is that of plums, almost christmas puddingish. Not unpleasant to the nose. The flakes at first seem to be of a rather flimsy thin nature, I thought I'd only taken one flake from the tin when in fact there were two. So easy to crumble and pack I doubt if a flake could be any friendlier to the smoker. What a well behaved flake, it gets better even. When packed, the tobacco takes to the flame as you have always imagined a good pipe should. A long smooth smoke with no bite whatsoever, a much undervalued tobacco. StBF is a tobacco of such substance and quality that it rightly deserves a place in any good rotation, even if its so you know its there when you need it. If this fine flake does have a weak underbelly, its that it may just be a little too one dimensional for an all day smoke in this age of such diverse available tobaccos. A fine example of the tastes and values of days long gone. Highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Northern Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Northern Pipe (5)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

For an OTC blend, this one is of a very high quality. Smokes cool, great flavour and easy to acquire (if your in the UK). Not dissimilar to Condor but much less soapy. This tobacco I would recommend to new pipesmokers as to me it sets the benchmark for enjoyable tobacco (although they may want to get the ready rubbed if they aren't familiar with flakes)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Poppy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Poppy (23)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A good tobacco, high quality, if you like the taste it's a four star, but it's not my favorite taste.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stewiebob69 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stewiebob69 (7)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant

Pack smell: Very pleasant fruit/plum pudding marinated in malt whisky - still got peaty undertones.

Flavour & taste: Again, very satisfying rich fruity taste with underlying peatiness. Richer and more pleasurable than RR.Get benefit of smoke when sipped. Being a bit naive, I first ripped flake up. However, I read Ian0077's review, and just folded flake in half and put straight in bowl. Found it burned more slowly and got more of the rich fruitness in taste until end of smoke. Very satisfying!! Thanks for that advice!!!

Room smell: Pleasant - richer than rr.

I would love to try Mick McQuaid plug & square cut to compare with.

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Gilthoniel Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gilthoniel (25)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have to get this by mail-order so it's more 'exotic' for me than for most Brits who can get it anywhere. Bottom line: this is a fantastic tobacco, rich and plummy, a little like Irish Flake but with less nicotine and a bit more fruitiness. Definitely a new regular for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

This came as something of a surprise in comparison to its ready rubbed counterpart. It tastes completely different.

There is very little of the ususal St Bruno 'floral' taste but there is quite a lot of sweet virginia and I also get a degree of pepper which is really nice and even with the sweetness.

The plastic tray was also a surprise in a strange way. The flakes were very thin and evenly cut and very moist so they could do with a little drying out before hand.

For an OTC it is very good and would recommend it.

Review based on a fresh packet not a cellared one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not readily available in the states! I was recently given some British samples in a trade; this, Condor, and Mick McQuaid plug. St. Bruno is a lovely smoke! Rich and complex like one of the Gawiths, it delivers big flavor from small sips. Somewhat harsh if puffed too hard, but this does not seem to be what this flake is meant for. Probably mainly Virginia with I guess some fire-cured burley. I get some soapiness, but in a good way. Again, will be harsh if provoked and irritate the throat. Not an inhaler! For a small bowl, taken slow. Rewards are varied and many.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Juna Gu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Juna Gu (31)
Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I was going to try and avoid St. Bruno, simply because it is so readily available. I like going for obscurity and hunting out the elusive. But having never tried it before and seeing how I can't seem to get my hands on the obscure and elsive at the moment I thought I may as well give it a try, and 25g is about enough for a try so there was that too.

So. St. Bruno. No tin. Boo! I can transfer it to a tin though, what the hell. Sniff. Well, I'd just like to say that however it is that other peoples noses are wired up to their brains that the use of the word soap in connection to any tobacco smells seems really weird. Maybe some aromatics, but even then. What sort of soap are you referring to? Coal tar soap? So I just can't bring myself to use it to describe this. To me it's pungent, spicy, fruity even, and really smells of......tobacco! This smells of tobacco. Flue Cured? Is that ok?

It seems to me that references to soap travel on the Western winds from our good friends accross The Pond; their culture, being what it is, demands that they portray the English as namby pamby fairies of dubious sexual persuasion at every available opportunity. Only because they love us so, though, of course. I suspect that the tobacco made in the US has a difference to that made in the UK somewhat akin to the differences between the beers brewed in the two nations. And there are certainly differences there, and much to be said about it and what it must say about the differences in tastes, and there's no accounting for taste. So....'s clear that St Bruno, smoked by many a Briton, is strong enough, and more so, for even the hurliest and burliest of pipe smoking enthusiasts, wherever they hail from. At first it doesn't seem so and then before you know it..... Wha! I can't smoke much of this in one go. One flake is quite enough. And as for the flakes - they seem a bit flimsy and insubstantial. The sucker punch. Really easy to use, though. Much more Gawith and Hogarth than Samual Gawith but with similarities to both, what with originating from the North West.

The taste starts off fairly non-descript but once it comes together it's unmistakable. Earthy, woody, rich, full. Errmm, no soap as far as I can tell. I'm not hugely thrilled with the taste but it'll certainly do. I found it left some residue, but not much.

All in all I was pleasently surprised, considering it's mass-market nature and appeal. I dare say I will smoke it again, but probably I'll save it for when I'm doing Geography projects in the Fjords of Norway, just for the delivery.

