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An excellent all day smoke for the Virginia lover. Mild and mellow mixture.

Notes: Originally blended in England.

Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy Iwan Ries
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
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moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (102)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

"There are certain delicious sensations that are no less intense for being vague." - Charles Baudelaire

I suspect that Astley's 109/Virginia Flake - like the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold - suffers long at the hands of its habitués, not to mention being "ghosted" by myriad other tobaccos that are used in the same pipe. So, my recommendation comes with a stipulation, that the smoker takes the time and makes a best effort to discover what is special here.

This tobacco is fresh and enticing right from the tin, falling to short, chunky "ribbons" as the flakes are handled. It packs and lights OK and, once it is lit, I find it takes but little attention to keep it lit. It makes enough smoke, and it is "strong enough", within the context of its profile. IMO, it is best smoked in still air, to the point of smoking it indoors, if you can. Anyway, I do NOT recommend doing chores with a pipe full hanging from your jaw. I will even go out on a limb and say it might be best in a narrow "sipping" stack that is dedicated to it.

What is really good here may be ephemeral, but it is also exceptional, if not unique, mild, rather nutty Virginia tobacco with a delicate topping that need not offend even the most sensitive and inquisitive palate. This same VA does "muscle up" some over the course of a bowl, but in decidedly relative terms, and many probably never even notice this effect. Smoked down, the "smoky" part of its Va flavor concentrates, to the point where one might well miss the rancid fruit and an increasingly "acrid" quality that is - somehow - not only not offensive - at all - but it is part of what makes this blend special, IMO. And, oddly, the delicious, enduring aftertaste gradually works its way back to Va sweet.

All in all, despite my prolix intonements, I am pretty much at a loss for words here, like trying to describe dejas vu (or type it without proper script options...). Just, if you're willing to make the effort, this can delight, reward and even satisfy in a way that is not only different but better than other "light" tobaccos.

Update: Just wanted to share that A 109 needs to be kept in its sealed tin if one aims to age it. It dries and wilts sadly if left for long in a jar, even a "sealed" Mason jar. Since it needs close to "factory" moisture to act as intended, IMO, either smoke it soon (best), or keep tabs on hydration, once a tin has been popped.

Pipe Used: various briars; narow sippers preferred

Age When Smoked: young-ish to old-ish

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Contrast to Dunhill Flake.

14 people found this review helpful.

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

I don't recall the other Astley blends being this way, but this was what I call a "wraparound" flake, in that it wasn't cut in bars or flakes. It was a huge rectangular chunk of tobacco that was folded over several times before tinning. As I broke off flakes, I would flip this chunk over and start on the other side to keep the chunk in one piece. Kind of cool, but then I'm easily amused.

Very well-behaved tobacco. Smoked great either folded and stuffed or rubbed out. The lemon citrus flavor of bright virginia was noticeable but not overwhelming. There were definite bass notes in this one and it was exquisitely balanced. Neither too mild nor too heavy, not too light or too flavorful. Not terribly complex but not a one trick pony. This is "just right". Consequently, there's not much to say about it. You'll either like it or you'll love it but I can't imagine any virginia smoker disliking it. I prefer Astleys #44 but that's just me. This is something every VA smoker should try, particularly if they like to smoke while doing other tasks. This one won't demand your attention. Good stuff!

12 people found this review helpful.

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

Astley's - No.109 Medium Flake.

What a delicious tobacco this is. It had me captivated the moment I cracked open the tin. Rather than being separate flakes this has been packaged in a similar fashion to Orlik Golden Sliced; one long flake rolled up. Upon the opening I can see that the tobacco has secreted a fair quantity of oils as the paper that tops the tin is heavily stained from them. The smell from the can is so enticing, a sort of raisin/dough/bread like aroma. The tobacco is quite dark in appearance and although the paper top had a good oil covering the flake itself is of a perfect hydration to smoke right away. I opt to tare off some of the flake, rub it out, pack my pipe then light it up and if I was captivated from the aroma I'm truly enchanted by the taste.

