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A bold flake of dark-fired burleys in a well balanced unity with Flue-cured Virginias. This flake is Hot Pressed, meaning that during the pressing, heat is added by steam to the tobaccos which causes the tobacco to intensify the marrying process giving us a bolder tobacco. The robust, earthly flavour of the dark-fired burleys shines through in the taste, and you will experience a deeply satisfying smoke indeed.

Notes: One of the most fascinating parts about this tobacco that will be sure to confuse a lot of American pipe smokers is that, despite the fact that HH Old Dark Fired contains zero Latakia, Mac Baren still considers it an English because of the method used in its production, specifically the steam press.

BrandMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
FlavoringNone
CutFlake
Packaging100 gm tin
CountryDK
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Strength
Medium to Strong
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium to Full
Room Note
Tolerable

Favorite Of 18 Users

3.6
73 reviews
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55
3 star:
12
2 star:
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moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (36)
★★★★
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

In view of recent changes to this website, here is the full review of HH Old Dark Fired that I ought to have done in the first place:

IMO, this blend is an all-time classic. Tin note is deep, dark chocolate over fermented raisins and exotic spices, over the rich, fermented dark-fired leaf, and if you keep sniffing you may detect the sharp-ish cigar notes also mentioned by some other reviewers. The beautiful, large flakes are well presented and easy to work with, and they can be smoked right out of the tin. Rubbed out, ODF can be smoked as a medium/full no-brainer, easy burning, with blissful clouds of spicy, rich, chocolate/raisin smoke. These days I usually cut some "using" flakes to length based on a nominal chamber depth and I dry a piece out some before I roll, spindle and loosely stuff it vertically into a pipe. This technique results in a stronger, more cigar-like smoke that also burns down to a fine gray ash, just like a cigar. The chocolate and raisins are still present in spades, but the spices and the whole tobacco aspect of the smoke are stronger and sharper, including all the dark-fired nuances you could want, under the circumstances. Aftertaste is pretty much aftermath, persistent and delicious to this tobacco lover. Strength just nudges over my idea of medium, with a lot of taste for this level of nicotine.

If you have not yet tried this, and if you can handle real, full tobacco, I strongly recommend you try ODF, if you can find it. I don't smoke it often, but I always find it satisfying when I do smoke it.

Pipe Used: various

Purchased From: 4noggins

Similar Blends: ODF & Sillem's Commodore Flake put me in mind one of the other, despite their obvious differences..

18 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (69)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

When first lit, Old Dark Fired delivers a flavor that is quite soft and very enjoyable. The beginning of the bowl is reminiscent of a smooth earthy cigar, one with just a touch of spice to it. I love to smoke this in my little Peterson Tankard. The concentration of earthy dark chocolate like flavors mixed with the dark-fire spice is absolutely wonderful. Old Dark Fired has a warm primary tone with deep molasses like flavors and a lingering midrange honey like essence that is similar to the tin note.

Now that I am half way through my second tin, I have found that for me it is imperative to fold and stuff this flake. Getting it going and keeping it lit is a bit more of a process but the payoff in flavor is nothing short of amazing. When rubbed out, Old Dark Fired can take a serious turn to the bitter side of the flavor spectrum. But when folded, it burns remarkably cool and maintains its round semi-sweet bitter chocolate like flavor for most of the bowl.

As expected, middle to end bowl flavors develop nicely & even though they become more bold and spicy, never am I overwhelmed when smoking this beautiful flake. If anything the intense bittersweet smokiness that ultimately develops seems to just welcome me in & I feel right at home with its strength.

I can't say enough good things about this flake. It's just plain stellar. It's by far and away the best thing I have ever had from Mac Baren and I will always keep a tin on hand.

10 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (550)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my favorite MacBaren blend. For my tastes, it's a little closer to medium than strong in regard to strength and taste, but I think it depends on how used to strong tobaccos you are. Burleys and Virginias work in darn near perfect harmony, and you can taste both in every single puff. There's a natural sweetness that was enhanced by being steam pressed, slight nuttiness, tart and/or slightly sour and tangy at times, with a light earthiness and smokiness, and the complexity works to its advantage. I didn't really get the fruitiness some have noted, except for maybe a little date note. There may be some flakes that are more complex, but not by a whole lot, and this gives you plenty enough as it is. It always smokes smoothly, and fairly evenly, and is tinned at the perfect moisture level with a decent nic-hit that gets stronger as you smoke along.

There are stronger tobaccos, and I'm glad this is not one of them. I find these burleys work better with the Virginias than other kinds of dark-fired ones; not too strong to knock you off your feet, and certainly not weak. The flavor is dialed to the proper level. Though I like quite a number of other tobaccos, I find myself craving this one at times, and when that happens, not a whole lot else will do.

8 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (555)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Based on a 1 oz sample I got from a pipe forum pal. After I finished the sample, I ordered 10 more tins. I doubt that will last very long. This is one excellent tobacco, a wonderful example of what a skillful blender can do when they keep the honey and sugar in their respective containers and put out a natural tobacco. This is far from the prototypical Mac Barens that offends some smokers with its bite, lack of flavor and character, and sappy sweetness (the 3 biggest complaints I've heard... and I can't say they are unreasonable complaints in most cases).

I have smoked a fair bit of G&H Dark Flake and Peterson's Irish Flake. I prefer this one, and not by a small margin. Mac Barens managed to get most of the strength and earthy "presence" into a flake that doesn't overwhelm the nuances inherent in the leaf. They melded the two together exquisitely. This is earthy, dark and incredibly deep - and it is strong as well - but it's not so overpowering that even someone that shies away from nicotine couldn't enjoy in a small bowl. It's tasty and refined and luxurious. Probably the best dark flake I've ever smoked and my early leader for Best Tobacco of 2012. The best Christmas present I could receive would be to find this available in bulk! If you like strong tobaccos but find them to be occasional smokes due to their brutality, get yourself some of this. Mac Barens kept the best parts of strong dark flakes and made a blend that most anyone would find smokable. Well done, Mac Barens! Blending genius, pure and simple.

UPDATE 6/5/13

This now comes in 1 pound boxes (bulk). Merry Christmas to ME! I just bought two boxes. I've smoked hundreds of tobaccos and this is now in my Top 5 of currently produced blends. Simply excellent!

8 people found this review helpful.

samcoffeeman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
samcoffeeman (27)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I'm almost finished my first tin of this. I've smoked similar tobaccos like Jackknife plug and Stonehaven. This blows those two well-regarded tobaccos away. The flavor profile is excellent. It is rich, smooth and complex, hints of smokiness and spice with some sweetness. The smoke is never overwhelming despite its full flavor. It doesn't bite. I like the nic kick it gives, which is an eye-opener. I'm about to buy large quantities of this stuff, it is that good. Mac Baren hit a home run, and usually I'm not too fond of their offerings.

7 people found this review helpful.

DoomDealer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DoomDealer (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

First of all, let me say I'm an inexperienced pipe smoker, so my review(s) won't be as in-depth or sophisticated as those by more experienced smokers. I enjoy my pipes immensely, as well as discovering new tobaccos, and I intend to wean myself off cigarettes once and for all in the not too distant future.

MacBaren's HH Old Dark Fired is a tobacco I wanted to try for some time, having read all the raving reviews and having heard lots of good things about it. So when I ordered my Churchwarden I ordered a tin of this as well. I'm normally a bit sceptical about reviews (I read them but I like to make up my own mind) but in this case they were absolutely spot on.

I don't know a lot about tobaccos (or blends) - Virginia, Latakia, Perique and what-not. For me there are only two important aspects when it comes to tobacco: a) I want top-notch quality (with the prices especially in the UK I'm not gonna spend my hard earned cash on anything other than top-notch quality tobacco) and b) whether or not I like it. Everything else is secondary.

I've tried a few tobaccos over the years, but nothing could have prepared me for this. When I lit my pipe with this in it I was floored! I'd never quite experienced anything like it! On opening the tin I was already quite impressed: neatly arranged flakes and a beautifully deep, heavy and rich aroma; a hint of chocolate and fruit to my nose. This has got to be one of the best tobaccos out there at the moment and this is coming from somebody who, in essence, has only tried out a fraction of the tobaccos on offer. Why? Because I fail to see how anybody could feel that this tobacco leaves anything to be desired! In fact, I daresay even the most ardent aro smoker would be more than happy with this most of the time. If you haven't tried it yet then I'd strongly suggest you get a tin as quickly as possible. You owe it to yourself to try this!

