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Red, brown and gold Virginia tobaccos pressed to give a medium color and a medium rate of burn, with fruit extracts.

BrandJ. F. Germain & Son
Blended ByPlanta
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringFruit / Citrus
CutFlake
Packaging50g Tin
CountryDK
ProductionCurrently available
Product Image
Strength
Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable
2.5
20 reviews
Reviews
4 star:
2
3 star:
9
2 star:
6
1 star:
3
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beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (100)
★★★☆
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Taken for what it is, Germain's Medium Flake is a lovely tobacco. But it is, without question, an aromatic—a mild, golden Virginia flake with an obvious topping applied quite liberally. A smoker expecting an unadulterated flake (or less obviously adulterated at any rate) will likely be disappointed with this otherwise fine offering.

This tobacco arrived on my shelf almost by accident. It was fuelled by a phone call from an e-tailer informing me that my order of Germain's Brown Flake couldn't be filled but the Medium Flake could be offered as a substitute. I agreed, even though I knew nothing of the tobacco. After I suggested the substitution, I wandered over to tobaccoreviews to get the skinny on MF and discovered few favorable reviews. A 2 ** blend. Ah well.

When I first popped the tin and loaded a bowl, I was less than impressed. What I encountered was a golden Virginia flake with a fairly intense citrus topping reminiscent of little Christmas oranges--mandarins, clementines, tangerines. The flake was pressed firmly into the wee tin and I found it well-nigh impossible to take a whole flake out of the tin. Instead, it came out as a fine ribbon--almost a shag—which, it turns out, is incredibly easy to load and keep lit.

I found this a little light and dull at first. But once the summer arrived in my dry, desert state, I began to turn to this lovely little smoke often. The mildness, gentle orange-flavored sweetness, and general cleanliness of this smoke just seemed to work exceptionally well in the dry, summer heat. I went for days where I smoked nothing but this. The only criticism of MF that I can offer is that even slightly accelerated smoking can transform the citrus notes into something more resembling burnt sugar.

Highly recommended as a hot weather smoke.

5 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (151)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The wide variety of reviews make me wonder if there are some quality control issues with this, or if it just shows how subjective we are. In any case, my tin is firmly in the apricot tin aroma (as opposed to citrus or florals), which really only showed up in the pipe the first few times I tried this. At that point, I was rather unimpressed, as I was left with a rather unpleasant last 1/4 of a bowl. With the tin almost finished, however, either the topping has blown off or I've gotten used to it, as it primarily tastes of medium-dark VAs with just the slightest hint of fruit at the beginning of a bowl, and it's a solid 'medium' blend. As I've noticed many of the Germain blends improve after being opened for two weeks, I'll go with that explanation. For me, it works best in taller bowls.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: 1 year after purchase

Purchased From: pipes & cigars

4 people found this review helpful.

Wibblefishofdoom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wibblefishofdoom (111)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Having had a string of Germain's tobaccos recently, I picked this one for no particular reason other than not already having tried it. Given the appreciation I've developed for all the other offerings I have sampled, I had some expectation for this, I'm not sure this met or fulfilled the anticipation but am not completely disappointed.

The tin aroma was very pleasant, possibly lemon with hints of pineapple perhaps, made me think a little of Holger Danske's Royal Navy Flake with the flakes looking not too dissimilar. The tobacco rubs out just fine and lights just as well. The fruity flavour comes through nicely initially, not wildly exciting, just nice. A little of the tobacco comes through, but it's not hugely noticeable. This pleasantness, though does dip about a half to two thirds into the bowl into some kind of... mild unpleasantness is the only phrase that springs to mind, not sure if I can place it but there becomes a certain roughness and mucky taste to it that brings the the whole smoke down a peg or two.

I've found myself getting strangely bored of this. That first half of the smoke is pleasant enough, might have been enough to warrant three stars of it kept on going to the bottom of the smoke. That last third to a half though, while not necessarily that bad per se, is enough the bring the smoke down a notch. It's telling that, judging by the info above, that this is the only Germain's I've had that hasn't been blended by them and simply carries the badge. Will I buy this again? Probably not. Would I smoke it if I got given it? Probably, and I'd enjoy it in much the same vain as I have now. Two stars is about right.