I get a flavour very similar to the tins note. Obviously the Virginia is the main player, grassy and fresh but alongside it there's that same raisin/dough/bread enhancement which is absolutely lovely. The nicotine is about medium in this which suits me well. If you require a tobacco to sit and relax with without the need to keep fiddling about with your lighter and tamper then this is for you; it can be enjoyed with very few relights and only a little tamping.

If someone were to say to me "this is the only blend you can smoke for the rest of your life" my retort would be "well I can easily deal with that". Total smoking bliss. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Peterson Sherlock Holmes Lestrade

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

Similar Blends: No comparison for perfection.

6 people found this review helpful.

Lyle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lyle (30)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have a pipe dedicated to this blend; I've smoked five tins.

This is the first VA that I really fell for. The first four tins I smoked had a really nice, deep, chocolate overtone that I really liked. Although labeled as a straight VA, I detected a very judiciously applied sugar and chocolate/carob top dressing--nothing that would jump out, ghost a pipe or get in the way, but something that made the flake very approachable.

The last tin I smoked, purchased in 2012 and smoked in 2015, had no detectable chocolate topping. This may be because it dissipated over the years of aging, or possibly because the formula changed. Either way, it remained mostly familiar and delicious.

A lot of straight VAs are grassy, lemony, or hay-like (which I love), but are a little harder to appreciate for the newcomer, depending on experience. I loved this as a newbie, and continue to return to it.

As with most Virginia tobaccos, smoking as slow and cool as possible yields the best results. These are not bold flavors compared to Latakia blends or strong aromatics.

Pipe Used: Several dedicated to VA, one to this blend

Age When Smoked: Several tins, varying from 0-3 years

5 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (191)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The description on the tin is spot on with this broken flake. Sweet, mature Virginias are there from the get go. This tobacco is sensitive to how and when you smoke it. Use the same pipe and make it your first smoke of the day. This way you make the most of it.

I like the honey sweet and raisin taste, mellow and yet interesting. It's a shame that there is the typical European topping of aniseed and licorice applied to this otherwise perfect flake. This topping is sometimes strong enough to distract you from a good and honest smoke and then disappears to come back when you have settled once again. For me that is the only minus.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

I am a big fan of well-aged Virginia's and VaPers. I wasn't bowled over with excitement by my first experience with #109. Having stowed away the second of two tins for several years, I decided to revisit it since it has garnered a lot of positive reviews. The aged, darkened flakes smelled of the usual raison, fig and hay scent that comes from an aged Virginia blend. #109 offed some sweetness, but not as much as I expected. Astley's #109 smoked with a nice balanced flavor, but it bit me. I seldom get tongue bite and so I soldered on with different pipes, different cadence and packing methods, but I just couldn't get past the bite. I guess it is just a body chemistry thing, but it is what keeps me from rating it higher. It is worth a try for Virginia lovers, but not one I will personally be buying again.

5 people found this review helpful.

Capt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Capt (171)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Having a very Va sensitive tongue, Astley's 109 is probably the most mild mannered Va out there. Definitely one of my favorite tinned Va flakes to date. I purchased this tin in 2003 and didn't open it until 2006. I smoked a few bowls, and left it at that. This was before I "understood" Va flakes.

Well, 2011 rolls around and this guy gets on a HUGE Va flake kick, unlike any kick I have ever been on before. Spending hundreds of dollars trying to sample as many Va's as I can. While stocking the cellar with my newly acquired blends I find this tin of 109 deep in the back of the shelves. I take it out and open it, finding the moisture content still perfect, even though it had been opened for 5 years.

Everything clicked and finally made sense. This was one fine smoke. Sweet, complex for a Va, and just plain enjoying. Lit, packed and stayed lit without troubles. Great room note, and just enough nicotine to know you your pipe is lit. I highly recommend this blend, escpecially those with sensitive tongues.