I've so far only tried it rubbed out (works for me), after having let the tin dry out a bit over night, despite the moisture being pretty much perfect. For some strange reason it doesn't seem to like my Churchwardens (gets quite hot and there's a lot of gurgling going on, but that could easily be just me), but in my battered, 25 year old Ermanno Elite it was perfect (same way of packing and smoking): cool with an intense, complex and rich aroma; absolutely no TB whatsoever (and I know a thing or two about TB having smoked mainly aro's), no wet mess at the bottom of the bowl and the nic kick is perfect.

Having tried HHODF was like a lightbulb moment for me and I've since banished my aromatics to the back of the cupboard. This is unbelievably good stuff! I could quite happily smoke only this for the rest of my life and never look at another tobacco ever again. I'll be buying much much more of this. Absolutely glorious!

UPDATE: After three tins of this, I still maintain that this is absolutely fabulous stuff and fully stand behind my review! My tobacconist was gonna discontinue this stuff (apparently nobody buys it), but I managed to persuade him to keep it in stock. Phew. I have thrown out all my aro's because I realised what rubbish I had been smoking up to that point, and I can only recommend everybody else doing the same.

Pipe Used: Aldo Morelli, Ermanno Elite, Peterson Churchwarden

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke-king

5 people found this review helpful.

The Happy Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
The Happy Piper (14)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This is a full flake in the finest tradition which puts FVF in its place. The tin-note is heavenly with that almost offensive fermented power that one instinctively knows signals a bold smoke. The first-light suggests wonderful things and then there is the taste some of us have been searching for for a long, long time. This is a quality rendition of "real tobacco", with ever-increasing taste, not a hint of bite and clouds of full, unctious smoke. I personally find that it rises in strength to an almost overwhelming degree then, afer a rest, returns to normal as the moisture evaporates to make the final third far more enjoyable than I had anticipated. I feel it is a testament to the blender's art that the the nicotine content is about as reasonable as one could expect for such an up-front offering- I was a bit shaky but not overhwelmed. It is a little stronger than I am comfortable with as a broken flake but rubbed out it is more or less perfect. No gurgling, no casing (that I can detect), no ashy dissapointment at the end. There is much more going on than in Peterson's Irish Flake, which tastes black and un-nuanced in comparison- think Condor Long Cut with an added nutty-citrus note and absolutely no perfume. I plan to dial it down a touch with 10% Union Square to add yet more expansiveness to the taste, but this is a work in progress. McBaren have for some time now, had a reputation as a "beginner's brand"- this is certainly not the case for HHODF. It is the real deal. All you pipist who have to have IF or CLC to find a satisfying pipe take note; there is a new sherrif in town.

Addendum: I have subsequently mixed HHODF with GLP's Union Square, approx 50/50 ratio and rubbed out to approx a broken flake consistency then allowed to marinate for a couple of days in a large jar with enough air in it to allow both tobaccos to breath. This mixture is quite possibly the best tobacco I have ever tasted in my life. Due to the differing strengths and palates of the two blends, the HHODF is dialled down to about 70% but the piquant, citric Va from US does not overwhelm, serving instead to make the ODF serve as a basenote to a complex smoke- think rasperry coulis on top of a bitter dark chocolate sauce, with the perfect lemon sponge in the middle. These tobaccos were made for each other. Truly exceptional.

4 people found this review helpful.

Darby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Darby (15)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Full Tolerable

MacBaren HH Old Darkfired (Burley/Va Flake)

When I first shopped for this blend, I was gently forewarned it was for experienced smokers, and after enjoying most of a 100g tin, I’m inclined to partially agree, mostly on account of its burning qualities, which can require some initial trial and error for people unaccustomed to dense slightly moist flakes ... more on that at the end of the review. For now, I’ll cover the basics, for the benefit of newcomers to this unctuous offering.

First off, props to Mac Baren for their use of compact, high quality tins that are properly sized for the contents provided, and properly vintage dated.

To begin - HH ODF is a firm, slightly moist, and robustly kilned dark flake, comprised of Burley and Flue-cured Virginias. The burleys bring body and a rich nuttiness to the table, and the naturally sweet and slightly citrusy virginias (already flue-cured before being pressed and kilned into the dense dark cake these flakes are cut from) add some deeply caramelized and slightly tangy nuances to the mix. The resulting tin note is most simply described as a symphony that (for me) evokes hints of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, a touch of Belgian dark candi sugar (used by Trappists to color/flavor lush offerings like “Chimay Blue” nut brown ale), and a slightly smokey/spicy hint of Chipotle chili pepper. This is a rich, naturally pungent and toothsome flake, and clearly shows old fashioned quality craftsmanship.

The obligatory charring lights bring forth the dark, sweet, nutty and slightly saucy tin aromas, along with a subtle tang evoking faint hints of tamarind and caramelized orange peel. The flavor gets briefly confused as the majority of the bowl slowly kilns and gets ready to release its goodness, but as the first third winds down and the mid-bowl comes online, the flavors settle down, mellow a bit, and everything begins firing on all cylinders. In short order, a rich maltiness appears, accompanied by gentle hints of milk fudge and toffee, riding atop a soft milky/peppery sting that almost evokes perique, and with slow steady sipping those flavors carry all the way to the end of the dottle. My tin featured a faint hint of youthful edginess that will doubtless fade with some extended aging, but it's barely worth mentioning, and par for the course for bold vintage tobaccos like this one.

Bottom line: this is a rich, solid, dark flake that can be enjoyed straight, and also used to add oomph and complexity to lighter VaPrs beset by anemic cores of unflavored cavendish. This dual use makes HH ODF a great addition to any tobacco larder.

Recommended (3.5 of 4 stars, which gets rounded down to 3).

Suggested pairings: For beers, dry Irish or dryish imperial stout, trappist brown ale, dopplebock, or eisbock (ex: Samiclaus). For wine, Cream sherry. For bourbon, dark lush offerings like Baker’s 107 or Pappy VanWinkle 18. For scotch, Macallan 18. For brandy, a nice dark Armagnac. For rum, Gosling Dark Seal.

UPDATE (Apr 2014): Solani - 656: Aged Burley Flake has bumped HH ODF off my favorites list, and is my currently reigning favorite burley-based blend. I've since rounded ODF downward from 3.5 to 3 stars, instead of up to 4. Also, I've discovered that the tins for this product are no longer fully airtight once opened, so if you consume this slowly I recommend repackaging in glass.

------------------------------- Packing tips:

It took a little trial and error to find the best method to enjoy this tobacco. Mac Baren put out a YouTube video advocating the two-flake “half-fold and stuff” method, but for me it seems to give a slightly uneven pack and some excess 'channeling'. A closely related method method is the “Z-fold plug”, whereby you stack two flakes, fold lengthwise (across grain) in thirds in a z-pattern, then roll it gently crosswise (with the grain) to form a shorter cylindrical plug. That method worked slightly better for me, but still resulted in some channeling and some extra re-tampling/re-lighting. Everyone has their favorite method for flakes, but for this tobacco, the following seems to work best for me: leave two flakes out to dry for 15-30 mins, then use a chef knife to cross-cut them into quarters, then rub them out into short ribbons (some of which will naturally crumble into smaller fragments). Sprinkle into your bowl, compact lightly (this tobacco expands during smoking, so pack with restraint), then top off and repeat until the pipe is just over ¾ full. Two charring lights (with several small puffs apiece), a gentle tamp, followed by true lighting, and you’re good to go.

Pipe Used: Dr Grabow Freehand Briar (Group 4)

Age When Smoked: Aug 2013 (100g tin)

Purchased From: PipesandCigars.com

Similar Blends: Solani - 656: Aged Burley Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I picked up a tin of this at the tobacconist yesterday, and I have really enjoyed it. It is a good, full burley with some Virginia overtones. I did not detect any added flavor, but I don't have the most delicate palate. It has a good consistent flavor and smokes very clean to the bottom of the bowl. My personal preference is for a little more Virginia in my VaBur blends as a rule, but this is excellent tobacco, and I will be buying more. If you would like to try a really good medium-strong pressed burley blend, this is highly recommended.

Edit: I am now three tins deep into the ODF experience, and my evaluation has not changed. I have been rubbing it out. This is excellent tobacco at an affordable price. If this blend sounds remotely appealing, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

3 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (109)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very nice offering from a manufacturer whose tobaccos I usually don't much care for: substantial, earthy, slow-burning, tasty and satisfying. It's far superior to MacBaren's Virginia and Navy Flakes. The neatly arranged flakes in a handy tin is a plus point also. I'm inclined to describe HH Old Dark Fired as a sort of younger brother of Peterson's Irish Flake: same "traditional" characteristics, but not quite so in-your-face. When I first tried it, I wasn't all that impressed. Then, rather to my surprise, its subtleties began to make themselves felt more and more, and I came to like it a lot. It will find a regular place in my rotation.

