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One hundred percent dark red Virginia flake, ready rubbed.

Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
CutReady Rubbed
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium
Room Note

Favorite Of 2 Users

24 reviews
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Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

This is a superb smoke. A little tangy, a little tart, just a touch of spice and a very mild sweet addition as well. Citrus, figs and raisins. In the second half a little bread and earth. Everything a Red Virginia should be (plus the added sweetness). Has a little creaminess to it. Has enough strength to easily satisfy. Just a pure pleasure.

Medium in body and taste. Added sweetness is very mild. Burn is near perfect.

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

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

After reading the above reviews, I had to check again to make sure what I was reviewing was the same stuff because I came away with a totally different impression of this blend.

I found no spice in this blend, I found it to be plain tobacco, which I liked a lot. If I had to describe this in a word, it would be "tasty!"

If you want pure tobacco flavor without casing or extra sweetness, well, grab a tin of this stuff in a hurry!

4 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

James B. Russell, Inc. used to import this fine tobacco, and it no longer does. [*] Pity. It is an excellent, classical flake.

The broken ["Scotch"] cake inside the tin is the colour of fig pudding. It smells like it, too. The taste is mild, savoury, spicy, not too sweet. There is none of the bloating of the heavier stoved plugs, no topping, casing, shaving-soap smell or anything else, but the natural, zesty mildness of Queen Virginia.

I smoked Brigade in a new corncob, which brought out the full airborne elegance of this tobacco, proving, yet again, the essential greatness and nobility of corncob pipes. Heartily recommended.


[*]? I am told that all these Wessex tobaccos are now imported by XYZ Direct.

3 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (58)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

One of the better broken flakes that I have smoked . Looks and smells very nice upon opening . I needed to rub it out a little but it packs and burns well . Best smoked in at least a group 4 sized pipe this tobacco will give you a long smoke full of really good Virginia flavor . Much less harsh than some other red flakes I have had , this is sweet down to the last puff .

1 person found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (302)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is an eye catching broken flake, of beautiful tan and dark brown hues. A true and simple straight Virginia, it has a fresh grassy smell with only a faint note of natural sweetness. Slightly moist in the tin, it is nonetheless easy to pack and it lights up pretty well. The flavor is somewhat muted and unpretentious. It lacks the rich, herbal sweetness of other Virginia flakes (very different from, say, Old Gowrie, Brown Clunee of Hamburger Veermaster), but it is still very palatable. Sober, down to earth, it somewhat reminds me of Astley?s 55 and McConnell?s Scottish Flake, though smoother. If not smoked with care, it does have a tendency to bite and, if pushed, it can burn rather hot. Other than that, a very nice straight Virginia, prepared with all the care and craftsmanship of the blenders at Kohlhase & Kopp(incidentally: I got mine at Cupojoes, NY).

1 person found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1644)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Wessex - Classic Virginia (Brigade).

It's quite a well broken flake, there's only a small proportion of the blend in need of further rubbing. The smell from the tin suggests a sharp topping of some kind, maybe citrus. Mine was a touch too moist, but not damp enough to avert having a bowl from the fresh tin.

The smoke doesn't taste like the usual Virginia blend, it has more depth to the flavour. The initial part of a bowl carries the sharp, slightly acidic, citrus note that emanated from the tin. It doesn't taste, in any way, cased, but gives lots of natural Virginia sharpness. This soon calms down giving way to a sweeter style of Virginia, with some dark fruit and bready notes. I've read a few comments about the temperature being too high, but I can't see a problem with it, even if I forcefully 'chug'. It gives a burn that has a medium speed, requiring very little attention.

The nicotine: mild to medium. Room-note: very pleasant.

I could see myself cellaring some Classic Virginia for when the urge for a Virginia takes me. Highly recommended:

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Nording, and Cobs

Age When Smoked: One month

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Nobody has rated this review yet.