5 people found this review helpful.

Rodricus Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rodricus (23)
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

For the virginia lovers, this is the tobacco to smoke. It is a superb flake by Astley´s as well as their best blend, in my opinion.

In the tin the tobacco is tangy and a little sour: nicontina is here at her best. If you let the flakes dry a little they might turn a little white. The flake is somehow sharp, so rubbing turns out to be an important decision: to brake or not to brake?

This delicious blend is also strog for me, so I just smoke it on the evenings or after an abundant meal. And also only when I want to remember that life has a lot of good things to deliver.

5 people found this review helpful.

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

There's a light topping of some kind that added a light fruit/sugar note, but it tended to fade as I smoked. The raisin hit I sensed when I opened the tin also seemed to fairly much vanish. I did get a light lemon, citrus flavor that complimented the hay and grassy Virginia notes. Not very complex, but it isn't meant to be that way. The nic-hit is mild. Can bite a fast puffer, so it needs to smoked a little slowly. Burns clean and slightly fast with a fairly consistent flavor, and requires few relights. Leaves little moisture in the bowl. The after taste is pleasant, but short lived. Can be an all day smoke.

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Very nice flavors of citrus and darker fruits with a light addition of anise. Modest amounts of sweetness and spice. This is a very tasty smoke, but requires some discipline to keep it that way. I barely have enough which makes this a flake that I won't be smoking much of. I will enjoy it on occasion though. If you can keep it slow and cool you'll get a first class smoke out of it.

Mild to medium in body. Flavoring is very mild. Taste is medium. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Mars cigars and pipes

2 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Can’t believe I never got around to putting in my 2 cents about this one, especially considering that, along with Compton’s Commonweal, McClelland Rich Virginia Ribbon, Boston 1776, C&D Opening Night, F&T Cut Virginia Plug, McCranie’s RVF and RVR, Samuel Gawith BBF and FVF, it’s one of my go-to ‘straight’ virginias (must be a bit of burley in some of them).

This one brings together the most disparate elements beautifully. It’s at once dark, earthy, bright, tangy, creamy and surprisingly rich. How’s that possible? It’s herbal, pleasantly tannic (think coffee!) and, yes, with a lovely sweetness. It develops wonderfully in the pipe and ages deliciously in the tin. The richer second half of the bowl offers leatheriness and buttery nuttiness (burley? African virginias?). No. 109 has depth and balance. It is a very distinctive tobacco, definitely one to try for Va. lovers. I 'cellared' about 20 tins some years ago, and I'm glad I did!

Highly recommended!

Also recommend the reviews from Bear, moniker, and DK…

Pipe Used: several, all reserved for Va's w/out topping

Age When Smoked: 8 years

2 people found this review helpful.

Bluesmoke Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluesmoke (75)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Very nice VA. Pleasing aroma (bread, yeast, caramel) from the tin. All those same aromas transfer well to the smoke. A nice dark profile, as I said, caramelized sugar and a nice slightly spicy and sweet smokiness. Great inhalation when breathed through the nose...little tingle. This was moderate in flavor and body and a delight in which to indulge. This will be stored and broken out later for inspection. I feel this will mellow some with time. A good VA and quite filling after one bowl. This is a nice offering indeed. MJCKYAYFF

2 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (58)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