Contrary to what some other reviewers have said, I would recommend rubbing it out rather than the fold-and-stuff method. It's smokable straight out of the tin, though - unlike so many dark flakes.

Pipe Used: Masta Zulu; Peterson billiard

Age When Smoked: New, straight from the tin

Purchased From: Durham Pipe and Tobacco Shop

Similar Blends: Peterson's Irish Flake, but not so powerful; Ogden's Walnut Flake..

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (158)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Old Dark Fired . This I find to be very auspicious . The presentation of the flakes is very good , of a good thickness with a very good moisture content making them incredible to rub and fill with . It has a very predictable Virginia and Burley aroma which is as you would expect ! It is incredibly easy to light and gives a very steady burn . For me it has a very full Virginia and Burley flavour with no bite ( which I find many Mac Barens can give) . If you are a fan of a full tasting Virginia/Burley then this will not disappoint you !

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoke King

2 people found this review helpful.

rekamepip Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rekamepip (63)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Mac Baren HH Series OLD DARK FIRED Made in Denmark by Mac Baren Tobacco Imported by Sutliff Tobacco Company

Dark Fired Burley and Flue Cured Virginian Tobacco

Tin Notes: Great Tobacco Aroma - Medium Smokey Aroma Consistently Cut Flakes Good - almost perfect moisture content right out of the tin

Smoking: Honestly i was expecting more of a smokey goodness when i bought my 1st tin of this tobacco and i was surprised that is was not an overpowering Dark Fired Flavor. This tobacco is closer to a medium strength concerning the smokeyness of the Dark Fired leaf content. I will say that the more you smoke the more this blend grows on you !

ODF is becoming one of my favorite tobaccos and I am sure this tobacco blend will age well

The only downfall i see is the 3.5oz tinned version is in the tin itself as it does not get a good airtight seal once you open it up

Overall My 5 Star Rating = 4

Pipe Used: Pipestone Rock Cob, Corn Cob, Clay and Briar

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: 4noggins and sutliff

2 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (34)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Tin note is dark, earthy loam, mushrooms and cocoa. Plenty of leather too. This is a burly tobacco, pardon the pun. Very flavorful, complex, solid dose of vitamin N if that's what your in to. Highly recommended.

Not for everybody. If you're a new pipe smoker or graduating from aromatics, ask someone for a flake or two to sample. Or you might want to start with Solani Aged Burley as a kinder, gentler introduction to this genre.

Similar Blends: Pease New World Triple Play.

2 people found this review helpful.

macpuffer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
macpuffer (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant

No need to add anything to the numerous reviews......this is just a wonderful tobacco.....totally sublime. The taste is just wonderful..this is a classic and I will be buying more soon.

Pipe Used: Falcon with meer bowl

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Robert graham in glasgow Scotland

Similar Blends: Condor without the perfume.....but much better quality base tobacco..

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (202)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Tolerable

As previously with the other HH blends, the German importers made me wait, and even a trip to Denmark did not help: this blend was unavailable in the country of its own origin. So, finally, this blend is being imported. Knowing the previous reviews, I had high hopes.

Opening the tin, the note is amazingly fruity, but after a more thorough sniff I get the dark fired bits; the tin contains three stacks of fold-and-twistable slices which are easy to, er, fold and twist. The tobacco is mostly dark brown, with a few bright highlights in there.

As always with flakes, lighting is not a no-brainer, but it's OK. From the start, there is a good amount of smoke, and a very nice, sweet-and-toasty flavour, though not quite as savoury as I would have expected. Not disappointed here, but I do stand corrected.

As the smoke progresses, that savoury meaty flavour does begin to appear, as does some more strength... ODF is a late comer, but come it does. I use one slice and fold-and-twist into relatively large bowls to allow the 'baccy some space to expand; that seems to work remarkably well.

A warning for beginners: this blend starts out rather harmlessly and tastily. It will remain tasty throughout the smoke, but towards the final quarter will become anything but harmless; there is quite a kick in it towards the end.

That said, I enjoy ODF with a heavy Bordeaux or similar, or a Highlands Single Malt.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: New tin through up to 2 years cellared

Purchased From: DanPipe

2 people found this review helpful.

bigsmokingwolf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
bigsmokingwolf (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren Old Dark Fired Flake

A dark brown flake with some light marbling that is cut with great precision, the tin note is earthy, slightly Smokey and meaty.

To start this off right, I slightly rubbed this flake out into my tobacco tray and allowed it to sit in the open air for 30 minutes before loading my pipe.

After loading this slightly rubbed and aired-out flake in my briar poker, I began the char light, and after two char lights its going fine. It has a dark nutty flavor like that of a roasted brazil nut with just a slight sweet Virginia taste and aroma sneaking in the back door, the retro hale brings a spicy fermented pepper note to the party, what a treat!

As I work my way down the bowl, this tobacco gets better and better leaving me wanting more. To me the burley takes the lead here and never completely wavers to the Virginia, however the Virginia stays in tack with just the right amount of sweetness. It burns cool. No wet mess at the end in my pipe. I have many Mac Baren blends in my cellar, this blend to me, ranks right up there with HH Matured Virginia and HH Vintage Syrian.

2 people found this review helpful.

Yorgo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Yorgo (1)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Strong Very Full Pleasant

This is a review for a tin with a manufacturing date of “Nov 2012”. First, I am a non-apologetic burleyphile and was curious to try a blend incorporating the dark-fired variety. The tobacco smells like vinegary raisins with a very faint wood smoke aroma (reminded me of Jack Daniel's) that disappears after the first 10 seconds of opening the tin. A cayenne pepper tingle takes over your mouth and nose at first light. Although this blend is not supposed to contain perique, it wouldn't be the first time a blender keeps some ingredients undisclosed…. This “perique-like-peppery-wanna-sneeze” sensation disappears after a while letting loose the strong Virginia flavor. The Virginias dominate throughout the first half of the bowl. So much so that I was starting to think that someone at MacBaren screwed up and put some Acadian Perique in the wrong tin… Then, towards the end of the bowl (just when the nicotine kicks in), appears an earthy clove flavor which I presume is the dark-fired. Unfortunately, just as this spicy aroma makes its appearance, so does an ammonia aftertaste on the exhales. To be fair, ODF is made with good quality tobaccos but “where´s the burley?”. The blend is called ODF so why aren´t the burley´s up front instead of being used as spice??? I guess I was hoping for a Bur/Va instead of a Va/Bur. I also love the cigarish room note (Insert comment using the word “wife” HERE).

As a side note, after seeing the YouTube video on the making of ODF YouTube Video and the fact that Mac Baren´s HH series is, in part, dependent on its limited stash of vintage dark-fired burleys (it may even have less than its Syrian Latakia!) one is left wondering that perhaps the dark-fired leaves are being “stretched” and the blends are slowly being diluted. It would be interesting to compare early tins with these latest ones. I will now buy and smoke some pure dark-fired burley and verify if it´s my palate or perhaps the Virginias are too overpowering for moi.

UPDATE: I just smoked another folded flake in a cob and WOW, burley city! So what gives with this stuff??? My only explanation for such a turnaround in flavor is that, perhaps, the pressed cakes were not as homogenized as one would wish and my first flakes were Virginia-rich. So mea culpa for being such a conspiracy theorist. Will definitely be getting more if the following flakes tastes like this one. Will overlook the ammonia hoping it's a natural byproduct of the leaves. 4 stars **

2 people found this review helpful.

Roy Odhner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Roy Odhner (8)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

If you like the full, rich flavor of Peterson Irish Flake but find the Vitamin N content just too dang strong for your candy azz (like I do), then this just might be the blend for you.

Upon opening the tin, you nose will be greeted by the smell of sweet BBQ sauce... much like when you open a tin of McClelland tobacco. I find that the flakes need to be dried for about 15 minutes or so. The fold and stuff method doesn't really work for me, so I just fully rib them out and then fill the pipe. The initial light-up is a bit tricky, as is keeping the stuff lighted. The room note? Well, you might not have to outrun any angry mobs, bit it's not gonna win any popularity contests either.

So, what's the pay-off? Bold, full, manly, VaBur flavor, bay-bee! I love MacB blends, but this is not your typical MacB flavor profile. It's got some resemblance to their wonderful Navy Flake, but the HMS MacB is running at full ramming speed with this blend. The only thing that I've smoked that comes close to this is Pete Irish Flake, but that's way stronger than this stuff. (So if you've not tried IF, then let this be a warning to you). This is a full, rich, and bold VaBur blend. However, it is not so bold that you need to smoke it in a small bowl. Quite the contrary - go with a bigger bowl so you can experience the full measure of this truly brilliant blend.

