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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. According to Per Jensen, Mac Baren Product Manager, the steam press makes it so that the

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMac Baren
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
CutReady Rubbed
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy
Product Image
Medium to Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 2 Users

15 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (634)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

A ready rubbed version of a highly regarded flake tobacco almost always tastes different. This one mirrors the flavor of ODF flake as close to identically as my ability to discern allows. When I fold and stuff the flake, it's a little cleaner of flavor and when I rub it out, it's a hair richer and it burns better. This smoked like ODF flake rubbed out.

Not much else to say about this one that I haven't said. A moderately strong and rich tobacco with deep earthy notes and a slight hint of sweetness. But not so strong as to overpower most smokers, and those who are used to dark flakes will consider this more medium. Speaking objectively, this is medium-to-strong, and nothing short of excellent. I've been smoking a ton of this since the flake came out and it consistently delivers. I have a newfound respect for Mac Barens as a result.

10 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (523)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Old Dark Fired Flake was the first Mac Baren blend that fell in love with as it didn’t bite me like many Mac Baren blends have a habit of doing. So when I saw this in bulk ready rubbed I couldn’t pass it up and it didn’t let me down. The ready rubbed version offers the same wonderful flavors that the flake does. There are actually a few smaller flakes in the ready rubbed. The only downside to this is for those that exclusively fold and stuff their flakes will need to stick to the tins. The upside to the ready rubbed is the bulk price is very reasonable. Like the flake, I tend to enjoy this well dried. Considering there are tobaccos in ODFRR that are as much as forty years old, it’s no surprise that there is zero bite here, even when pushed. If you have ever been attracted to the flavor of ropes or twist tobaccos, but the high nicotine content has kept you from trying them, you may be in luck here as ODF and ODFRR offer similar flavor to some of the GH and SG blends, but with a lot less nicotine. That is not to say this is wimpy in the nic department, it isn’t, there is just less of it. Highly Recommended.

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Mac Baren HH Dark Fired Flake.

8 people found this review helpful.

Marker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Marker (10)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Strong

I have tried the flake and ready rubbed (RR). The ready rubbed is much easier to manage for me. Smokes heavier and stronger taste because of the faster burn. The flake is great for a smaller pipe when you want a slow burn with a lot of flavor.

Dark Virginias give this a sweet smokey taste with depth. Satisfying and relaxing. The heavy chocolate and fig/date taste mix is excellent. This is one of my top 5 blends. It will only get better with age, which I can't imagine how that is possible but put my money on that happening.

If you have not tried it a 3.5oz flake tin is under $15 most etailers and the ready rubbed you can try 1oz and not be out much if you don't like it.

Pipe Used: Kaywoodie Billiard

Age When Smoked: <1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Nothing I can say is similar..

6 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (953)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

My thoughts about this blend are similar to what I had to say about the flake version, with a couple of exceptions. While this is easier to pack because it's a ready rubbed tobacco, it seemed to me that the burley was slightly less stronger than it is in the flake version. It may be that the tobacco slightly changed because more of it is exposed to air in the processing of it. The difference is minor, but I did notice it.

Here's my original review of the flake version, which mostly mirrors my view of the ready rubbed:

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.

6 people found this review helpful.

Dragon76 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dragon76 (4)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Strong

This tobacco was recommended by my local tobacconist. I decided to give it a try, buying it in Bulk, out of the jar, a couple of ounces. Sure. Glad I did. This tobacco is Amazing. I have never had anything like this blend before. I can't say it's an Aro or an English. Its something else. The texture is almost stick like, tiny little twiggs. Surprisingly it packs so great. Lights easy. Burn is beyond even and consistent. When I took my first puff, I was floored. First, it produces some big clouds of dense smoke. Second, It has a deep "Earthy" taste that is like nothing else I have ever smoked. So Satisfying. Flavor profile has an abundance of tastes - Earth is the only word I can use to describe it, for I can not pin point one real particular flavor-taste.

On a cold winters day or night. This tobacco is the ultimate. Good outdoor smoke. decent amount of Vitamin N. In all honesty, this tobacco makes the top of my personal favorites list.

5 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (291)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Not complex but delicious. I thought that lacking complexity it may get a bit boring, but not so. The flavor more than makes up for it. Highly recommended.

4 people found this review helpful.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (27)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Nearly identical in taste to the flake version, this ready rubbed offering burns very well indeed if not a bit hot. Very slightly wet out of the tin, but smokeable. The taste is magnificent, deep and rich, full flavored to say the least. Smoky, slightly nutty and sweet, with none of the famous Mac Baren tongue bite which was a very pleasant surprise indeed. I don't find the nicotine content to be overwhelming, more of a medium that lets you know you've smoked it. Room note is not offensive, but can be a bit strong when smoked indoors. Very similar to Peterson's Irish Flake in my opinion with a bit less of a wallop in the nicotine department. I can see this blend aging extremely well. All in all, a world class smoke. Well done Mac Baren! I have purchased a pound in bulk and can't wait to try it after a few years. Would pair very nicely with a robust coffee, a nice Bourbon, or a sweeter less peaty style of Single Malt Scotch in the evening.

Pipe Used: Large bowl Erik Nording Freehand

Age When Smoked: New out of the tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Peterson's Irish Flake.