This is one of my after diner tobaccos and well it should be . The smoker is presented with long flakes more than average in thickness . it really is sort of a broken flake because there is a good deal of strands on the bottom . The color is dark brown and the tin note is fruity and inviting . A good moisture level helps in packing and lighting . This is a slow burning tobacco that delivers flavor all the way through . The taste is natural , matured Virginia tobacco with no topping that I can notice . 109 is a rich smoke with the same punch as F & T special brown or Ratray's marlin. Though not good for the morning smoke in my opinion it's value comes later in the day when something more full bodied is desired . It is almost identical to Wessex brigade dark flake , also made by K & K .and I smoke them interchangeably . This , along with the Wessex , is in a class by it's self in the Virginia world . Enjoy some. Edited 6/5/16 K & K has changed the presentation . It is now delivered in a square tin , ala F & T , as a folded flake . What a loss to this fine tobacco . The old round tin presented long flakes that wrapped around the can sort of like Ratrays Marlin flake . The new presentation looks like every other folded flake made by K & K . Still the same great tobacco but the new presentation takes something away from the experience . I guess that I will use Wessex brigade dark flake from now on , it being exactly the same tobacco , still presented in the traditional way .

Similar Blends: Wessex brigade dark flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Namshang Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Namshang (3)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

This of brown sugar aroma is very strong and sweet. It was not a bad feeling, a lot of other good tobacco. If you love sweet, it is accept.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: PipeStory Eunpyeong, Seoul, Korea.

1 person found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (320)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

New Tin- initial impression- Tin note has the scent of figs with a single long loose flake of medium dark Virginia . Very easy to rub out or break off and will require some drying. The initial flavor and scent is unremarkable with a slight spice, good N ( I find it more than acceptable), not hay or grass like, more English in flavor with high sweet notes and maybe some bitter base notes. One of those blends that's nice while smoking it, but a year later, after my memory fades, I'll be asking, "that was good but I don't remember why !!!" Now fast forward !

Tin Open One Week-scent and flavor starting to develop, you have to French inhale in "small wisps" to find it.

Tin Open One Month- The subtle scent further develops. The blend now has a very smooth sweet flavor, but the real interest is the scent. You have to allow the smoke to drift up the nose or "French Inhale", the fragrance is sweet , reminds me as if there was some "Samsun Oriental "in this blend ? But there is something else ???? Wait for it, wait for it..... have you ever smelled "Kiwi shoe polish"?, it's totally intriguing. Ok, maybe it's an "anise" as reviewer , " Virginia lover 2014-06-18" described it, but nothing as overpowering as in Ramsgate or Blackpool , I love it and I'll be buying more.

"Sometimes I have to just laugh at my reviews." I recommend you read reviewers, "DK 2011-11-17" & "Virginia Lover 2014-06-18 ", & "Moniker 2013-07-14" for "well written" reviews.

Update 4/25/17- The newer two tins I tried have a much stronger Vanilla taste. I'm not a fan, I find it cloying and I'm removing a star.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: one month

Similar Blends: closer to a McClelland Virginia.

1 person found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (326)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I am on my second bowl of this in a Peterson African meer - a dublin with the p-lip. The tobacco is described on the tin as "matured, naturally sweet, broken Virginia flake - medium strength." I open the can and find long wide flake similar in appearance to Orlik Golden Sliced in the 100g tin. The flakes are dark and smell sweet with no identifiable honey or flavor of sweetener. The tin had just a hint of raisins perhaps. A piece was torn off and rubbed out. Moisture seemed about right to me, and I did not dry it or let it air.

The smoking experience is mild and mellow. There is a slightly sweet virginia flavor and no other tastes to me. Some people taste perique in this, but I do not. The tobacco flavor grows in strength as the bowl progresses, but it is still what I would call mellow and slightly sweet. I get just a hint of citrus every now and then.

This has been a very pleasant smoke. It is not a flavor bomb or have complex flavors. I would recommend this to someone wanting to try a good Virginia. It smoked cool for me, and I did not have problems keeping it lit or with tongue bite. It was easy to sip and had enough flavor that I was not puffing away trying to get more out. The cost per oz in the 50 g tin is a little high for me, and I am not likely to be smoking this on a regular basis once the tin is empty. For my smoking $, there are things that I like just as much (or more) that are cheaper. It is a good smoke though, and I recommend it. If you are weary of complexity and complicated flavor descriptions, this might be a great one to try.