Do I like it, and would I recommend it? Yezzir.

2 people found this review helpful.

Noodle Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Noodle (4)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Unnoticeable

Much has been said already about this, so I will keep it short and sweet If you like simple good old fashioned flakes with no silly added flavours then buy this. Are you new to burly and Virginia blends but put off buy the often mentioned nicotine levels buy this It's fantastic smokes well however you fold stuff or rub it May I suggest you go the whole hog and smoke it from a cob it works just about perfectly with them

Pipe Used: Jambo meer, mm spool, duncan indeluxe

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Bates tobacconist, St. Helens

Similar Blends: University flake Irish flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (296)
★★☆☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Well, never been a fan of the HH series (which is weird, since I love some of Mac Baren's classic blends), and I had no big expectations for this one since I don't love dark fired burley too much.

This is a stout and very traditional flake, something a bit like Orlik Dark Fired Kentucky in taste, but less extreme.

A well done tobacco: nice rubbery flakes, good presentation, easy to pack and smoke, and it packs a good flavour punch. What's not to like then? Well, something's got to do with my personal taste: I prefer my flakes on the sweet and sour side, not on the "earthy and cigar-like" one. While I can enjoy some burley in my blends, I don't like it to be so dominant. Of course if you like earthy, cigar-like, woody notes, you'll probably love this one. What I can objectively say, though, is that the flavour evolution is quite lacking: like this taste profile or not, you will get it from beginning to end with almost no variation (apart from some increased bitterness in case of wet/hurried smoking). And this is my main gripe with the HH series: all these blends seem a bit too monolithic for me, with none of the subtle interplay of the coin cut or flake blends that MacBaren offers.

Nicotine is slightly heavy, but nothing particularly troublesome.

A decent tobacco, then, if you like the style. But again, I think you might find some more complex blends of this kind out there.

Pipe Used: Dunhill, Le Nuvole, Castello, Asthon

Age When Smoked: a few months

Purchased From: Danpipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Jacinto Cupboard Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jacinto Cupboard (47)
★★★☆
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A mid to dark brown flake with prominent flecks of gold. The flake is dry. It rubs out to a sort of Scotch ribbon and burns well in this state.

The predominant tin aroma is dried fruits.

The dark fired leaf here is quite muted. Only occasionally are cigar notes encountered and the flavour to my nose is muddy. I don't get much from the Virginias at all except some sweetness. Despite the dryness of the flake this burns with some steam produced. There is ammonia here that can be intrusive. Putting some age on this tobacco seems like a good idea.

Comes at a good price point but is not in the same league as its rivals. A weak 3.

1 person found this review helpful.

Derfargin Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Derfargin (2)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Was anxious to try this one due to all the great reviews, and now that I've got a few bowls behind me, I'm very glad to have picked some of this up. I've already put an order in for a few more tins. The tin note, is like standing over a grill while grilling on a summer day. BBQ, and smokey, a very savory smell.

After reading lots of the reviews, most have said the fold and stuff method seems to work well for this, and I agree. It smoked much cooler with the fold and stuff method opposed to rubbing it out. Wow, as I sit here typing, I'm thinking about my evening smoke. My first experience with MacBaren was VA #1, and then Navy Flake. The jury is still out on VA #1, and the Navy Flake I've had hit or miss experiences with it. ODF, is really a hell of a smoke, and will most certainly giving it a spot in the Ol' Rotation.

Now that's it warming up, I'm looking forward to spending the warmer months with my pipes and ODF close by.

Pipe Used: MM Maple Diplomat, Briar Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: Fresh out of tin

Purchased From: Harry's Smoke Shop, Philadelphia, PA

1 person found this review helpful.

SmokeDawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeDawg (45)
★★★★
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

To date, this is finest blend of Virginia and Burley I have ever smoked and I couldn't imagine a future Virginia Burley blend improving upon this beauty. The Virginia and Burleys are so well blended they work in PERFECT HARMONY side by side like the rails of a train track transporting the piper to destination Tobacco-topia. You get the warm cocoa buttery Burley and sweet flu cure Va at the same time throughout the whole smoke and not in rotation like other blends.

This is a marvel and as well as a triumph for Mac Baren. This get a 5 out of 4 stars. Walk off home run…. turn out the lights… Highly Recommended.

Pipe Used: Comoy straight grain.

Age When Smoked: fresh from tin.

1 person found this review helpful.

lvpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
lvpipe (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

The best MacB tobacco imo although I really like HH Arcadia Perique. ODF is smooth, flavorful, easy on the tongue. Preparation is easy enough that I have not tried the RR version. ODF reminds me of Peterson's Irish Flake, not quite as strong in flavor or nicotine but it is softer on my palate. For the lovers of steamed and pressed tobaccos this predominantly Burley Flake is a must try. Just so you know where I am coming from my top 5 tobaccos are SG FVF, SG SJF, Penzance, G&H Sweet Rum Twist and MCB ODF. I have many that are close contenders in this race, this is as near as I can narrow it down. Other Burley favorites are C&D BF #1,2&3, OJK, GLP JackKnife Plug and G&H Kendall Kentucky. The reason I mention my favorites is because when I read reviews I like to know what the reviewers like as it helps me decide whether their taste are similar to mine or not.

Similar Blends: Peterson's Irish Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

piedpipester Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
piedpipester (19)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

With the exception of a while that I was lured away from pipes by the charms of Padrone, i've been smoking a pipe since 1974, and believe it or not, this is my first Mcbaren blend. Short and sweet, this is one of the best flakes i've smoked. Intense flavor, yet I had no nicotine overload (but it is there in the right amount for me) I can taste both burly and virginia which leave a clean aftertaste. An excellent after dinner smoke, and highly recomended!

1 person found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (81)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Extra Full Pleasant

The hype is right. Mac Baren hit a home run, as this is best of the really dark flakes I've had (I'm not including flakes containing Latakia).

What makes it so ? Taste with tremendous depth and some natural sweetness, without any harshness, monotony, or back of the throat roughness. It is smooooooth. Yes it has a good dose of N, but not as much as the deep, Guinness Stout like flavor would indicate. Not as powerful as some Lakeland type tobaccos, although it tastes as strong.

So...the approach is not really different than from any other good Mac Baren blend, putting taste and nuance above all else. It's just, in this case, the body has gone from Mild to FULL and the casing is gone. Interestingly, the room note is very pleasing to my wife.

Pipe Used: Nording Handmade

Similar Blends: Aged Burley Flake, Dark Flake, etc..

1 person found this review helpful.

CTS Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CTS (109)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Deep, rich, complex flavor develops from the initial light. Burns easy and smooth. Excellent spice note, particularly on the retrohale. Processing/blending of the tobacco is excellent. Pure tobacco that sings in the bowl. Rewarding experience all the way. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Karl Erik, Nording Freehand

Age When Smoked: NOV-2012

Purchased From: Corona Smoke Shop, Battle Creek, MI

Similar Blends: HHODF points out the harshness of FVF.

1 person found this review helpful.

ap Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ap (56)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

Great stout flake with very little sweetness from the Vas and a lot of smokiness from the Dark Fired Burley. Cool smoking and decent nicotine , a winner!

1 person found this review helpful.

7formy1911 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
7formy1911 (35)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I don't like flakes and I don't like MacBaren's other offerings. Having said that HH Old Dark Fired has completely changed my mind on both fronts. This is a fantastic flake that has full flavor a decent nicotine hit and satisfies my craving for a lightly flavored flake in my rotation.

I've pretty much concluded after some experimentation that I prefer this flake folded and stuffed into a wide gauge bowl that is fairly shallow. About 7/8" in diameter and 1" to 1.25" deep. It seems like the initial folding and stuffing may leave a lot of room in the bowl but once it expands after lighting you're glad to have the extra space.

The initial light brings out a flavor comparable to Peterson's Irish Flake but certainly not identical. IF seemed to have a more plumb type of flavor and ODF is more towards the smokey beef jerky side of flavors. Much more savory than sweet. The nicotine is certainly bearable and not on the level of Irish Flake but definitely a notch below.

There is a slight tang in the first 1/3 of the bowl but the flavors seem to become more dark as the bowl progresses and leaves you with a wonderful interplay between the Virginia and dark fired. This flake is quite complex and worth a contemplative sit if you just want to explore the flavors. Among the flavors I find a gentle salinity like you might find in English blends, a tangy and slightly sweet flavor along with darker fruits at times as well as a faint smokiness from the dark fired. These flavors seems to switch off and weave in and out of the smoke. Very interesting but never overbearing. I find that this flake doesn't have any issues with relights and I don't find any off flavors or bitterness from having it sit for a bit or even over night.