UPDATE: ok, I'll eat my shorts, hat, whatever. I admit it - soap! But only in the ghost in the pipe.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

badders Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
badders (3)
Medium Mild Full Tolerable to Strong

I thought I would dedicate my first review to this old favorite of mine. This is absolutely my favorite "ordinary" tobacco, I can buy it just about anywhere, open the packet, fold up a flake, stuff it unceremoniously into my pipe then sit back, light and enjoy. No fuss, no gimmicks just lots of nice smoke and more straight taste than I could shake a stick at. I used the word ordinary because that is what this tobacco is, it is wonderfully tasty but isn't complex, it isn't even interesting like some of the other blends we can get nowadays, it's just nice and, well, ordinary. Hoping not to sound like I'm going mad Let me explain; "Ordinary" to me is like a bacon sandwich on white bread with a dash of HP. whereas the complicated and interesting tastes of a beautiful dish of Indian food with all it's spices and fragrances is a wonderful experience, the bacon sandwich in it's ordinariness is still... Well, nice and absolutely my favorite "ordinary" food.

In short Easy to buy (in the UK) Simple to fill, just fold and stuff. Easy to light and keep lit,admitted when fresh from a new opened pack a few relights are always necessary, this improves daily. Tasty with nice simple woody earthy full tobacco taste and now I have seen others mention soapy, it has a definite nice Imperial leather undertone. I always have a pack in my cupboard and puff on it once or twice a week.

Like Meercat said, "a British Institution".I hope it dosn't end up like most of our other institutions, lost or changed beyond recognition!!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerkat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerkat (64)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When most people in Britain think of the smell of pipe tobacco they are thinking of the smell of St. Bruno. This is what most pipe smokers seemed to fill their pipes with before the government made it illegal for anyone to enjoy themselves in any way what so ever in a public space.

It now comes in a foil covered plastic tray within a pouch and although this feels less special than a traditional tin it means you can rub the flakes out into the pouch and then fill your pipe, thus making the process a bit more mess-free.

The (for want of a more accurate idiom) tin aroma is strong, dark and sweet like a fruit cake. A good, thick, tobacco smell. The precision cut flakes are thin, dark and oily and rub out easily. As with most tobaccos, a little drying time doesn't hurt but is not as essential as with some.

I remember the first time I tried this tobacco. It was my first sustained foray into serious pipe smoking, having only experimented with one or two bowls of a cheap cherry-vanilla aromatic. Well, the thing that struck me first was the soap. I just wasn't expecting it. I naively thought that it would taste exactly as it smelled in the room when others had smoked it. However, I persisted and my word I was glad that I had. The soap is not strong as it can be in many other blends, infact if you smoke lakeland tobaccos regularly you may not even notice the florals here. It just caught me by surprise on first tasting. The dark molasses fruit does come through well and the overall flavour is of strong, rich, natural tobacco.

It burns smooth and cool producing thick plumes of rich white smoke before ending in a light, clean and dry ash, leaving no sticky residue and making the 'empty and clean' ritual quick and simple.

I couldn't stop myself from buying this tobacco even if I wanted to. Which, of course, I don't.

So there.

Buy it. Smoke it. Love it. A British institution.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Skando Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Skando (182)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

St. Bruno is a must try at least once in you life. Regarding me it is a MUST HAVE in regular rotation, and I cannot understand any good reason why this is not distributed in Italy, just like it is in Spain and other EC Countries.

The most classic - and probably the top seller - British flake, delivers a substantial/solid/durable smoke, never harsh or bitter or hot or biting, easy to keep alight and plenty of other good features.

Not "regular" as Walnut, nor "scented" as Condor Long Cut. Just a hint of the famous soapy scent. The rest is a full bodied stoved Virginia & other tobaccos (mainly Burley, Kentucky - if any - is present in traces), with hints of sweetnees, wood, citrus and basically plain and true tobacco aroma.

December is the month I have dedicated to some famous British flakes in my cabinet (Ennerdale, Coniston, Walnut, St. Bruno and Player's), and a dozen of british pipes (Sasieni, BBB and Parker).

Now smoking SB by a BBB canadian (gr. 4), the long stem delivering the smoothest smoke.

Full score for St. Bruno, hopefully I will have some friends helping my cellar to keep my cabined supplied.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

The Gentle Smoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Gentle Smoker (11)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I opened an approx. 6 year old 50g pouch of this just today. Intersting package. A plastic container sealed with gold foil in a platic pouch.

The smell was very nice with a hint of plum/raisin. The slices are vey thin and probably the thinnest I've come across.

The tobacco was a bit on the dry side (so all this elaborate packagind does not keep it moist on the long run) so I rubbed it out a bit. It loaded easily and gave a good draw even when packing firmly. Upon lighting the tobacco on top danced up and down under the flame of my lighter and after an easy light the palate was filled with a mild rich flavour of nuts and some of the sweetness of the earlier detected plum/raisin smell.

Very nice indeed. The first half of the bowl smoked zway this mildly and after tamping on about half the bowl, the flavors stayed, but the tobacco got more peppery and nicotiney.

then again till almost the end it stayed this "sharp edged" (the good kind of sharp).

A wonderfull smoke, even on the dry side. Took a little experiment though and started reviving a few slices to see what it would be when it is a bit more moist.

I could definitely recommend this to anyone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (126)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

An enjoyable dark, predominantly Virginia, tobacco, and one with nostalgic associations for English pipe smokers of a certain age (back in the 1960s everyone seemed to smoke it). The dark flakes have a full-bodied, fruity fragrance when you open the little container (shame that it doesn't come in tins any more); the room note is strong but pleasant and characteristic (the sort of pipe- smoke smell that everybody used to like until it became PC not to). After a bland start, the flavour is full and uniform all the way down the bowl; it doesn't bite you unless you really ask it to, though it does need to be taken slowly. I can't identify the casing, but there is a distinctive fruity/nutty/woody taste that defies description. It's thoroughly restrained and civilised, though.

This is an old-time tobacco that doesn't seem to have changed much. Even with the very limited availability of pipe tobacco in B&Ms nowadays, you can always find St Bruno. It's not my favourite by any means, but I could certainly smoke it happily enough if there were nothing else left in the world. It may, of course, come to that eventually. As we move slowly towards prohibition, I suspect that St B will be one of the last to go. For the time being: it's not really a tobacco for the connoisseur, but if you want a good, all day, undemanding smoke, you can't really get better than this.