2 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (218)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

First, I don't get any of the "Fruit" flavor. I was expecting that orange or lemon flavoring but I can't find any, the tin note is apricots. That being said, this is good tobacco on its own. A well mellowed Virginia that smokes cool, no bite and a sweet flavor. Although it is listed as "Medium" this has plenty of flavor and "N" for the first 2/3 of the bowl. I would call this a rubbed out flake that has been pressed again into the tin ( Oh, great little tin that seals well and can be slipped in your pocket). Allow this to breath and dry a few weeks to bring out the best. It doesn't have the high notes of say a Mac's Virginia #1 or the "green" flavor of Orliks "red", but it is good. I find that it loses sweetness as you get to the last 1/3 of the bowl and gets ashy. I would rate this as a 2 1/2 star as it has a slight snuff component that I don't care for.

1 person found this review helpful.

Pipeline Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeline (206)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Medium Flake lives up to its name. It begins mild to medium in flavor and deepens to a solid medium level of aroma, flavor and strength. It can be quite yummy.

At its best, it produces a pure Virginia flavor profile, with high notes of burnt caramel and musty essences. There is a touch of spiciness when I exhale through my nose. Natural sweetness is present in taste, but mostly in the waft.

There does not appear to be any casing or flavoring. It can be provoked to nip the tongue mildly if puffed absentmindedly. Opening the tin and letting it relax (dehumidify) for a few weeks in proper storage seems to benefit its burning properties and flavor.

I find it very easy to pack by folding its long flakes over in half and in half again, usually placing a pinch of rubbed out flake at the very bottom and on the very top of the bowl. I suggest that one not be too quick to simply rub this out. It really works as a flake.

One good charring light and two initial lights get me most of the way through the bowl. One additional relight about mid-way seems a regular phenomenon with Medium Flake.

It seems to burn well in the medium and large size bowls I use. It loses something essential outdoors and is perfectly suitable to indoor enjoyment in the close confines of my car.

While I will not likely cellar this in significant quantities, it will be kept on hand for the times when I crave its refined character.

Medium Flake and its cousin, Brown Flake, have very little, if anything common. They are differing offerings for different desires. Both are worthy.

Another quality Germain product.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (54)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is a lovely bright broken flake in appearance. The tin note is sweet lemon and honey. I cannot detect casing outside of this.

Takes the flame well and is a single light, low maintenance smoke.

Produces a nice, clean, fresh Virginia aroma and is particularly sweet to the tongue. Would make a pleasant all day smoke for straight Va fans.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xious Sonenberg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xious Sonenberg (9)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Medium Flake is one of those tobaccos that tends to go un-noticed by many, much to their unbeknownst disappointment, for they are missing a fine experience. This is essentially a golden and bronze VA flake, but it is not cut or sliced, making it more like plug tobaccos. You can select to sheer off fine strips, with a texture like horsehair, or cut a cube of it for your favourite clay.

The VAs are scented with violet, s it typical of a Lakeland, which I find most enjoyable. They are exceptionally delightful if you slightly toast the leaf before you pug it in your pipe, and I generally take the lid of an old tin and place it over an oil lamp (with a trimmer) with lay out a bit of Medium Flake on that, which brings out the violet scent and unfolds its hidden sweetness.

Like most VAs, Medium Flake is greatly enhanced with age. I managed to uncover a 10-year tin in my cellar and opened it, not realizing how long it was in there until I flipped it over, as the experience was so amazing, I had wondered what I was doing differently. Two years at least is what I suggest for the full experience, but if you can manage to sneak one away for a decade or two, you will e i for a divine treat.

A green tin is still very pleasant, and I keep one in regular rotation at all times. I find it exceptional early in the day (just after rising), with tea, or after dinner. It does not mix well with scotch, as the delicate ambrosia of Medium Flake is easily overpowered by any strong serums that you may care to partake with it. I find that simple water is best here.

A to bowl size, unlike some VAs that tend to bite, I have never had an issue with medium Flake. I have smoked it in everything from tiny (Group 1) bowls and clays, to my trusty OBD. The experience is perfect in any size, and as it is close to a plug from the tin, if you don't sheer it or rub it out it smoulders cool and fresh for a very long, smouldering smoke, and makes a good companion for reading.