This is a masterfully done flake and has me rethinking my bias towards MacBaren. I have not been terribly impressed with past offerings but I will certainly await anything new from them that may interest me and my tastes which tend towards some combination of burley, Virginia, perique, and dark fired. GL Pease Cumberland and C&D Old Joe Krantz are two such blends that are permanent fixtures in my cellar. HH ODF will certainly find a place in there as well.

1 person found this review helpful.

Smoking Sam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Smoking Sam (20)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I FINALLY managed to snag four ounces bulk or Mac Baren's ready rubbed HH Old Dark Fired. It was well worth the wait.

The tobacco arrived moist and fresh in a Ziplock baggie. The smell alone was worth the price of admission.

Housekeeping. Smoked in a full bend R1 Ser Jacopo Rhodesian pipe.

This blend packed ridiculously easily, lit well, stayed cool, and burned effortlessly. A profusion of blue smoke. Puffed fast or slow, makes no difference - it doesn't bite.

Full, rich flavor. Every so often, I got this sharp taste of lemon, a flavor which literally bursts onto the pallete. Delicious! I am pairing this tobacco with an Arnold Palmer lemonade and sweet tea mixture, and the lemony notes are a perfect compliment. Pleasant aftertaste. This bowl smoked down to a fine ash, which simply fell out of the bowl and left my pipe bowl absolutely clean. Zero dottle. Zero goop. This stuff is excellent.

The tobacco is a great change of pace from full English mixtures and straight Virginia blends. The flavor profile is wonderful. I have not been a fan of Mac Baren blends previously due to the tongue bite, but this is by far the best blend of theirs that I have tried. I am very pleased with my purchase, and I will be filling my pipe with this often. Definitely a four star effort. HIGHLY recommended!

== UPDATE, 6/15/2013 ==

I smoked a bowl today, and noticed that the nicotine kick intensified at the bottom of the bowl. I had to set the pipe down.

1 person found this review helpful.

Phantom55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phantom55 (29)
★★★☆
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is the first MacB tobacco I have been able to enjoy. Doesn't seem to have the house casing, which bites the daylights out of me. A nice dark flake of medium body and strength. I rub it out and don't dry it at all. No problems with lighting, or keeping lit. Nicotine not particlarly strong to me. Has the typical smokey flavor of a dark fired Kentucky. Kind of a letup version of GH Kendal Kentucky. I'll keep some around, but prefer the Kendal Kentucky for a regular smoke.

1 person found this review helpful.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (36)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I've had a few tins of ODF and it is a consistent and excellent product. Well cured, well blended, well cut and, well, very enjoyable. Packs and burns with ease and to my most important criterion, totally satisfying. I love the taste that seems to swirl around in my mouth between sips and puffs, and the fabulous aftertaste (if that word can be used to connote an asset and not a liability). This tobacco is why I have smoked a pipe for so long now. ODF, and feel free to laugh, makes you feel like a man (and not in the "I just set the record for consuming a gallon of habenero sauce in 6 minutes and now I'm going to puke" kind of way. Along with a few other HH offerings (Mature Virginia comes to mind) MacBaren has come in from the cold and raised the bar. Good for them (and us).

1 person found this review helpful.

oregonpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oregonpipe (13)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Wow! Is this really from MacBarens? Smoked a lot of their blends 35 years ago. Never very impressed except for maybe Navy Flake. The past two years of pipe smoking (after a 35 year hiatus) have been spent mostly with VAs and VApers. My only ventures into VABurs have been 4Noggins Weybridge and ET's Tilbury. Oh, and 2oz. of Stonehaven I happened to score by being in the right place at the right time. Never been a big burley fan, but VABurs are another story. Read the reviews of ODF and thought I had to give it a try. An English style VABur flake...and from MacB...with 4 star reviews. So here goes.

Nice square tin with 3 rows of 3"x7/8" rather thin distinct flakes of dark brown with lighter stripes. Tin note: first sniff, teryaki beef jerky. Second sniff, heavy red wine. First bowl right from the tin, rubbed out, was way too moist and smoked way too burley-forward and very harsh. (Could this be the reason for a couple of negative reviews?) Advise to rub out and let air dry for at least a half hour, minimum. Whole different world! The VAs come out and play in that very smooth, round burley body. Nice stuff! Burns like a dream. Treat it right and it will give you a very satisfying, natural tobacco smoke. The flakes also lend themselves to fold-and-stuff, if that is your preference. But I will stick with the rub out method.

OK. Fantastic smooth, round, rather stout VABur flavor. The balance of burley and VA is extraordinary. Very nice flakes in a handy tin. And it's from MacBarens. I hope this is a harbinger of great things to come in the future. Oh, and the price...3.5oz for what you can easily pay for 50gr. 4 stars ! Enjoy!

1 person found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (513)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My comments on Old Dark Fired are based on far less than I would usually smoke before forming an opinion. But I was gifted it a nice size sample and it is one of those rare tobaccos that was full of enjoyment right from the very first puff. I almost always receive an ample amount of tongue bite from Mac Baren blends, but not with ODF. I allowed the flakes to fully dry to the point that they crumbled, but were still just moist enough to prevent them from turning to dust. The nicotine hit for most of the bowl is a bit less heavy on the throttle than similar offerings in this genre from Gawtih Hoggarth and Sam Gawith. But it isn't weak either and the flavor is full and delicious. As others have pointed out, it is earthy and to my taste, slightly sweet. While I do taste the similarity to GH and SG blends, I don't quite find the similar flavor in Old Dark Fired to Peterson's Irish Flake, but it could just be my taste buds. I have only smoked about a half dozen bowls of this, but find it to my liking in a medium size bowl, such as a group four. The burn is clean and dry. ODF will find a spot in my cellar. Highly Recommended!

1 person found this review helpful.

MDP Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MDP (33)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

100 grams of two neat stacks of perfectly formed, sliced flakes fill the rectangular tin. The flakes are wrapped by gold foil paper, but nothing can envelope the rich, earthy, and even meaty aroma that rises, weighted, from the freshly opened tin.

The flakes are of a consistency that affords the smoker typical pipe packing methods for the whole or rubbed-up flake. Still, a few moments out of tin rarely injures and oft improves the the smoking quality of most tobaccos. ODF will light and burn delightfully with a bit less moisture than present out of the tin. My preferred preparation is folding flakes lengthwise into thirds and making short sections by the pinch, rubbing up the sections, and then trickle, tap, trickle tap loading them into a group 2 or 3 bowl. ODF also does very well just rubbing up a whole flake into long ribbons.

ODF is clean-tasting, lacking the "soot and dirt" aftertaste I find prevalent in Petersen's Perfect Plug. ODF is also very, very smooth by any comparison, but particularly for a flake loaded with nicotine laden burley. PPP is quite harsh in the latter regard. There is also real tobacco flavor in ODF, not much from casing and no top note detected. The tobacco flavor is steady throughout the smoke, varying subtly between the sweeter Virginias and smokey, loamy dark fired leaf. The flavor emphasis definitely tilted toward the darker leaf. At times, there is a musty note that reminds me when I was a small boy playing in the far reaches of grandpa's closet at his home near the ocean. He lived far enough from the shore to miss the salt air, but close enough to gather in the damp. There is that note of the sea on some puffs.

Nothing bland about ODF, and one does not get the sense that Mac Baren intended to show how strong a tobacco can be. ODF is strong, but nothing in the neighborhood of Irish Flake, Dark Flake, 1792, or death by rope tobaccos. ODF is by my impression, stronger than Pease's Jack Knife Plug and not quite as interesting. On the flavor emphasis, JKP and ODF are opposite sides of the same coin. JKP veering more in flavor throughout a bowl, and the flavor supplied more from the Virginia leaf. I say they are of the same coin in that they are extraordinarily similar and certainly belong to the same genre of tobaccos by leaf content and flavors present.

Mac Baren surprised Britain's man o' war fleet of stout, dark tobaccos with an irony analogous to an English buccaneer swinging from a Viking longship and in the attempt capturing many British loyalists with the introduction of Old Dark Fired.

The irony is that a famed Dane factory known for oft bland, aromatic, nicotine- challenged, offerings is now more royalist than the Queen (of England) in producing a steamed and pressed flake of Virginia and dark fired burleys full of power akin to those manufactured in the UK, past and present.

Whether an irony or surprise to any, some, or most, a new vessel has raised the waterline for all the boats in the harbor of manly smokes. Old Dark Flake has certainly accomplished this in a non-aromatic and handsome presentation.