Personally, I can't detect any appreciable difference between the flake and ready-rubbed versions; though the rr burns more quickly and hence is inclined to be hotter than the flake. St Bruno used to be sold as a ‘rough cut,' which I seem to remember was a bit coarser than the current rr. The nicotine will smack you hard if you don't sip.

A worthwhile and satisfying smoke, though perhaps not one for the beginner. I find, incidentally, that the DGT is very rewarding with St Bruno. If you come back to a partially smoked bowl, you find that the casing has gone and you're getting a very full and rich pure Virginia flavour.

Three stars for this one, I think. St Bruno (possibly jointly with Three Nuns) is perhaps the best of the available everyday 'supermarket' blends; and its ready availability (in the UK) is, of course, another point in its favour. I have, though, noticed quite a lot of stem in the flakes during the past couple of years. I hope this doesn't signal the beginning of a general deterioration.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Coskun Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Coskun (23)
Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I have try pouch version...Difrent and interesting package system...First of all i like this tobacco...Its regular English Blend...Nicotine level high and virginia is sweet...Its night tobacco for me...After the dinner i like it so much...

Easy to smoke but careful for nicotine...Flakes are thin and small...But i recommended first time use one flake and dont smoke if you r hungry...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Part Time Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Part Time Piper (4)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

A good basic supermarket baccy, but should be in a tin instead of a plastic tray inside a pouch. This is a popular traditional English blend with a slightly fruity and woody smell in the packet. It's a full flavoured smoke with a good nicotine hit without being overpowering as Condor can be to some, but the dog will bite you if mistreated so don't pack it too tightly or relight too fiercely if it goes out halfway. Great for the newbie and the old timer alike. Might try mixing this with Erinmore flake one day as an experiment, but a great smoke on its own.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stevethesuperhero Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stevethesuperhero (7)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Packed in a little plastic tray covered with gold foil, one will find two dozen perfectly cut thin flakes. One is perfect for a small bowlful.

Once it gets going (when the flavours and strength synthesize) is bursting with good flavour and strength, without either being overwhelming. The tobacco is easily kept alight with gentle puffing, and does not overwhelm.

I am a fairly articulare chap, but I cannot find the right words to describe the flavour. Classic (read "overused"!) words for describing dark-tobaccos such as rich, nutty and fruity go some way to describing the flavour, but the flavour profile really is indescribable - in a class of its own.

There also seems to be just a slight spice to it, which cuts through the sweetness and that slightly alkaline taste that virginias can impart.

Rich, smooth, mature, slow-burning and deeply satisfying. If I was forced onto that desert island, I might just choose to live solely in the company of this saint...

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kg0mz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kg0mz (54)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant

I decided it was time for me to know what St. Bruno is like, so I ordered a pouch of this and some other tobaccos from James Barber in the UK, a very competent internet retailer. I have only smoked St. Bruno on the heels of Condor, a double treat evening. St Bruno is unique, but vaguely familiar to me. Growing up I had a neighbor of English descent who smoked Falcon pipes and tobacco with a similar distinctive room aroma. Mr. Kendal is no longer with us so I cannot ask.

Paired with Condor it is a delightful dessert. I should reverse the order sometime.

I have little to add to the descriptions given before me. In the tray in the pouch it is a neat and attractive 7/8" x 3" dark flake with a pleasant aroma. In the pipe it is charming and ever so pleasing. If I could buy it in bulk I would. Be that as it may, I will bite the proverbial bullet and stock up on pouches. This, I want to smoke several times a week. A nephew is getting married in Edmonton this May. I hope the shops there have it.

07/27/09 UPDATE: I am revising some of my reviews. I have given out more 4 star ratings than anything else. That practice is probably not helping. So, I am reducing St. Bruno Flake to 3 stars, not because I like it less than I did before, but because I am limiting 4 stars to fewer than 25% of all my reviews. One day I may use the 4 star rating to designate my top five.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ian0077 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ian0077 (7)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

St.Bruno made by Ogdens ( Imperial Tobacco )is one of the finest tobacco blends, ( it has been produced for a very,very, very long time ) you tend to return to everyday for a complete satisfying smoke, which never dissapoints ever.

This is readily available everywhere in the UK for about £8.36 per 50grams., in any small shops or supermarkets. Some supermarkets sell the flake version, but all sell ready rubbed. I find just folding the flake in half and plugging into the pipe, with a few crumbs sprinkled onto the top to aid easy lighting, the most rewarding, as you contemplate the smoothness of slowly sipping this delightful St. Bruno to you hearts content.

For information purposes, St Bruno used to be made in Liverpool, UK as stated on the pouch, but this is not so. Many years ago the factory closed and is no longer there, only a new housing estate has been built on the site now. I can confirm this as I live only a few miles away from the original Ogdens factory here in Liverpool.

The Ogdens building lies empty, but if you would like to see a photo of the building, go to ian0077 profile where i have the photo posted for you to see.

A good tip; when you want that little perique flavour to any VA blend try this. Sprinkle a little finely milled black pepper into the bowl of your pipe, a little near the bottom, middle and just under the top layer of your tobacco. You need to vary the amount and believe me, you will be in heaven.

I smoke many different blends as I read TobbacoReviews regurlarly and find that the site and all the reviewers comments a must read for anyone novice or experienced in this wonderful pastime. As a daily smoke, you cannot beat St. Bruno flake in your rotation. no bite whatsoever.