The control you have over consistency is remarkable, so if you want a faster burn or fewer relights, you need only rub it out a tad more and it behaves admirably. It is also a good DGT candidate, especially in larger bowls. My only regret is that i can't buy it in 1Lb bricks.

The overall composition of Medium Flake is a very mellow Lakeland background note, with motes of honey, cake, copper, and a mead-like quality that you need to experience to fully appreciate.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (204)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Medium Flake, it is called. Other manufacturers might have called it VA Flake or similar.

As with the other Germain's flakes, this preparation is crammed into a tiny tin, seemingly by brute force. The tin note is beautiful, sweet-and-hay VA with the natural citrus tones of good bright VA leaf; I did not detect any topping or sauce in this one at first, but my nose must have been off its rocker (not the first time this has happened to me); there is a definite citrus topping here.

The leaf as such, though, is a bit of a puzzle: with some care, I managed to extract from the tin a fused block of a very finely-cut plug, individual slices cannot be made out and I was wondering whether they shouldn't have packaged the thing unsliced as a plug.

No, they should not have done that, and I am thankful they didn't. The cut is thin enough to almost qualify as a roll-your-own cigarette cut, but it is possible to tear off a chunk of this concoction and simply sink it into a tall pipe without any need for folding or twisting; it will light up readily and burn astonishingly slowly for such a fine cut.

The taste is nicely sweet and slightly grassy; the room note is pretty good for a pure VA blend -- pleasant for a pipe smoker, but maybe not quite so good for non-smokers. I happen to like it.

This blend goes very well with a 1st Flush or a dry 2nd Flush Darjeeling; if you want something alcoholic to go along, I would suggest a good Calvados.

Apart from my usual flake pipes, I have tried this blend in a shag pipe and it was just beautiful, burning slowly and coolly, giving off sweetness and a good room note. I like, I recommend, I shall buy again.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

donmartinthree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
donmartinthree (18)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

smokeable out of the tin, granted you can decipher the single flakes... it's all one big wad of flakes that are hard to take apart without breaking each. that's not too bad though. it's very soft, not too moist, not too dry. perfect.

the tin aroma is delicious - it smells of figs and raisins and hay, like most virginia flakes I know (so far).

and that's pretty much the taste as well. kinf of citrusy, kind of hay-like, kind of sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.

it's easy to fold and stuff and then light with two matches. it stays lit the whole way down. it smokes sort of quickly for a flake, because the strands you manage to get out are long and thin. almost like a fine or shag cut.

it's nothing special, but I still enjoy it very much when I do smoke it.

great on a really hot summer day. not 3 stars because it's not that special. good, not bad, not supergood.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Countrygent Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Countrygent (9)
★★☆☆
Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

My preferences lean towards the lighter Va flakes (eg. Reiners, Orliks Golden, Escudo) and some of the medium sweeter flakes or Va's (FVF, BBF, Stonehaven, Union Square, Laurel Heights). A touchstone for a light, towards citrus and balanced va flake would be Dunhill's Light Flake ... so I am always looking for something comparable and available since it was discontinued. Fribourg & Treyer's Vintage probably comes as close as any blend I have tried as a substitute. But I digress.

Not a big fan of heavy casing and the McClelland-type blends with their vinegar/catsup or caramel/brown sugar toppings. On the other hand the McClelland's red virginia bulk 2015 I have found an excellent blender with a true red virginia flavour profile without the catsup notes.

So looking for a virginia with a light touch and clean quality - balanced and nuanced rather than boldly flavoured or heavily sweetened.

Germain's Medium Flake, as other reviewers have noted, comes packed as a block of what turns out on separation and gentle rubbing to be finely ribbon-cut virginia, putting one in mind of a fine, almost cigarette cut that reminded me of Astley's No.55 Elizabethan. Unlike the thicker pressings and cuts typical of most quality flakes, this tobacco has been shredded quite fine before pressing.

There was a tin aroma that had a slight botanical note towards soapiness such as lavender, lilac or bergamot. It also gave up some typical virginia raisin notes and slight citrus, as another reviewer noted, towards orange not lemon, perhaps tangerine.

I was hoping the medicinal/soapy notes would not express themselves in the smoke. I don't think they did.