1 person found this review helpful.

MerleDixon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
MerleDixon (4)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I read all the reviews on this and thought I'd like to try some. My local cigar shop had a couple of tins of various MacBaren blends, and I had bought them all, so they placed a very large order for tons of different pipe tobaccos. They previously only carried "drugstore" blends and the few tins of MacBaren HH series blends that I bought. Anyway, I am grateful they invested several hundred dollars for my benefit. I'll have to review their shop on another site...hehe.

Anyway, my initial impression of this tobacco was, well, not very good. I really wanted to like it but didn't necessarily look forward to smoking more. I'm sure glad I gave it another go. This stuff is amazing. For any other smokers out there like myself who are just starting out with pipe smoking, I am lerning that different tobaccos must be packed differently. The method that gave me such an amazing experience was cutting the flake into cubes. It may seem like a daunting process, but this blend is more of a special treat than anything else, so why not?! Smoke it slowly and the flavor will shine through. The nicotine level is also pretty high compared to the other blends I've smoked, which is not a bad thing at all. This will be worked into my rotation as an after meal smoke.

I hope others who initially don't like this give it a second try. I can't wait until tomorrow evening so I can smoke some more.

1 person found this review helpful.

tvine Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tvine (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I will simply state that this blend is quite extraordinary. The main flavor profile is that of several Lakeland tobaccos, G&H Dark Birdseye, Dark Flake Unscented as well as most G&H and SG ropes. Also similar to Peterson's Irish Flake. If you have read about this tobacco, none of this is news to you. The main difference for me is the faint coming and going flavor of a mild Danish Virginia. I do not care for straight Danish Virginias, but the fluttering effect here brings a wonderful sweet dimension to the smokey, dried meat aspects of this tobacco. it smokes remarkably cool, with a nice nicotine kick that is not overwhelming. It is not subtle, nor is it bruising and aggressive. This will certainly be a staple in my rotation. Hope this helps.

1 person found this review helpful.

Blackhorse Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Blackhorse (70)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

It just seemed that the whole quote from Per Jensen should be included:

According to Per Jensen, Mac Baren Product Manager, the steam press makes it so that the "tobaccos marry faster and in a completely different way than what we normally produce. In short, they alter the taste. This blend is a heavy/strong tobacco with a lot of vitamin N."

__________________________

My turn...

I ordered a tin as soon as I heard about this one, as I'm a fan of Dark Fired Kentucky. Everything I had read and heard sounded right on the money for my tastes. Was I disappointed? Not in the least. I took 4 of the small thin flakes out of the tin to dry them. Interestingly they REALLY dried. When I rubbed them out the flake 'fractured' into smallish thin brittle shards. Oh great! I thought. Well, I tried them anyway...and even though they were totally dried out they smoked really, really well. Then I mixed some fresh rubbed with the dried, about 50/50...and it also did really, really well...same burn, same flavors.

So...what did it taste like? It was deep and full and had that 'dark fired Kentucky' character. It wasn't sweet, but it wasn't bitter. To me, the dark fired essence was moderate...and didn't overwhelm the fullness of the Burley or the VA background. In other words there was a good balance and I would suggest this as a blend that might be enjoyed by those who appreciate any one of the components...as a change of pace from their usual fare.

The initial claims as to its strength I found to be a bit overstated...it's nowhere near the Gawith ropes, twists, etc. P's Irish Flake is stronger. But this is definetely above medium...on a 10 scale maybe a 6.5 or 7. On the scale they use here, that makes it "strong".

Though not one to make comparrisons very often, the best way I can describe this one is that it's like..."Gawaith Dark Flake Lite"...a bit lighter in flavor, in N and in overall impact. This doesn't make it any less of a blend, as that 'less-ness' allows its flavor profile to be more round, which I would call and asset. All in all it's absolutely excellent! Quite an achievement for MacBaren in my humble opinion. And lastly, as the tin is 3.5 oz. (100 gm) you get a decent handfull of the stuff, for which I'm very glad.

Very highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

Christrom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Christrom (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

If I ever get sentenced to death I will smoke this and stare at my captors. It is dark, rich, bitter, peppery and has attitude. cigar tones aplenty. Just sublime. Sauron would smoke this stuff.

Purchased From: smoke king

Similar Blends: Conniston cut plug.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

CharatansMake Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CharatansMake (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

EXCELLENT!! The taste of this tobacco is deep, full and earthy. Highly recommended and one of my favorites. For sure I will always have some tins of this great herb in my depot.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Chris66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Chris66 (8)
★☆☆☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Like smoking a bit of Gandhi's flip flop ! Perhaps I just don't like flake tobacco, but dear God they can't all be this bad. Not for me.

Pipe Used: Peterson

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: SmokeKing.com

Similar Blends: A bit of twig pulled from between a tramps toes..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

puro66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
puro66 (73)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Rich, full and satisfying. I could stop right there and say no more but I won't. MacBaren has not been a blender that I am fond of and I've tried more of their blends than I care to remember. HHODF is about as far from a normal MacBaren blend as you can get, in a blind taste test I would never have put them down as a possible blender of this beautiful chocolate brown flake. It is indeed rich with all natural tobacco flavors of bold strength. Yes the nicotine level is full and ordinarily I avoid those type of blends because simply put I neither crave nor desire nicotine, spinning head and an evening at the vomitorium are not my preferred evening pleasures. That said I could not resist buying this to see if MacBaren had truly put a "different" style of tobacco out. The answer is yes they did. I smoke it slowly because of the nicotine and will only occassionally have a bowl because of Lady N but it is certainly a tobacco of high caliber and if you are in search of a full all natural tobacco give this a try, you'll probably fall in love.

This gets 3 stars from me but the overall quality scores 4.

Pipe Used: Ferndown Bulldog

Age When Smoked: a few months

Nobody has rated this review yet.

stevie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
stevie (3)
★★★★
Medium Medium to Strong Full Tolerable

just discovered this flake, its wonderful very mature fruity flavour gets better the further down the smoke and no bite whatsoever any pipe smoker looking to change from ready rubbed this is the one ,a bit like university flake but much smoother and a lot tastier a good four stars this one, thanks macbarren

Pipe Used: peterson 301 premier rustic

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: lieth pipe shop

Similar Blends: Peterson university flake..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

fredkao Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fredkao (11)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have only 1 Mac Barren, this one. I will say, it's not for new pipe smoker like me. It's a too much good tobacco to be trully appreciated so I keep it in a jar at that time but I'm sure, after a few bowl, it's a wonderfull tobacco.

update: Well, I ordered a lot more. I will jar some. It's just a so beautifull tobacco. The strenght is medium in the first1/3 then increase. The chocolate note is present as other mentioned it. Taste is sweet and creamy. I'm not an expert so the only think I can say: "it's very complex and you are never bored with it". It can be smoked at any pace it won't bite. Don't need to relight either. It's one of my favorite along with GH flakes. You can go for it with banded eyes.

Pipe Used: French pipe from St Claude

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheWoodwose Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheWoodwose (17)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

"Yum" is the first word that comes to mind.

I have only smoked two bowls of the stuff so far but I am really enjoying it. I am not very experienced with flakes (the only other one I have tried is Erinmore Flake) so I am still working on learning how to prepare it to my liking but man is it good!

The tin note smells very savory, almost like bacon. The flavor is exactly what I was hoping for, savory and smoky. It makes for a good long smoke and the room note is very pleasant. It is definitely not the strongest tobacco or the most flavorful I have had but -- what it has -- is all good.

Very highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Many have been talking about this tobacco and how strong it is and full bodied and it just didn't ring my bell at all. It was wonderful to find a MB blend that didn't scorch my tongue, but where is the flavor? It had a mild aroma, but where's the taste? Additionally, this is supposed to be loaded with Vit. N....really? Could not find that either. I do smoke some stout natural VA blends with Latakia and Turkish/Orientals, so maybe I'm already saturated with nicotine and resistant to milder flavors. I don't really think so though, good try MB, just didn't work for me.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

nitekrawlr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nitekrawlr (26)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

MMMMMM.....MacBaren. Another high quality offering from MacBaren. Best smoked in long, slow puffs, to appreciate the nutty flavor of the high quality Burley tobacco. Similar in nic level to MacB's Navy Flake (still my favorite), as it gives me the hiccup's, indicative of a good nic hit......enjoy.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (114)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a pretty stout flake. Yet it seems, to me, more sophisticated than similar blends/flakes such as Jack Knife. I find more nuances in HH than I do in Jack K.

Despite its strength, it does not bite. This stays lit really well, too.