1 person found this review helpful.

rogermugs Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rogermugs (14)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

No Bite, complex flavors despite the mildness, and the real kicker, no other tobacco has the same effect after the smoke. Something about 109 makes me want to rub my tongue over my teeth all day long, enjoying the deliciousness again and again.

I like 44 alright, but this takes the cake handedly.

1 person found this review helpful.

Max1a Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Max1a (38)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This is a fine Va, Flake. You can tell quality leaf is used. Nice flakes, soft and fine in texture compared to some. Topping is present and quite noticeable. Less so if it is allowed to air out some. Recent tins do not display the same quality and flavor as the past. Still a good tobacco, just not an "Oh, boy!" or a "Wow".

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I purchased this based upon the reviews and it's not bad but I had a hard time keeping it lit. It also stayed moist for the longest time without any help. The tin aroma has almost a fermented grape like essence and the flavor does have a Lea and Perrins note. Another thing you'll notice when smoking 109 is a beefy/meaty taste really nice.

I finally got it to work one time and it was great but these moments are far and few. Maybe my tin was too young, I have another one aging and will update this review when I pop that one open.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

I'm not sure if I got a bad tin or what, but I had problems with tongue bite. I let the tin dry out thoroughly before smoking it, and still it had some nip. I had to really watch my smoking technique to enjoy this, and I smoke VA flakes all the time! That said, this is a pleasant flake with some complexity to it. It did remind me of Marlin Flake in a muted sort of way. Personally I like a little more taste in my Virginia. Oh well, to each his own. For the price I doubt I'll buy another tin, although I just might if the "bad batch" theory seems to carry any merit. In the meantime I will stick with Marlin, or No. 27.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Yes, indeed. A delicious, smokey-sweet Virginia beauty, similar to, but heftier than, Hamborger Veermeister. It looks as dark and luscious, heaped in the tin, as RATTRAY's Marlin Flake, which it resembles closely, although this is less peaty (by which I mean those bittersweet edges found in whiskey that has been filtered in charcoal) smoother.

I tried 109 in a picture-perfect, silver-mounted Peterson bent, a medium-sized Don Carlos oom-paul and a brand-new Radice squatty bull-dog: it proved a steady, smooth smoker on all wood, slightly edgy at the very beginning, wonderfully rich and savoury through the main part of the session, fading only ever-so-slightly towards the end.

This is more expensive than Marlin, but that is just about the only thing I can say against it: a major find. It left a marvelous taste in my mouth for a long time after I had finished puffing it.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Astley?s 109 is the third blend from this house I have enjoyed over this Christmas period. The three of them seem to me excellent tobaccos!All are beautifully made, top quality and very palatable. 109 belongs, IMO, with N° 55 and N°44 in terms of being a straight forward Virginia, spicy, either in flake or broken flake form. If you plan an entire day of smoking straight Vas., you could easily start with 109 in the morning,have a bowl of N°55 for mid day and finish the day off with N°44.

N°109 is a type of Va. that provides a rich, tangy, almost beefy taste (a certain Lea & Perkins sauced undertone, similar to some of the McClelland?s I have tried, but in a more moderate and tastier vein). Never the less it is a smooth tobacco, of a rich brown colour, quite simple to pack and light. Of the three Astley?s I?ve mentioned, 109 is by far the tastier one, providing an almost joyful smoke, and I don?t find any correlation with Rattray?s blends (as I do regarding N°?s 55 and 44). The taste is so rich and spicy that I wouldn?t dub this tobacco as a contemplative smoke. It has many layers and it burns wonderfully.

I?ve enjoyed it both indoors, and especially outdoors, when walking Glinka (my enthusiastic Airedale Terrier) in a nearby wooded area. Again, highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

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

Astley's 109 is a very mellow and medium strength Virginia with a tremendous variance in taste presentation as you work your way down the bowl. Upon opening the tin, you will find a rich, dark Virginia flake in folded strips. There is also the tangy smell of uncased Virginia leaf, but only distantly, and the tang never shows itself at the match. If you enjoy a straight Virginia Flake that won't knock out over with a big nicotine punch, then punch this ticket.