As I always say " Variety is the spice of life ". Happy contemplating, the St. Bruno way.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mcbpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mcbpipe (11)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very sentimental tobacco to me. One memory of my grandfather is of him rubbing out his quota of this on a newspaper, filling his pipe & lighting. My father also smoked this on Sundays. This is a full flavoured, full aroma tobacco. In the pouch it smells of wine & fruit and the first light is a mouth & sense awakening experience. It then settles into a smooth, slightly flavoured Virginia tobacco. Until she passed on two years ago my sister in England would send me this for xmas. I savoured it & enjoyed all the memories.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

troutmask Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
troutmask (5)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Although this is supposed to be the same as the ready rubbed, it does taste and smoke differently, or perhaps it is just because I rub it more roughly than the ready rubbed? The best thing about St Bruno flake for us Brits is its availability. It is the only flake you will find in most newsagents, supermarkets and the best of all the widely available smokes. So if you run out of your favourite blend and are not near a decent tobacconist you can usually get something decent for your pipe. This has to add to its stars as I would always recommend it if you are a long way from a good shop.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ROMMER Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Strong Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The absolute cracker. Possibily the tobacco of choice for any pipe :)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (102)
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I must first confess, this is not the pouche type offerings of the supermarket, I just got 50g (loose) from who assured me this left the regular pouche stuff behind, and as young Simon seems to know his pipes, tobbaco's, and cigars having gained the experience from his father who ran the tobacconists before him, coupled with the fact he's just been awarded Retail Tobacconist of the year 2008, who am I to argue. After simon had weghed ot the tobacco he placed a label which stated "Full Flavour" and that is the only point I beg to disagree on.

Dark oily flakes with a lovely aroma of I-don't-know-what-but-I'm-going-to-smoke-it-anyway greet you on opening the bag, rub out easy and fire up on one match, it starts out VERY tame, just a nice gentle smoke, wife says the stink factor is good, just ordinary tobacco smell with no bad manners, now although the flavouring stays pretty mild, just a good no nonsense smoke, the strength begins to build but stays constant. This is not a strength that becomes so great, you feel you've just swallowed a golf ball, this is a strength that says "when you've finished you'll be satisfied" although very moist, this is a VERY slow burning and cool tobacco, pipe got to warm, just, and absolutely no tongue bite, even though I was puffing a bit, this being due to (IMHO) the strength of nicotine did not seem to equate to strength of flavour, the first bowl made me think that this was an evening smoke, the second bowl made me feel it was more of a daytime job, the third bowl convinced me that it's an "anytime you feel like it tobacco". I found no need for re-lights, the tobacco just burned down to a salt and pepper finish, no waste. Simon claims he is the only purveyor of this particular rendition of St Bruno in the happy realm of good Queen Bess.

Why they sell this loose I know not for if ever a tobacco deserved a tin, it is surely this. This is one tobacco I'll be back for more of. Four Star rating.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Quoll Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Quoll (17)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Full Strong

I am a recent returner to the pipe, having smoked fags for years. I approached St Bruno wit some caution - it was the brand my father smoked and I had tried it (and hated it) in my long past youth. What a change the years have made..

Yes it has the Lakeland soap and yes, it is a serious, strong tobacco. But it is also smooth, satisfying and cool. No tongue bite however hard you go. Stays smooth and rich.

First light gives me clouds of creamy smoke, loads of flavour and a pretty quick nicotine hit. If you are not familiar with the Lakeland style, the soap/lavendar/whatever-it-is is very noticeable. I find the more often you smoke it, the less you notice it. Behind that is a rich and varied Virginia experience. Stays well flavoured for most of the bowl but the last quarter can get a bit overpowering. Burns to a nice clean ash. Best taken slow and easy.

Not for everyone, and certainly not for those who like mild strength and flavour. But I love it. One of my regular all-dayers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

englishman-in-nyc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
englishman-in-nyc (1)
Very Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant


Well, I'm bursting my 'review cherry' with St. Bruno. I've been a member of TR for a while now and it's been a HUGE help to me as a relatively novice pipe smoker. I've found a number of brands to enjoy and experiment with and I'm very grateful to you all.

Before I start, I'm like a great number of Brits who have St. Bruno etched in their olfactory memory banks. My father used to smoke it and it's a very, very familiar and comforting room note to me (as I'm sure many others). Certainly a British institution!

I'm a Brit living in America (for 8 years now) and I decided to become a full time pipe smoker on my 40th birthday this year. I was a 'closet' pipe smoker for a number of years before - but only the occasional puff on a lovely little pipe I bought in Astleys in London (before they moved) - one a very small batch that was made in the 1950's - small stem and bowl. No particular tobaccos - just anything I picked up.

Now, and especially after reading many of the reviews and experimenting, I've realized my tobacco tastes are similar to my whisky tastes ... I love both and am quite happy to puff on a very wide variety of tobaccos to suit my mood.


I picked up a couple of pouches St. Bruno on a recent trip to London to see family - just out of sheer curiosity. My father used to smoke it and having read the MANY mixed reviews I just had to give it a go.

I was impressed with the foiled packed mini tin that the flakes now come in within the pouch. Opening the foil I was greeted with dark, rich chocolatey flakes - having a sniff - the smell like stewed prunes.

Rubbing the flakes out was easy and I filled up a full bowl and went to work. I'd been warned from the reviews that this is a strong nicotine tobacco - and BOY do I concur. WOAH! After the initial burst I was very pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of the smoke. [Now please bear in mind I only smoke with 9mm filter pipes - so this might have some bearing on my reviews] I enjoyed the flavor and the room-note (brings back so many memories!). I was reminded of traditional British Christmas cake: fruity, moist and a little nutty.

Overall, I'm very surprised to say how much I enjoyed this tobacco. I think it definitely falls into the realms of LOVE/HATE - a bit like Marmite.