3 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (171)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have been through maybe four or five tins of the flake and bought a pound of the ready rubbed. I am more or less 12 oz into the pound. I love this stuff, and I think I might prefer the ready rubbed slightly just for the ease of preparation.

Like the flake, this is a good, full burley with some Virginia overtones. I did not detect any added toppings. It has a good consistent flavor and smokes very clean to the bottom of the bowl. The ready rubbed seems slightly more mellow than the flake, and that may be due to the exposure to air when it is rubbed out and stored. I am not enough of an expert on these things to know. I do know that this is very good.

I find myself smoking a bowl of this most mornings in a GBD Prehistoric prince that seems suited to this blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipe4ever Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipe4ever (198)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

With most Mac Baren blends, The Flake version are always completely different in taste and in flavor from the ready rubbed version,I personally find their RR versions much better than the flake ones (Va Flake/Va No.1, Mixture Flake/Mixture RR, Vanilla Flake/Vanilla RR, etc), however, with ODF, the 4OZ bag I bought in bulk looks smells and tastes 100% identical to the flake version, the only difference here is the reduced shipping cost if you buy this online plus the easy pipe packing with the RR broken flake.

I mix this with MB Va. No1 50/50, it increases slightly its sweetness and gives a little rough edge, for me this is the perfect blend.

2 people found this review helpful.

Talltree Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Talltree (10)
Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a fairly strong tobacco and while I like mild tobacco the best I have to give credit where it is due. The quality of tobacco and depth of flavor is top notch. I came back to it recently and was very impressed. I think this is hands-down the best tobacco I have ever smoked.

As I smoke a bowl of HH Old Dark Fired I am thinking about the nature of a tobacco rotation. To me each tobacco must be excellent and must be a part of an overall balance. Currently I am looking for a sweet fragrant va-bur to balance out the heavy flavor of both this tobacco and another medium/strong strength balkan, #10 from Pipeworks and Wilke. I tried Germain's Plumcake mixture and like it although it is a little funky in flavor and burns hot. I just ordered some W O Larsen's 1864 Perfect Mixture for the first time. Another favorite is Boswell's Main Street Burley which I mix with a bit of Ohle's Perfection Plug Burley. Excellent, mild and sweet. None of these tobaccos are heavy with nicotine and that suits me fine.

I don't smoke much, just once or twice a day, when I am ready to relax and enjoy my thoughts. It is something I enjoy and it helps relieve the tension of a busy day.

Well I have added W O Larsen's 1864 to my rotation. it's very good

Pipe Used: small bowl Dr. Grabow Grand Duke

Age When Smoked: fresh out of the tin

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: nothing quite like it..

1 person found this review helpful.

Autumn joy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Autumn joy (45)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This blend was recommended by gents on the pipes magazine forum and needless to say they were right about this one. Falling into the English line of tobacco this tobacco has a good smoke scent in the bag. The tobacco was very easy to work with and packed very easily. The smoke was very tasty and a really robust smoke in this blend. The tobacco burned really well and gave me a good 45 min smoke in my calabash. The room note was tolerable as well really wasn't overwhelming. I would recommend this blend and it is a good English blend. Also a good blend for folks in colder climates just gives a nice warm feeling smoking this stuff.

Pipe Used: Calabash

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Nobody has rated this review yet.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (17)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Holy moly, this is good. Deep, rich and strong but not too strong for newbies or those who don't like the strongest tobaccos. Great burn, great tin note (I want to eat it) and a pretty good room note but a little more intense than something else in the same blend family, like Golden Extra.

Comparing ODF-RR to Mac Baren's ODF flake, it is like deciding which of two beautiful twin sisters to take out -- they are each gorgeous, smart and witty but each in her own way. Sure you could pick a favorite but what if you didn't have to? I love both blends, smoke both blends. To paraphrase Scarlett: As God is my witness I'll never be without ODF again.

Either will do.

Pipe Used: Aldo Velani, cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mac Baren Old Dark Fired flake.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (110)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a very good tobacco and the flavor does not deviate too far from the flake version. The characteristic earthy flavor, honey like tone, subtle spiciness and full rich body are all there, but I still prefer folding and stuffing a flake of ODF for a long slow gratifying smoke.

IMHO the difference between one and the other is all about the burn rate. Old Dark Fired rubbed out burns quicker and therefore has a bit more flavor bravado, where smoking a folded flake of ODF reveals more of the bittersweet chocolate-like subtleties adherent to the slower burn rate.

Personally, I prefer the control that you get with the flake form.

Either way, both versions are great smokes. ...(subliminal message)... Buy the Flake. wink, wink

For reference, below is my review of the flake:

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.

Pipe Used: Briar

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Hybrid12 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Hybrid12 (25)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable

After smoking a lot of soapy flavored flakes from Gawith, Hoggarth, lighting up a bowl of this ready rubbed was a pleasure. Decent flavor with a nice dose of Vitamin N. This tobacco burns well with very few relights and will be a staple in my rotation. There is not much that one could complain about regarding this offering.

Pipe Used: cob, medico Conquer

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm really enjoy this blend very much. The sweetness of virginia mixed with burleys feel so good on my pipe. Burn so good, and sometimes I can taste a milky scent when I relight it and it appears when reach half part of the bowl and the sweetness consist until finish.

Nobody has rated this review yet.