Taste Buds Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Taste Buds (65)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I took a semi rubbed out flake and rubbed it out completely. The tobacco lit easily. This is a lovely red Virginia that tastes delicious, with no sharpness. It burns beautifully to the bottom of the bowl. Although I would describe the strength as mild to medium, it is very satisfying and tastes of quality tobacco. I rub it out completely,which I find releases the flavor. Smoke it slowly and you will be rewarded with a delicious cool smoke. It remains mild, with little nicotine strength and no loss of flavor from start to finish. Also excellent with a little perique added. I also like to mix this 5 to 1 with Wessex Brown Flake for a delicious taste experience. Rubbing out the flakes completely produces a milder smoke which I prefer.

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Red Virginias are a hit or miss with me. I like most of them, but many don’t like me. It must be a body chemistry thing. Classic Virginia is a hit as it is smooth and sweet and didn’t ever bite me, even when pushed. I do think that there is a little topping on this, but either way, it is very tasty. I have smoked this fully rubbed out and as is. It isn’t as rich as the Brigade Campaign flake, but still worth a few tins in the cellar. I should also add that my wife, an occasional pipe smoker herself, finds this to be the only Virginia that she enjoys. Until recently, Wessex blends seem to have flown below the radar, at least my radar. Classic Virginia will be wonderful with age. I intend to find out.

Age When Smoked: new to one year

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (839)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

Medium brown to dark in color, this is definitely a broken flake but it's broken almost to ribbons rather than the "flakelets" I'm used to when something is touted as a broken flake. No problems with the cut. Tin aroma shows a maltiness with a hair of fruitiness. Kind of a different aroma. This loaded and lit easily.

The best news is that I bought this tin about 6 months ago along with a tin of the Curly Cut, and this is considerably better than Curly Cut... not that it would take much to better that blend. Taste-wise, I found this a bit too sweet to be simply red virginia, so I'm guessing there is a bit of lemon VA as well, or more likely, a sweet casing. Thankfully, it doesn't intrude. Although I found this blend to be far from the classic that its name purports it to be, it seems to be a perfectly serviceable virginia with some bread and light tea notes and a fair bit of sweetness that comes off just a bit north of natural. This could be an all-day smoke. When I overpuffed to see how this one behaves under duress, it nipped me a bit but still retained its flavor. Not a lot of complexity to this one but a nice straight-forward, honest flavor. I liked this one but won't buy it again. On the other hand, I would bet this one ages quite nicely.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Denevei Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Denevei (58)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

Upon first opening the tin of this tobacco, the buyer is greeted with a nice, medium-colored broken flake. The aroma is attractive, with fruity overtones. The tobacco itself is slightly on the moist side for my tastes. The charring light of Wessex Brigade Classic Virginia is a bit problematic. I usually get a good char with a couple of passes of the butane flame, but this blend took me several more. In fact, after tamping one of the bowls I found that I needed to re-char and re-tamp before I could get a decent burn. However, the flavor of the charring light is quite nice, with a really interesting fruitiness coming through. The early flavor is nice, but puff lightly! While there is a nice sweetness to the tongue, it could be because of this sweetness that the smoke seems almost excessively hot. Tongue bite in the first quarter of the bowl seems like a real possibility unless you sip at the smoke rather than puff it. I also had a bit of trouble keeping one bowl lit during this part of the smoke. Deeper into the bowl, the hot nature seems to lessen considerably, yet the sweetness remains. Some of the fruity overtone also disappears, making the flavor a bit more one-dimensional. The overall taste isn't as creamy as some Virginias, but is quite pleasant. Toward the bottom of the bowl I found that some of the sweetness disappears. The flavor is still that of a decent Virginia, but somehow muted a bit. This changes, though, at the very end of the smoke, where the fruitiness surprisingly reappears and the sweetness returns as well. All in all, Wessex Brigade Classic Virginia is about average. There doesn't seem to be anything special about the smoke, and I don't expect to go shopping for it. There are many, many fine Virginias on the market today which are a better selection than this blend.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Davetopay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Davetopay (43)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