I would definitely agree with a lot of reviewers: NOT to be tried by complete pipe novices... it's a strong, fruity and nicotine-strong tobacco. For me it's going in the roster of regulars. I enjoyed it much more than I expected.

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hagen Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hagen (91)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

very nice well stoved virginia/kentucky blend, with a good dose of the typical british "soap". if one hasn't smoked it for a while, the first 10 pipefulls will seem very "coloured" by the top flavour, and then slowly one tends to forget about it.

the pouch aroma is slightly smoky, in combination with the heavy, fruity stoved virginias (and of course, a bit of the "soap"). very promising!

the flakes are easy to fold and pack into the pipe, and light easily. when burning, the virginias are pleasantly sweet in a non-artificial way, with hints of berries, and the kentucky adds spice and strength. i don't find it as strong as others do, though. perhaps it's a bit milder than it was 20 years ago? i don't know, really, but a very fine smoke it is. burns clean and straight-tasting to the bottom, leaving a fresh pipe.

one of my re-found favourites, now that i've discovered the internet tobacconists. i'll have to order a load of it for aging :-)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Holy Smoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Holy Smoke (26)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

Ah, this tobacco is one of greatest pleasures of the UK smoker. If you can't find it well, you're probably standing on the wrong side of the newsagent's door!

The scent when you peel back the foil is truly glorious. You are hit by what can only be described as a fine Ozzy Shiraz/Grenache blend with a touch of Mourvedre creeping into your nose: Heaven itself. The instant I opened it, my thoughts were drawn to D'Arenberg's Ironstone and haven't stopped smiling since.

Luckily the scent isn't deceptive as to the tobacco's taste and the sweet fruity notes transfer completely to the smoke. At first, this does tend to clash a little with the maple aftertaste - but there's nothing wrong with playing little tricks on the taste buds. The about halfway down the flavours marry perfectly, when the nutty aromas draw themselves to the front. Bliss!

One of the best everyday smokes available and one that it is near impossible to get bitten by.

The flake version of St. Bruno is vastly superior to the ready rubbed. I'd only recommend the latter over this form if you wish to have a sweet smoke, but without the fruit of the flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrDNA Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDNA (58)
Strong Strong Full Strong

Notes: I smoked this in various pipes, and sampled both the pouch version (still available) and the tinned version (no longer made). It seems well at home in a briar pipe, particularly a Ashton Size XXX.

Apprearance: A mixed light brown and dark brown pressed 3" flake with evident topping soaking through.

Aroma: Black cooked cherries, prunes, smoke, hand soap, lemon curd, oak wood.

Taste: Stewed cherries, almonds, double chocolate cake, dry-aged Emmentaler cheese, leather, smoke, spice cake, rich deep Virginia tobacco flavor. Quite flavored and quite strong. A substatial amount of nicotine is found in this blend, so you must consider this if you are sensitive to such things. Heavy and tarry in flavor; it will also coat your pipe cleaners with black tar, mind you.

Comparisons: Not as perfume-oriented as other Lakeland blends, but heavy and strong-scented nevertheless. Stronger than Murray's Erinmore Flake, but less fruity at the same time. Not as potent as Gallaher's Condor, but not as sharp in taste either. Reminiscent of Ennerdale Flake, which has a wonderfully rich white cake flavor, St. Bruno's is richer, leaving one with the impression of having just eaten a rich and decadant piece of chocolate cake. The pouch version is markedly lighter and more approachable, but still quite good, albeit diluted.

Bottom Line: For those who seek a tarry, old-styled strong Virginia blend with a moderate fruit topping and a substatial nicotine hit, this is tailor-made.

A historical note: I recently chanced upon an ancient lead-soldered tin of St. Bruno's I suspect was near 100 years old. Surprisingly, the seal was intact and the tobacco within fresh and vibrant. Far stronger than the modern version with a substantial nicotine hit, it had a lot more Virginia in the blend and seemed to be a blend with red burley rather than white burley. This makes sense, as the white burley mutation was discovered in 1864. As St. Bruno's was first produced in 1896, it is possible that the earliest versions had not yet incorporated the use of white burley, which did not come into favor until the 1900's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipepundit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipepundit (168)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

I last smoked St Bruno Flake in the mid-eighties from the pouch packaging. Hence it was with a frisson of delight that I discovered, while idly wandering the streets of Mumbai, two tins of the tobacco in a shop window. The tins were not the yellow, square variety but the white rectangular sort - Light Flake, University Flake sort. There was conspicuous rust on the tin bottoms, and it was with mixed feelings that I offered to buy the tins. The shop keeper declined to sell them on the ground that they were more than thirty years old, the vaccum seals had popped and the tobacco was probably unsmokeable. After some persuasion he parted with the tins along with my purchase of Murray made Nightcap and EU made Irish Oak and Old Dublin.

The tobacco was indeed dry as dust. Carefully sliding the contents into a bowl I covered the bowl with a damp towel. Over the next five days the flakes came back to life. The topping had disappeared completely. The virginia aroma was barely perceptible.

Since then I have been smoking my acquisition in a variety of pipes. The stately strength of nicotine is very much there. The sweetness of virginia is now brut, but once in a while there is just the barest whiff of the casing. If one had smoked a fresh tin of St Bruno with a heavy cold in the head presumably the experience would have been something like this.