The tobacco was a suitable moisture level straight from the can, it might have stood a bit more drying, although it didn't bite from moisture IMO. It was difficult to pack loosely and get an even burn in the bowl on first light.

Insipid. Ashy. Medium strength in nicotine flavour, but an odd, characterless single note smoking experience that had a grassy and unappealing flavor for my palate. No discernible transition down through the bowl. Probably the most cigarette-like experience in smoking a pipe I have ever had - a nicotine delivery system, going through the motions of smoking, although it is a trying cut to smoke in a pipe bowl for me, but no subtlty. Like eating oatmeal or brown rice without sugar or spice. Just very little to commend itself, and a bit of a trial to finish a few bowls. Now that may well be a "pure" experience in the sense that the tobacco delivers an unadulterated virginia experience, but there was none of the organic underlying, untopped sweetness of the leaf, almost as if it was insufficently cured, or slightly green and raw.

I'll probably give away the last half of my tin and won't buy it again. Can't scold it for being unpleasant, but in a life with only so many bowls ahead of me and so many more tasty and finely balanced virginias to smoke ... I'll pass on this. 2 Stars, somebody must like it, there is nothing per se wrong with it, not my cuppa.

BTW - it says 50 gramms on the front and 2oz on the back of the tin. A troy ounce is 31 grams more or less ... I thought a standard ounce weight would be about 28 gramms - so what's up with weights and measures in Jersey?

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

update: going through my reviews here, i find that i'll have to downgrade a good deal of the praise i've given so many blends. 4 stars should, i feel, be reserved for the blends i find truly exceptional. so, this is downgraded a bit. end update.

tin aroma is definitely flavoured. my first association was to player's flakes, or perhaps will's capstan flakes. it's fruity, hay-like, winey. very pleasant imo, and a genre of flavouring i haven't smelled for years.

the flakes are medium brown. a bit difficult to get whole flakes out of the tin, but easy to load and light.

the taste and smell of the smoke is a lot less coloured by the flavour than is the tin aroma. it's first of all a sweet (in a quite different sense than so many continental blends), gentle, pure virginia of medium strength that burns nicely to the bottom of the bowl. there are faint whispers of vanilla and sandalwood, but the predominating taste is of well aged and pressed virginias with their fermented brandyish and berryish notes. very finely tuned blend, and the slight flavouring really complements the tobacco's own flavours.

i think it is delightfull, and i find myself smoking quite a bit of it.

an old fashioned, fine tobacco, which alas also wakens a nostalgia for all the wonderful british virginia blends now long gone (capstan, simmon's, fribourg & treyer's etc)!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (96)
★★☆☆
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable

Oranges, thats the impression I get, I've just lit up a bowl of orange Juice ! then it settles down, but with still a note of orange, eventualy this too dissipates leaving an o.k. virginia tobacco taste, but not a dramatic one. I waited a long time to try this and was sadly dissapointed. I will finish the tin, it is certainly smokeable, but I will not be buying more. Therefore, two stars if you like orange flavour for starters before the rather, and I hate to say this, insipid main course.

Final note: As with many others who tried this, I found the contents to have been cut in the flake style, but to have settled into a solid brick.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Xeneize Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Xeneize (275)
★☆☆☆
Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable to Strong

Although this blend's got some similarities with Brown Flake, it lacks the depth provided by the mature Virginias in the latter. It also has some fig topping that is very nice to smell in the tin but not that pleasant to my palate.

With so many great Virginias out there, there is no reason to recommend this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1005)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This is Gawith Best Brown Flake's handsome brother. Light in appearance but not strength or smoking qualities. It is semi-sweet and burns a tad fast for a flake.

If you are one who enjoys stouter Virginia fare, this might be worth a try. It does not change much as you work your way down the bowl, just rock solid Virginia that leaves the palate refreshed. It's sure one of my favorites!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

ajaj Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ajaj (69)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

A smoke very similar to Samuel Gawith's Best Brown Flake except a little sweeter.. There's a hint of grassy hay-like overtones and is sharper in flavor than Germain's Brown Flake. A enjoyable pure Virgina smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

flint Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
flint (30)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable

I was really hoping to gain a friend with this blend but I didn't. Let me start out with what I liked, the cool little tin, the flakes wrapped in wax paper and the initial aroma of the blend still in the tin. But that was about it I'm sure this of good leaf and handled well. I was hoping to find a wonderful sweet aged virginia flake. But it's just way to bland for me, there are much better virginia flakes out there to spend your time and money on.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SFC/E7 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SFC/E7 (93)
★★★☆
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Upon opening the lid of this small tin I detected very little to no aroma of the brownish colored tobacco with slivers of golden Virginias pressed into this small container.