1 person found this review helpful.

Ocelot79 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ocelot79 (13)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Medium, very high quality VA. This is what I take, along with a Lovat or bulldog on a long walk in the countryside, or when beachcombing. I want the weight, the creaminess and the smoothness of a good VA, but I don't need complex flavours or tobaccos that require any special handling to perform well. Long strands of this flake twisted carefully but firmly down into the bowl (NOT rubbed) perform these tasks splendidly, IMO. There are stronger flakes out there, which I may use later in the day, but unlike Astleys 44 for instance, this one is better behaved; no nicotine/oily gurglings or fussing about with pipe cleaners mid smoke. I have a guess that many reviewers call this a milder tobacco not because it is mild (I think it's firmly medium) but because it is so well behaved that the smoking experience is 'milder' overall. -there is plenty of satisfying strength here. Absolute model of a well-behaved plain, medium VA. The other great thing about this one is that it will tell you a good deal about the condition of the pipe being used; if there is any strange taste or 'ghosting' from another tobacco, this straight VA will reveal it, and will indicate that cleaning may be necessary.

Pipe Used: Asthon bulldog & other shorties.

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Ries, Chicago

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

I was looking at Hagen's review, and he said something about K&K having added caramel and vanilla when they did the blend. My tin is from 2005. Somehow, I think this is that blend. There does seem to be a caramelly topping that is not quite my cup of tea (or pipe of tobacco), but I don't think it ruins it. However, the tobacco might be better without it. I like it alright, just prefer more natural tobacco usually. I can't speak to what the tobacco was like when blended in England, or at the present time, since my tin is 2005. I will smoke it; indeed, I am getting to the bottom of it, and have a sealed tin in reserve, which I will cellar a while. The Virginias are of good quality. This goes well with the apple cider I am drinking right now. I have gotten the best results from thoroughly drying, and from small to medium bowled pipes. Actually, smoking the present bowl in a larger bowled Brebbia (but not huge) and not completely dried out. Still, it opened up midbowl, and I am getting some nice flavors. They are not pure tobacco flavors, but that's ok.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (204)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

This is a delicious mild Virginia Flake with somewhat the same taste and flavor as Peter Stokkebye Luxury Twist Flake and with a permanent earthy-hay/creamy bass note, very mild and tasty, great for morning smoke.

Overall, a good quality mild Virginia for an everyday smoke, unfortunately it is not available in bulk to add it to my standard all day Va rotation.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (110)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A superb early morning smoke in the hotter weather, I originally bought three tins while the weather was still warm, for some time now, the cold has made it's presence felt, still, I have two more tins for the summer.

A light and easy tobacco to pack and smoke usual superb astley quality, no bite just pure virginia, an excellent smoke if you want to be aroused very slowly but soon to be discarded for more stronger tobacco's thereafter. Certainly not (IMHO) for the English winter nights or morns (where we are currently experiencing -7c) such as they are, at present I am looking more for a SG Skiff, at least or SG Squadron Leader to start the day.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Jaybee Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jaybee (77)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is one of my all-time favorites. It starts a little mild but really builds character by the middle of the bowl. It has very little bite and lights easily in either flake form or rubbed out. For a Virginian it requires little attention and unfolds with a variety of flavors throughout the bowl. If you want a powerhouse, this isn't it. If, however, you want a sweet, natural Va. that can be smoked all day.....look no further.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

RCUSElder Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RCUSElder (244)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I finally got to this one, so here goes:

Appearance and Tin Aroma: This smells like a Va that has had a delicate touch of some sort of Chocolate essence. The flakes are neatly folded and appear to be stoved as well.

Packing and Lighting: Just rub out slightly and pack. 2-3 lights max.