It is difficult to say what exactly one is reviewing here. For purposes of comparison I also smoked a recent St Bruno Ready Rubbed: even in its cruelly treated form the Flake is a superior product

Nobody has rated this review yet.

kevin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kevin (7)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I'll keep this short. I'm an occasional smoker and have been looking for a straight tasting tobacco - similar to EMP, but without some of the harshness that I encountered in that product. ST Bruno seems to pretty closely fit the bill. A good smoke overall, easy to light etc. and it has an element of the 'woodsy/ campfire' taste and smell that I personally like. I have found that this stuff can heat up about half way through and at times there is the pepperiness that others have commented on. All in all pretty good in my opinion though.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A tobacco doesn't become a legend if it hasn't something good at the basis. This is the case, the Virginia is surely of fine quality, the casing is the greatest difficulty in approaching this blend: you may love it or hate it. I happen to like it. The flavour is definitely fruity, but much lighter than, i.e., Erinmore; here you can actually taste the tobacco, maybe not in every subtle nuance, but the Virginia sweetness is there. I suggest to smoke it in small pipes with thick walls: a small bulldog or pot will be fine.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lancelot Gobbo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lancelot Gobbo (23)
Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

My relationship with St Bruno goes back the first times I borrowed my father's pipe in the late sixties, and stuffed it with St Bruno flake - his usual smoke. A rural Wiltshire village in those days stocked only this, Condor and Three Nuns with any reliability. The grocer's shop had a rusted oval sign outside that said 'Craven "A" - will not hurt your throat' but didn't sell anything under that name, and I think it referred to cigarettes rather than the original of the Arcadia Mixture. Back to St Bruno - a strong tobacco, with a soapy casing that takes a little acclimatisation. The soapy taste is pleasant though, and akin to the scent of some leather colognes. It is available now as a ready rubbed - a fine shag, uniformly chocolate brown in colour, and it lights as easily as you would expect. Smoke it gently or pay the price! There is a respectable nicotine content also, making another reason to be careful. I last smoked this when I got some duty-free on a trip back to the UK, and spent many a fine evening sipping it on the back deck as the sun went down. Its casing really prevents me from wanting to ever consider it as an only tobacco, but it is a classic and deserves to be tried and returned to occasionally.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.1512 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.1512 (196)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

This darkly stoved virginia has a fragrant top dressing which is hard to describe. Kind of spicy yet fruity. It tastes rich, but can be slightly bitter at times after relights. All in a all a very full bodied and flavorful smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ricardo pear Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ricardo pear (7)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I got this in a 50g pouch from a tobacconist when holidaying in Melbourne. When you open the pouch your greeted by a picture of a dog, a St. Bernhard in fact. Underneath it says 'a pipes best friend'. When I first took a whiff of this I was shocked by the intensity of the smell, and the darkness of the tobacco. It was obviously darkly stoved virginia with some very fragrant topping which is hard to describe as its somewhat fruity and somewhat spicy at the same time. It is well rubbed out flake, and packing and lighting was easy. It tastes rich, but not sweet, though slightly bitter at times. The flavouring comes through mildly in the smoke and does not ruin or interefere with the tobacco. It tastes particularly good in Meershcaum, but i recommend smoking it in a smaller pipe as, to me, it gets a bit boring after an hour of puffing.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DUPE.629 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DUPE.629 (133)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

St Bruno Ready Rubbed.March 2005. I use to smoke St Bruno Flake regularly,then sadly it became unavailable to Australia.But,the good new's is it's once again available here in Aus as Ready Rubbed in the pouch. Lighting this is a breeze,requiring one charring light,then a second after about five min's. It's every bit as delicious as the flake form,burning cool and slow to the very bottom of the bowl.At the end of the bowl your left with a mid grey ash,and no goop. St Bruno offer's a consistancy right through to the end of each bowl,which you don't find in that many tobacco's of today. Many tobacco's available now don't even taste like real tobacco of year's ago,but thank goodness St Bruno doe's,and I love every little bit of it. I even tried puffing hard and fast with one bowl,and there was no sign of a bite what so ever! Highly,highly,recommended by this pipe smoking lady.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Steerpike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steerpike (60)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Very Strong

Mmm, this is a good smoke. Not that I thought that the first time I tried it! When I had been smoking pipe for a few months, I got some of this, happily broke up the flake, and innocently stuffed a huge fistful into my largest bowled, short stemmed clay. I cheerfully applied fire, took a few large puffs, and was pleasantly surprised at the rich flavour. About 4o mins later my head was spinning, and the faeries and goblins were dancing around me singing raucous drinking songs!

Now, after a few years of hard training, I enjoy it in a large billiard, it smokes cool and slow, with a tremendously smooth, woody sort of taste. It is very distinctive, I can think of no other tobaccos loke it.

This does however have a really strong smell, which very few non smokers have any liking for. Its one of the favourite tobaccos here in merry England, and has done a lot to give the pipe a bad name among non smokers. Being an antisocial bastard I dont care, and take great pleasure in fumigating the smoking room of my favourite coffee shop! Which reminds me, if you can handle strong coffee as well as this potent pipeweed, you will be pleasantly rewarded by a dark chocolate flavour that the combination produces.

To anybody who finds it overwhelming, I reccomend that you keep the stuff, and try it in a smaller pipe. Its well worth cultivating a friendship with the noble St Bruno!


Avoid, if at all possible, the ready rubbed. Its rubbed too much, and all too easily starts to burn rather warm. Also, it starts to gurgle, which, in my experience, the flake never does. Apart from that, its the same as the flake, but with a bit of the fun removed (I enjoy rubbing flakes).

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Carlo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Carlo (16)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tin Aroma: Many people might disagree with me here, but I detected a slight berry/cherry aroma very similar to (although not as fruity as) Peterson's University Flake. I actually compared the two flakes directly with a friend who had smoked mainly St. Bruno for forty odd years and he agreed. Very pleasant but no fruity flavours were detected when actually smoking it.

Room Note: No aromatic fruitiness here; just a pleasant generic virginia pipe tobacco aroma with perhaps a little classic soapiness.

Packing: Because the flakes were quite small and thin, rubbing out was a little fiddly although worth the effort. Upon rubbing the flake right out, the strands were thin and reminiscent of cigarette hand rolling tobacco. Packing was therefore a little fiddly as well. Moisture content was near perfect but perhaps a little on the dry side. It took three flakes to fill my medium sized bowl.