As I rubbed out this Medium Flake to my liking I detected it was fresh and a little moist. I had no problem in packing this medium flake in a 1963 Group 2 Dunhill Prince, it lights easily and as long as you have a tamper there is not too much problem in keeping it lit.

I did not notice any tongue bite, but.....this tobacco will get a bowl hot real fast. IMO this is a mild tasting Medium Flake, but improves to a medium tasting tobacco as you smoke this towards the bottom of the bowl.

Keep Your Pipe Cool, Smoke it Slow, Enjoy it Longer

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (263)
★☆☆☆
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

IMO Medium Flake, like its sibling, Brown Flake, is a nice tobacco, well manufactured, probably of very good leaf, the initial taste of which is quite good but eventually tends to fade away, losing both in body and flavour. Unlike BF, Medium Flake is a kind of naturally sweet Virginia, in the same vein of Dunhill?s Three Year Matured (not as fruity though) or Bjarne´s Flake de Luxe. Equally moist, MF is lighter in colour than BF. I found it easy to break up the individual flakes, but difficult to light the tobacco once it was packed. Some airing is beneficial, but I have noticed that it can dry up very quickly and turn to dust.

As with Brown Flake, the initial flavour was surprisingly rich, smooth and palatable. I really enjoyed this flake for a couple of minutes, in which time I smoked it slowly and carefully. In spite of the difficulty in keeping it lit, it did burn well and smoothly. But once I was getting the ?feel? of it, there occurred some kind of chemical (or chimerical?) transfiguration and, spoof!, its structure and flavour simply vanished into thin air?It is as if some dark magical force (Voldemort?) suctioned the life out of this tobacco and rendered it innocuous and dull. Why? Cannot tell, but it just seemed that way. A shame, really. This could have been very nice.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (137)
★★★☆
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is another nice flake by Germain. It is mostly a bright golden virginia flake, but there are some other virgina types mixed in. However, it is densely packed in the tin (I got over 20 bowls from one tin in a local Tinder Box Ser Jacopo medium bent), and is difficult to lift or pull out many nice size slices for packing in a pipe. Most leaves come out in a rough shag. It still smokes cooly if you excercise a little patience in your packing. Maybe some who like to rub out their flakes more will like the resulting shag from the tin.

It is lighter, sweeter and tangier compared to its fuller and very cool brother, Brown Flake (which I like more). Medium flake may have a slight citrus scent, but it is light. Most of the steady sweetness must come from the naturally sweet golden virginia leaf.

I find many golden and bright virginia flakes delicious but hot. Only a couple are my regulars in my rotation. Germain's medium flake is a good one if smoked slowly, and is lighter than the robust Solani 633 golden virginia/perique blend, and not as round as the Solani Long Golden Flake. It is bit cooler and somewhat more complex than Gawith & Hoggarth's Bright CR Flake. And it's cooler than a lot of others.

Overall, this is dry, reasonably cool, and steady burning. If you like a sweet flake with a classic bright virginia tang (like a mild salsa, but not hot unless pushed), gives a tin a try.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Perhaps they should call this 'medium block'. Germain has taken very finely cut yellow VAs and pressed them into a single block ~ 3"x2"x1" that fills their tin. At the start, I had difficulty separating the layers and obtained mostly fine ribbons, even finer than the typical Germain's, that were difficult to pack evenly. This resulted in channeling, an extremely uneven burn, plugging of the air hole and some harsh tastes. However, in the last half of the tin, I was able to obtain some nice clumps and successfully pack them. Perhaps we should blame my packing techniques since a good tobacco taste developed when large bowled pipes were used. Even if this is a great tobacco, I'm not sure that I have the patience to experiment and discover it. There are other true VA flakes that require much less attention to obtain a great smoke.

Nobody has rated this review yet.