I like most MacBaren blends, so it probably is no surprise that I give this four stars, though three and a half is what I would give this if I could.

Govern Yourself Accordingly.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

jacques1960 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jacques1960 (27)
★★★☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

As others have written, Mac Baren has fallen short of its promise many, many times.

HH Old Dark Fired is a notable exception. This reminds us of what they are capable of delivering, among the best conceived and executed tobaccos available.

Anywhere.

Huzzah !

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipeliner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipeliner (12)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

I`m really surprised about Mac Baren. With the Old Dark Fired present MB an absolutly unusual product. But let me say, it is really a very nice surprise. The look of the Old Dark Fired is really great, dark stoved Virgina Flakes cut accurately. The pipe is easily to pack with and the taste is creamy, malty without any tongue bite or sharpness. The taste is not complex but the taste is constand till the end of the pipe.The Old Dark Fired is in my opinion not as strong and more creamy as the Ilsted Dark Fired Plug. But both tobaccos presenting the same kind of taste. Personally smoke not much such kind of tobaccos only sometimes, but when I smoke the Old Dark Fired I always enjoy this tobacco. Only 3 stars from me,because I`m not a fervent admirer of such tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (260)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Nicely prepared dark flakes with some yellow stripes ~ 3"x7/8" and slightly thinner than many that I smoke but this just makes for easier packing with my fold technique. I thought the moisure content right from the tin was high and led to a harsh and bitter smoke. However, with drying, that improved although this is still the strongest McB that I've tried and I'm not sure if this is the result of the dark firing/pressing or high Burley content. I didn't sense and missed any of the sweetness of the VAs I normally smoke but this was probably designed to this end. High test nicotine so I'd only recommend for an experienced puffer.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

WeCamps Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WeCamps (2)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is my stranded-on-an-island blend. I found this to be surprisingly tasteful and I really enjoy the after taste it leaves when the bowl is gone. I prefer this rubbed out and in a shorter wider bowl. The tin smell is unusual and dark and the flakes seem damper than most flakes right from the tin. After rubbing it out and waiting to pack it for 10-15 minutes, it loads easily. Lighting takes a couple (strong) attempts but stays lit fairly well with only a relight or two needed if the tamping or puffing isn't controlled and consistent. I have a 50/50 love/love-not with Mac Baren tobacco but this is one I go to more often than any of the other Mac Baren blends I have tried.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Clive Moses Apikouris Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Clive Moses Apikouris (30)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

Savory, smokey, tangy, spicy, robust and delicious. I can see why some who might sample this would assume that it contains Latakia. On opening the tin you are greeted by nice rows of of dark mottled flake, the welcoming aroma is slightly sweet and smokey, a bit of a muted dry fruit scent, perhaps a bit like brown sugar but also a bit like the whiff a Maple smoked cheddar cheese with a hit of black pepper. Nothing funky though, actually quite mouth watering. The flakes rub out easily, they are not overly wet or sticky. Like other Mac Barren products I've tried they have a perfect moisture content. I pack my pipe with a kind of a Frank method and once lit it burns perfectly until you don't want it to. I've smoked this marvelous tobacco in a variety of pipes, right now I'm pleasingly puffing away on it in a Barlings Garnet Grain and the experience is always just as enjoyable. HH Old Dark Fired has the signature Mac Barren Maple sugar in the background,and by the way I've never experienced the infamous "MacBite" from any of their blends I've tried; you just need to understand how to smoke them. I've already touched on the delectable flavour. It is very complex and while robust it is smooth in the manner of a fine Corojo cigar with not a single unpleasant note. As for the "N" level, it is a bit potent but not a knee-knocker. This is a tobacco that I crave smoking, not a blend I'll go to for the sake of variety in my rotation. HH Old Dark Fired pairs well with a variety of beverages from an old fashioned Johnny Walker Black and soda to what I'm sipping with it now, unsweetened Chinese Oolong tea. Most highly recommended.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Oldman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Oldman (5)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Makes a great smoke. I found that drying it out a bit helps in cutting it into small cubes helps in packing it into your pipe. No bite noticed and the taste is quite good. I plan to make this a regular addition to my cellar.

I don't understand the terrible one-star review but everyone has their right to an opinion. I just really don't understand this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

cigrmaster Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cigrmaster (3)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Strong Full Tolerable

This beautiful flake has a very complex flavor profile. It is sweet, smokey, dried fig like and just all around one tasty blend. The presentation is first class and the 3.5 oz tins represent maybe the best valued tin on the market. It is a very high quality blend that lends it self to my favorite preparation of cube cutting it. It smokes extremely cool with absolutely no bite.

In regards to people who give this a one star review, I submit these people have no idea what constitutes a quality blend. It is one thing to not like a flavor of something, but to state in public that this has no flavor, means the person who says this has no idea what flavor is. There is so much flavor to this that you would have to be dead not to recognize it. As said before, it looks like a troll is just dissing this for the sake of taking a shot at Mac Baren. It makes all the other reviews by said persons not worthy of consideration.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

chaplikc Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
chaplikc (135)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

I can not say enough praise about this blend! This is in my top 5 all time favorite flake tobaccos. It has been a while since a blend has commanded my attention such as this one has. I am a sucker for a good burley Virginia flake and this one seems to hit everything just right. The flavor is wonderful leaning towards the burley but the Virginia is there and is very good. I have found that this blend smokes better for me on the dry side so I like to let it air a bit before smoking. I highly recommend this blend and my hat is off to Mac Barens for this one! I never thought Mac Baren would make one of my all time favorite blends!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Deleted Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Deleted Account (485)
★★☆☆
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

This offering definitively remains the best from Mac Baren. I love DFK and seek every opportunity to buy tobaccos conatining this leaf.

But, in the case of ODF, the tin note and its taste do not agree with my tastebuds. I smoked about 8 pipefuls and cannot stand the taste. I find this really unfortunate but there is nothing I can do about it for now except revisit in a year or so.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

II Stormy II Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
II Stormy II (14)
★★★☆
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

Great smoke. Charring light is a little harsh but it soon smooths out and is very enjoyable. I use cube cut for this flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

radioisotope Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
radioisotope (17)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

First off let me start by saying to the guy that threw this away, next time before you get rid of tobacco, please send it to me I'll pay your shipping. I hate to see tobacco thrown out. Now to the review... I would say this is tobacco at its best. I love most of the hh blends. This is just good strong old fashioned tobacco. This tin note its grand. Recommend drying and then rubbing out this one, it's hard to get lit. The aroma is awesome and enough nicotine to give the seasoned smoker a good time. It really does remind me a lot of Irish flake. In fact I would say buy this over Irish flake. On smoking pipes you can get 3.5oz of this for 11 bucks but with Irish flake you pay 9 for 1.78 oz. It's a real bargain. If you love a good strong flake you gotta try this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

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

After a few friends telling me to try this one i jumped in with a order for 3, 100grm tins,i love this stuff, i would not of guessed this was a mc-Barens tobacco,i would of said it was a S/G blend its so smooth and tasty from start to finish,4++++ from me on this one.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (196)
★★★★
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

This was another hit for MacBaren! I bought 5 tins of this from my online tobacconist because I had heard so many good things about it and i love it.

This is master tobacco blending at its finest, the bold bitterness of the dark fired burley combines with the sweetness of the Flue-cured Virginia creates a sensory delight, This contains great burley which provides body and a woodsy taste to the smoke, fantastic!,Also, while this blend is very comparable to Irish Flake and Dark Fake, it is without a doubt superior in every way.

Just dont try to inhale the smoke as there is enough nicotine to kill a horse!

Superb stuff, 4 stars!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

schlicter Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
schlicter (3)
★☆☆☆
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

when i saw dark fired i thought of orlik dark fired kentucky. i should have though of toilette paper. opening the tin, there was no aroma what so ever. reviewers complain of the mcclelland virginia "ketchup" smell, not realizing that virginia's ferment and that is the "smell". this tobacco was a zero. no aroma, no taste, zero. i threw the tin in the trash. and i do think mac make some great tobaccos.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

grimpeur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
grimpeur (45)
★★★★
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I have long been a fan of a number of Mac Baren's offerings, Dark Flake is certainly an outlier amongst them. When I see that a blend incorporates fire-cured tobacco, I tend to shy away; I generally find the cigar-like taste to be off-putting. But, in Mac Baren I trust...

This is simply superb. The cigar note is quite subdued, it just adds a little spice to the experience. The level of strength suits me to a "tee". I am finding it perfect for the autumn weather. At least once during each bowl I've smoked of this blend I find myself pleasantly surprised: "Mac Baren made this!?" Had somebody given me an unmarked sample, I would have sworn it was a G&H offering: it has that sinew and smoothness.