Lighting: The mixture took the flame well and it only took one light tamper after the charring light and a subsequent re-light to keep the tobacco smouldering well with very little maintenance. Initially it seemed to make tons of smoke; I must have looked as though I was physically on fire! Beautiful great plumes of white smoke is indeed a pleasure to behold.

Appearance: An attractive flake ranging from dark to blonde leaf with perhaps a slight greyishness when compared to other similar flakes. The flakes were quite small and very thin as noted above.

Smoking: A very well balanced blend that although occaisionally descends into blandness (as I tend to find with ALL virginia flakes), also shows great depth and complexity. I detected no topping, merely a classic and subtle high quality virginia flavour with a pleasing, well rounded finish. There is no harshness here; despite the full body of the smoke it is very, very kind on the tongue, palate and throat. It is extremely cool even with rapid drawing and remains so right to the bottom of the bowl. It burns very evenly and produces a fine grey ash in a curious circular pattern in the bowl. A very relaxing, meditative smoke ideal in any weather or surroundings. A low maintenance smoke that looks after itself and smoulders in a very pleasing, almost lazy way. It soon comes to life with great clouds of delicious smoke erupting everywhere! Nicotine content is moderate and never overwhelms. A great classic of all time that I tend to go back to again and again as a wonderful, familiar and satisfying smoke. Five out of five stars; a genuine mainstay! Thoroughly recommended.

Pros: A high quality, well rounded, full-bodied virginia flake that smokes very long and cool. It never bites and always remains pleasant with no harshness or bitterness. It has a very pleasant aftertaste. An absolute classic.

Cons: Not so much a con, but as with all straight virginia blends, the taste can become a little too subtle (when compared to aromatics and English blends) and become a trifle bland. However, this is not for long as new complexities and character are constantly emerging as you smoke your way through the bowl. Wonderful.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cruelraoul Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cruelraoul (24)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium Strong

I was excited to try St. Bruno, mainly due to my love of Va. blends, and the positive marks that this has received from others with tastes that I believe ring true to my own.

Before I delve into St. Bruno, let me say that as I continue to develop my own tobacco tastes, that I have become especially admiring of the reviewers here who seem able to appreciate a broader range of blends. I have tried, almost desperately, to appreciate the robust latakia and heavy perique blends; alas, to no avail. The more that I try, the more I find myself running back to Va.-centric blends. I guess that I am more shallow in my palate? Well, my hat is off to those of you who are blessed with this range!

St. Bruno falls in the "sweet spot", for me. The opened tin reveals aromas much like "dip" (chewing tobacco), which I really don't like. It was a little moist, so I rubbed it out and let it air for a few minutes. But, the lit tobacco is really good stuff if one can meter the combustion. Watch out for letting it get too is a little unforgiving at that point. It is better to relight than to "force the issue", I have found.

The tobacco burns to a clean ash. This might be a good tobacco with which to break in a pipe, as it seems to leave a plesant little "memory" within the bowl. I may experiment with this, but I employ Rattray Marlin Flake or Dunhill Royal Yacht for break in.

Wife did not like the room note at all (the room being the back patio before the rain arrived ...the garage thereafter ;)

Well, sorry to continually drift away from the primary review. This tobacco will be in my regular rotation, as long as I can cost-effectively keep it available to me in the States.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

sethus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
sethus (9)
Strong None Detected Full Very Strong

I recall the first time i tryed st bruno, i was 15, i took one puff and ran to the bathroom and proceded to empty the contents of my stomach, god did i feel ill !, many many years later when i took up piping again i tryed st bruno again, at first it was like smokeing old socks, but i stuck with it and after about a week my body grew to like it, no longer did my mouth feel like it had been pulled inside out, no longer did i have to hang onto the grass/trees because the world was spinning, instead i was rewarded with the unmistakeable flavour of va and other fine tobacco, the rich taste and after taste was something to behold, the room note was to find me some young ladys to test if it really does make em faint ;-))

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipester (1)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant

Suntan lotion?? Chiterlings?? Mothballs?? overpoweringly strong?? Although I understand that taste is based on individual preferences, I can't help thinking that some of the reviewers above need to carry on sucking their lollipops and leave pipe smoking to the grown ups!!! St Bruno is a sublime tobacco in taste, strength, and aroma. A satisfying blend that enhances any situation, whether active or relaxing. The food of the gods, an enhancer of life. Wonderful in all respects.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

pop-pop's pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pop-pop's pipe (96)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Pure Virginia , mostly dark with some light. It tastes and smells like raisins. I wish it were more available in the US. I miss this smoke!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

I just recieved a bit of this from a pal in the UK, and it is great stuff. I am smoking the ready rub at the moment and am about 12 gms into the pouch which I got yesterday. This is on my list of must haves for ever! Smooth, sweet but not to sweet, and fullfilling. I am placing an order for the bulk as soon as I log off. If you have not had this get some you'll be happy you did!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

meerschaumj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
meerschaumj (4)
Strong None Detected Very Full Tolerable

St. Bruno is a very stout tobacco indeed. It is a very full virginia that should be sipped slowly to savor-much like an old whisky. Not recomended to smokers who prefer mild tobaccos, (St. Bruno is sometimes considered the original nicotine "powerbar"), and so definitely not for new smokers. A very traditional, heavily fermented English flake. Lovely full rich flavour.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

PT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PT (4)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Tolerable to Strong

Very cool and long lasting smoke, but did not enjoy it's bergamot-like topping, as i prefer natural tobacco taste. No tongue bite at all, even when i puffed fast. It is a bit taxing on the stomach if empty, so I usually smoke it in a small or medium pipe. Perhaps the best tobacco sold now in Greece because VA, VA/Perique, VA/Latakia blends are no more sold here, only artificially scented abominations (with an exception or two)...