Initial Flavor: Smooth, mellow VA, the casing is sweet, but not cloying.

Mid-Bowl: This blend gets into the zone easily, the room note is pleasing to non-smokers. No tongue-bite.

Bottom of Bowl: Not much increase of strength, ash is grey and dry. This could be an all day blend.

Overall: This is a high quality blend that is a perfect intro to Va Blends. It is only slightly cased and it never gets bitter. It burns cooly and does not "gunkify" your pipe. It is not something that I will smoke regularly, but will always have on hand. I preferred it in group 3-4 sized pipes. Give it a go! Pip! Pip!, Cheerio!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Lochinvar Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lochinvar (78)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This is my 2nd favorite tobacco from Astley's. It is not the strongest or sweetest Virginia on the block. However for an all day Virginia or to give your senses a breather, this is a fine blend. Just remember, it is mild, don't try to puff more flavor out than it has, or you will get bit.

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Spike Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Spike (296)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable

A long dark ribbon flake that comes rolled in the tin like Orlicks Golden. Darker than I anticipated with light streaks. A very pleasant medium Virginia. I give three and three quarter stars.

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Mr. Dottle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Dottle (162)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

So what?s wrong with a tobacco that?s ?mild and mellow? and advertises itself as such? Absolutely nothing. This is a delightful, exceedingly good Virginia blend and a nice change of pace from heavier, full-bodied blends. This is a great morning smoke or even an all day smoke for some. It may be one-dimensional but it doesn?t bite. I like it much better than Astley?s #44.

I rate this tobacco 9.8 out of 10.

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BostonPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BostonPipe (83)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Well, another "Winner" from Astley's. With so many descriptions of the tobacco, I'll keep my remarks to the actual experience.

The taste runs consistent the length of the bowl. I find this Virginian to be a great Summer smoke. The subtle natural sweetness combined with the citrus note is just a delight on a hot day in particular.

It burns down to a grey/white ash with very little dottle. I find with tamping the run of the bowl, I do not need a single relight.

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

Astley?s 109? where to begin with this enfant terrible of the Virginia flake circuit? The word paradox only begins to describe this gorgeously made flake. The standard Astley?s tin is presented this time in tan with jolly nice red print. The flakes are thinly sliced, but longish and folded over in multiples. The tobacco is a visually attractive mix of younger yellows and slightly more mature browns. The tin aroma is, to my sense, simply one of brown sugar.

The flake rubs out well and packs nicely, though a bit moist. The charring light takes some patience due to the moisture - 2 Vestas for sure. Once things get under way, though, the aromas and flavors are unimpeachable. One tastes the brown sugar among the usual but slightly rounded grassy Virginia flavor. At this point, a fine light version of the extremely venerable No 44.

Then something very bad happens. Slightly before mid-bowl, heat builds up and a fetid pong emerges ? I know, some blandly refer to this as ?Lea and Perrins? flavor ? I can imagine the ingenuous smile as they describe it as such, but in my personal hell, it brings to mind freshly opened tins of Vienna sausage, just popped jars of strained peas, and potted meats from days of yore when Kraft Macaroni Dinner and Jello brand gelatin molds epitomized la nouvelle cuisine. I cast about desperately for the delightful flavors that began this adventure.

Miracle of miracles, they re-emerge, slightly darker and even more rounded in the final third of the bowl. The L&P flavor is but an early morning nightmare, fleeting and washed away by the dawn. The semi-sweetness of tawny port develops toward the end, subtly endowing the mild Virginia flavors with a delicious darkness? utterly unexpected and utterly exquisite. The whole thing winds up in a fine dry ash.

If you are one who doesn?t mind the flavor described as ?meaty?, or ?Lea & Perrins? I can see how this would become one of your favorites, as it is sublime for me as well (excepting the brief funk), and I debate each time whether or not to endure the slightly queasy interval I know is inevitable, for the sake of the delights that embrace it. Usually I go for it!