This is good stuff. Being my first foray into straight red VA, I think this could be a journey I will enjoy. A tightly packed broken flake. Smells of tangy vinegar(not ketchup), hay, and fruit....but not fruit flavoring. This is not topped or cased in any way. The moisture was just right, but the tin is also in excess of 5-6 years old, so it may have adjusted itself along the way. This stuff was SWEEEEEEET. Candy sweet, but also earthy, and with a special creamy richness I have found only in a few tobaccos. It never once gurgled in my Savinelli Goliath and smoked cooler than any VA I have ever known. The nic hit was a bit of a surprise, even with slow and judicious sipping to stretch the bowl out beyond an hour of smoking time. Did I mention that not once did I have to relight? It was fill, tamp, light, relight! This was no one trick pony today either. It kept changing back and forth between a toasty, buttery, nutty flavor and this sweet, burnt sugar, flavor like on top of creme brule'. I plan to put the hurt on this tin as it makes me want more as soon as I finish a bowl full. Only problem with that is how quickly the vitamin N caught up with me....but I must admit, I DID have two group 5 bowls in 3 hours time.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

Exquisite and complex Viriginia which taste of hay, orange peel and green apples throughout the bowl. It reminds me a lot of IRC Flake, and both are two of my favorites Virginias. The Wessex product is more fit for a thoughtful smoke, as it is a little more complex than Iwan Ries' masterpiece.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

alfredo_buscatti Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alfredo_buscatti (9)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This review will discuss McClelland's Christmas Cheer 2003, McCranie's Red Flake and Wessex Classic Virginia.

Christmas Cheer 2003 (CC) is a red Virginia made from a 1998 Old Belt crop while McCranie?s Red Flake (RF) was made from a 1996 North Carolina crop. CC and RF are both medium-to-full-bodied.

CC fails to deliver the consistently deeper red Virginia flavor that RF offers. While CC has bursts of RF?s consistently dusky red Virginia flavor-a flavor that in comparison is both darker and deeper than a signature brown Virginia, Rattrays Brown Clunee-such bursts are more atypical than constant. This is not to say that CC is not an enjoyable tobacco but simply that in the realm of red Virginia, RF is the winner.

RF?s tin notes state that softness is this tobacco?s chief characteristic. While I don?t disagree with this statement, I would add that RF?s deeper, richer flavor outdoes the competition. One wonders how the considerable tobacco wisdom of McClelland, whose most notable entry in the Virginia arena, its Christmas Cheer series, allowed itself to be content with anything less than a product just shy of perfection. Yet perhaps this has something to due with the time constraints of finding fine leaf in time to process it and still meet Christmas Cheer?s traditional release at the RTDA show.

We then come to Wessex Classic Virginia (CV), medium-to-full bodied, blended by Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. It has more in common with RF than CC and is comprised solely of mature Red Virginia. It has less flavor than RF but I tend to believe this a choice of the blender, not a flaw. It throbs with the rich, basal note of a curing process designed to produce a no-nonsense, straightforward, aged tobacco. Little complexity in comparison to CC, the most complex of these three tobaccos-if any Virginia can be called complex-just a delicious, singular, deep, red Virginia flavor. In comparison to CC, it has little of that tobacco?s grassy, reedy flavor components.

Ranking, in descending order: RF, CV, CC.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (286)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Another nice job by the German blender K&K and one of the best red VA flakes that I've found since the room aroma was judged more favorably than others. I found it not overly sweet but with a natural, VA taste. Packing improved after slightly drying the tobacco but lighting was easy and the smoke needed little attention and burned evenly. An enjoyable smoke that straight VA fans should try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

A beautiful Red VA flake- not much else to say! This is a high quality tobacco and it has all of the qualities of other straight red VA's. This is comparable to Marlin Flake, Red Ribbon, No. 27, and any other great VA. It reminds me of variations of the same theme, kind of like wines are. If you like Va tobacco you need to try this and see what you think. The burning characteristics are great and the flavor is elegantly rich. Quite a find, it is too elegant perhaps for all day consumption, but great for those special moments.

Nobody has rated this review yet.