I was getting ready to order a shipment of Revor and Warrior plug tobacco from the U.K., now I'm wondering if the money might be better spent laying in a supply of Dark Fired. I can't give it higher praise than that!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

TheSmokinDragon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TheSmokinDragon (56)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

MB hit a home run here...I llike my SG 1792, Irish Flake...now Old Dark Fired slides into the rotation...don't just buy one tin..buy a sleeve

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juvat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juvat (36)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Rich, dark and flavorful. This blend reminds me of Bow-Legged bear in smell but thats where the similarities end. Has a very robust taste of burley but much stronger, tastier and more earthy. It smokes cool with thick, rich clouds of smoke. It also has an almost cigar like essence to it know and then...almost.

Bravo Mac Baren! I can find no faults with this blend.

NOTE CONCERNING THE 1 STAR REVIEWS: Everyone is entitled to their opinion. No argument there. But I can't help but wonder if some people see a blend that has nothing but 4 star reviews and decides to make a 1 star review just to spite it. Seriously...no smell? No taste? Really? REALLY? It's one thing to say "Its not my cup of tea" or "I just didnt care for it." But when you write a review saying things like "Whats the point?", "It has no smell/taste/aroma" and "I threw it in the trash" (sure you did), it just screams tobacco reviews troll and seriously calls in to question the validity of your review as well as your personal character.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

juanmedusa Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
juanmedusa (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Wow. They really made an excellent English style flake. I agree with everyone's notes on the tobaccos it resembles but I would point out that it really isn't a clone or direct replacement to any one of those. I love IF and many SG and GH&co flakes. This tobacco will not satisfy any craving for the lakeland flavor but is a straight forward tobacco in their class. Definitely a bit lighter than IF. But as an outstanding flake in it's own right and given Mac Baren's strenght of consistency, uniformity in cutting, value and accessability (though they seem to be a bit behind demand with this one) it's a real contender for our tobacco dollars. I'll be purchasing again.(on a side note, nice to have a biteless MacB!)

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Wawalsh Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wawalsh (7)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I was an avid pipe smoker for years giving it up after my favorite tobacco was no longer made. I came back once I realized the plethora of tobaccos available online. Instead of smoking only one tobacco, I now find myself having the pleasure of choosing a tobacco according to my mood. With these days turning cooler, I opened a tin of this tobacco and am thoroughly delighted with it. Extremely cool smoking and flavorful. The aroma of the tobacco burning from the bowl is very deep and fantastic. This is my go to tobacco at the moment. I would highly recommend this tobacco for the experienced smoker.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

daveyj66 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
daveyj66 (8)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

MacBaren has this one right! A fine flake of Virginias and Burleys hot pressed. If they can keep up with the demand and put this out in bulk, many smokers will be happy!

This is a very rich and flavorful smoke which I have enjoyed the last 2 weeks going through the 100g tin. It is a tad moist but drys very easily and makes for easy loading once rubbed out. From my first bowl of this tobacco I knew I was going to like it. It will not be for everyone though as it is very strong and I am sure has a high nic content.

This flake has found a spot in my cellar, know I just hope MacBaren does this right and has it readily available. So many of the great tobaccos of today are so difficult to acquire.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
★★★★
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Old Dark Fired is an exquisite example of the very finest in dark flake manufacturing. I can only imagine the excitement at the MacBaren factory when they finally rolled out their first sheet for sampling. The interplay and melding here between the Burly and Virginia leaves is quite remarkable. The smoke is semi-sweet, dark ,rich, very prune-like with the depth of resoundingly masculine character yet equally refined and eloquent. It's being compared to Irish Flake and G&H's Dark Flake and I do indeed find it very similar to the later just with less nicotine. As others have stated however, this is by no means a slight to the strength of ODF, it has plenty of kick and I find it similar to Solani's Aged Burly Flake in the heft department. MacBaren has a sure winner on their hands and I would even go out on a strong limb to suggest ODF could very well become the new tobacco of 2012 that sets the standard for all others in its' genre. Highly Recommended!

Nobody has rated this review yet.

vinnie799 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
vinnie799 (33)
★★★☆
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

One thing I like to do when cracking a new tin of tobacco is to catch the tin note immediately as soon as the seal is broken. This aroma is heavenly to me; true tobacco smell. This blend of Va and Dark fired burley is a fine offering from MacBaren's. I feel that it is their strongest blend even though it only rates a three on the front of their tin. And I for one like STRONG I don't know how far their numbers go up but by looking at their tins I'd imagine up to about five. I would easily give Old Dark Fired a strong four on their ratings in strength. The Burley in this is a nice bold base for the VA to chirp up and sing a bit. A hint of sweetness abounds from the Virginias here. And I also like that fact that the taste stays with me for a while after putting the pipe down! I like that feature, alot. The flakes are really hard pressed and the three rows of flake are a tad difficult to separate. Now, if you don't mind bustin' up the flakes the go ahead and tear into the bars of flake. Otherwise, I found it necessary to CAREFULLY remove a bar of flakes and separate the stack with a knife or the flat of my pipe tool. That is not to say that they must be cut apart but gently separated. The price for this ELEGANT presentations and smoke is really really good in my opinion from my source which a can't mention here and very worth the outlay for 100 gram tin. The tin seems to hold a seal fairly well unless they are pressed/packed so tight that if air got in it couldn't mess things up but who knows. This blend is a treasure for late night smoking.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

alpyesilay Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
alpyesilay (9)
★☆☆☆
Strong None Detected Medium Strong

I dont understand the idea of this product. Worst one in HH series. Seems like Samuel Gawith XX Black Rope. But softer. Dont spend your money on this.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

mcbpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mcbpipe (11)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

I was able to obtain a tin of this after the Chicago show. My first comment of this is the fact that I really appreciate a full 100 gram tin rather than the usual 50 grams. I enjoy MacBaren blends and especially the H H series. This is a robust tobacco with no detectable added flavouring. It is good hearty tobacco in the English (Lakeland ) style without the added essences.I like to take out two or three of the slices & let them dry out a little and in this way it takes to the light easily and stays lit through the bowl. I prefer a small bowl and enjoy it most in the evening after a meal. The cosest I have come to this is probably Irish Flake but I enjoy the lighter strength. The smoke overall is one of pure tobacco with a good strength. I have smoked all of the MacBaren 3 strength tobacco & feel this should probably be a four. I will definately be laying more of this in stock & be keeping it on hand.Well worth trying and good value for the money.

Update Nov 7/12 I have now smoked two tins of this marvellous blend & I find Ijust like it more & more. It is a dark, smooth blend with a smooth nicotine dose. I am hoping that McB will catch up with demand & pack in 1 pound boxes.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (187)
★★★★
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Mac Baren has hit one out of the park with HH Old Dark Fired. I recently received two 100gm tins from Iwan Ries. The tin note is pure tobacco and very similar to Irish Flake and Highland Sliced as the flakes are earthy in their smell. They are very dark and tightly pressed as with IrF and HS (tightly pressed flakes is new for a Mac Baren flake) and similar in size to Ir F. They are stacked into three neat rows. They are cut a tad thinned than IrF which makes for easier packing.

The flakes were at a good moisture consistency for packing and lighting. In a blind smoke, I would never ever guess this was from Mac Baren. This is one fine smoke. IrF and HS are two of my favorite tobaccos ever and now I have a third in the same genre. HH ODF has a very rich, natural flavor profile with solid, pure tobacco taste. It exhibits a nice spiciness while smoking. Unlike the spiciness of Perique, there is no pepper notes at all, which is a good thing for me as I don't care for Perique. I don't think there is any casing, and if there is, I can not detect it. It has a healthy dose of nicotine that takes an immediate front row seat. By the way, this offering is a smoother smoke as it doesn't seem to have the harshness I sometimes experience with a bowl of IrF.

I have quite a bit of IrF and HS but I can see myself reaching for this new offering from Mac Baren when I want a rich, pure tobacco smoke. It is simply fantastic in my book. If you like IrF and/or HS, you will not be disappointed at all. I enjoy other Mac Baren tobaccos, but this one is way ahead of the pack and is a major player in the pantheon of fine smoking tobaccos. My hat goes off to the blenders at Mac Barens for introducing such a winner. 10 stars across the board!!

UPDATE 6-9-12: Close to finishing the first of two tins, I will have to ration this as I read on the Mac Baren's website that due to the overwhelming positive response to this new HH blend, Mac can't keep up with demand. They say it is not a question of increasing production, but ODF needs a long time to store. The end result is they don't expect any more supply at the earliest until 2013!

Nobody has rated this review yet.