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JClark Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JClark (26)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

For the most part, I agree with all the positive comments already posted about this flake. I find this smokes best thoroughly rubbed, and dried out. The taste is mild, slightly sweet, and at the same time sort of deep and earthy. At times these flakes are so mild that they are almost tasteless and are a bit like smoking hot air. However, at other times they are very flavorfull in a mildly subtle way. All and all a very good mild virginia flake that I keep on hand for occasions that I'm in the mood for something a bit lighter, milder.

I would like to add one gripe about this tobacco. I don't doubt that the contents of the tin would actually register 50 grams on a scale, however, the tobacco comes so moist that once it is thoroughly dried, the smokeable tobacco you are left with is far less than 50 grams. Once dry the 50 grams is probably more like 25 - 30 grams which makes this a fairly expensive tobacco for regular consumption.

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Albion1956 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Albion1956 (41)
Mild None Detected Medium Pleasant

I ran out of my other Virginia flake, so I bought a tin of this, and I'm glad I did. Tobacco comes moist, as most do from K&K, and the flakes are folded into 5" slices, no problem, I pulled one off and let it air out out. The tobacco has that nice natural smell, and packing was like most rubbed out flakes. Charring light took two matches probably still a tad moist, and we went along, a tasty Virginia with no bite, unless you smoke like a freight train. This stuff is great, I haven't been this exicted about a Va flake since I tried FVF. I wanted another bowl after I finished my first, which is what I did. Good Stuff.

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

Although my tin was marked as made in Germany, there was no indication that Kohlhacs & Kopp was the blender as with other of the Astleys tobaccos that I've enjoyed. I thought that A&C Petersen,indicated above, was in Denmark. Whoever the blender, they did a great job and I was not disappointed. My dark brown flakes were almost 6" long and folded into the round tin. Packing, lighting and the lack of relights were excellent even thought the tin moisture content was higher than expected. A rich, but smooth, naturally sweet, cool smoke, this blend didn't even hint of bite from start to finish. It is just as advertised but a bit mild for my normal tastes as an all day event. However, in hot weather or as my first smoke of the day, it's a pleasure. Although I personally prefer the added strength of their #44, I still had to give this the highest available rating for a good high quality VA flake. Try some.

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Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (165)
Overwhelming Medium Extra Full Tolerable

Well, after all the good reviews and being a lover of virginia flakes, I grabbed a couple of tins from my tobacconist, and started puffing in a small Dunhill Root #3. Not bad at first I thought. Then in a larger Dunhill Root # 4. A bit strong? Then in a larger yet Ardor Om Paul. Overpowered with the dark virginia in my opinion.

I normally don't review a blend I don't care for, but it did smoke somewhat better in a small pipe but nowhere near as good as I was promised it would. And it was aweful in a larger pipe, which size I prefer. Not terribly hot while smoking but just plain explosive with flavor at times.

It is like Marlin Flake a bit in strength, but sweeter and maybe fuller. If you like really strong tobacco and you are in to mixtures with darker flakes maybe the sweetness in this will grab you. But, after smoking one tin, I returned the other for Paul Olsen 111 flake (also on the strong side but no match for #109). Sorry.

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Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is more like it. After smoking Astleys No.2, I was not expecting much. But this is a good smoke. It comes in thin, long, dark brown flakes, folded over in the tin. It has a vegetal barn smell of good quality Virginia similar to sweet clover. It rubs out and packs easily. It lights easily with no harshness in the initial smoke. A light neutral sweetner has been added, but does not interfere with the Virginia flavor on the tongue nor in the aftertaste. This could be an all day tobacco, but may not have a heavy enough tobacco flavor to go the distance over several successive pipes. This would be a very good Virginia for the novice smoker. Absolutely no bite nor hint of a bite from start to finish which is unusal for a Virginia. I will keep this on hand, and smoke it occasionally. Highly recommended. Paddy.

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