Finally, I do not recommend it to inexperienced smokers.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (101)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Full Tolerable

St Bruno was the first pipe tobacco I ever smelled being smoked, courtesy of my late grandfather. Decades later, I reach for it when I want to create a comfortable smoking space. Rich and strong, Bruno responds best to slow rythmic piping, yielding wreaths of rich smoke. Pick this up in the flake form and create your own adventure.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Gae Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gae (46)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I smoke this when I'm in the mood for something strong.(And in a smaller pipe)I agree with all the positive review's before mine.It has plenty of taste & full bodied flavour that I also enjoy.And smoke's extremely well all the way to the bottom of the bowl.I have a dedicated pipe for this blend & it alway's seem's to smoke better each time.(For new comer's to St Bruno)puff gently & slowly,then you appreciate it all the more. In it's class-I'll give this 3 out of 4 star's.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Very Mild Medium to Strong Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Wanting to try this for while, I had the opportunity thanks to a friend in N. Ireland. I was immediatly depressed in that the tin did not arrive but a packaged foil pouch. As usual, money. Not to take anything from the tobacco, a moist tobacco in the flake form, a few flakes were removed to air out. Afterwards, packing was a usual for flakes, and the aroma from the charring light was nice, and expected burned to a clean white ash. The tobacco processed in the UK by Ogdens is a staple in that it is not one to be overlooked. 9 out of 10.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

My old review is like the old St.Bruno: gone.

I hadn't had a chance to try the Mac Baren iteration of this blend until it became available in North America. I had heard rumblings of discontent, so I wasn't expecting much; I wasn't disappointed.

I'm certain this blend will find its fans, and I don't forsee the day when I'll say much bad about Mac Baren, it simply isn't the St.Bruno of yore. Fair enough I suppose; I'm not the grimpeur of yore, either.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Grundie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Grundie (26)
Strong Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This tobacco has a mild flavour, but certainly isn't bland. The overwhelming flavour is of virginia, with subtle hints of oriental tobaccos. The tin smell does not impart what tobaccos are in the blend but it does have strong woody/earthy tones. The tobacco is strong, but I didn't find it as strong as some other reviewers. What I would warn you about is inhaling this tobacco, I accidentally inhaled it once and I though my head was going to explode! The flavours you sense when smoking are that of definite virginia, slight spicyness and woody tones. The room note is also very woody and quite pleasant. I don't know if it is me but I have always found St. Bruno to have very woody flavours, I like this and it provides a nice come down after smoking an aromatic blend or a stong Latakia tobacco such as Dunhill 965. I think this is a great tobacco for DIY casing due to it's mild woody flavour, I sprayed on a little bit of rum on to some St. Bruno and it was yummy!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TDE Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TDE (10)
Medium Mild to Medium Full Tolerable to Strong

St. Bruno Flake is a product of famed Ogdens of Liverpool and contains flue-cured Virginias as well as some fire-cured Oriental tobacco. Its available in 50g pouches and occasionally in 50g tins. One tastes like the other.

Sight, Touch & Aroma: Dark brown in color with streaks of gold through it, St. Bruno Flake is pressed into thin, 10mm wide ribbons. Leathery and dry to the touch, it always has the perfect moisture content for me. Upon opening a new pouch you are greeted with the full, complex aroma of red wine in the making. Hints of fruitcake and almond drift through it nicely. It is strong but not cloying or artificial.

Preparation & Smoking: St. Bruno Flake requires some rubbing before use but smokes well at any consistency from 1) slightly broken flakes to 2) well rubbed-up shag. I prefer packing broken flakes in the bottom of the bowl and moderately rubbed shag at the top. Its usually a ?2 match? effort to acquire a proper burn but then it keeps on nicely with moderately strong draws quite widely paced. I enjoy St. Bruno in any pipe but prefer bent designs. I smoke it with equal enjoyment indoors or out, winter or summer. Flavour: The initial flavour is lightly spiced with some undertones of old fashioned ?soap candy?, berry and blanched almonds. St. Bruno Flake has a taste that is wonderfully elusive and I find my palate and nose constantly discovering new ways to define it. The taste does get stronger towards the end but still easy on the mouth and tongue at all times.

Room Note: The initial room note is moderately strong, mildly fruity and sweet with the trace fragrances I liken to a quality perfume. Further along it becomes stronger but never overpowers the smoker. The room note also maintains better than many blends but does sour a bit near the end. In small amounts, the note ride the tolerance borderline of most non-smokers. Economics: In Canada this blend is low-priced and when coupled with its very slow rate of burn, St. Bruno Flake becomes a very economical smoke. A bowl often lasts me over an 1.5 hours.

Last Words: I believe this to be a tremendous bargain as St. Bruno Flake has everything I need from a good pipe tobacco. As it is not found in corner stores, I buy several packages at a time when I visit the local tobacconist. If I?m ever banished to a desert isle, St. Bruno would be in my luggage. 4.5 stars of 5, a must-try tobacco.

©Copyright, Rivendel Books 2001 ®

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roonwit Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
roonwit (4)
Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

This is a really nice tobacco. The tin aroma was lovely (but unidentifiable). You have to rub it out, but it lights well and tastes ... well, grand. I neede just one re-light about halfway down. No unpleasantness there, for me at least.

St. Bruno has an enduring sweetness to it that goes from top to bottom of the bowl.

The ash was unlike any other I typically see. It was gray and very fine, almost like a powder.

American fans of Imperial Tobaccos (St. Bruno, Three Nuns, Capstan) will appreciate the fact that these blends are easily ordered from, a Swiss site that provides good service to the US.

St. Bruno flake is now a staple in my

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