|My usual ailment struck me again: running out of VA flakes. So this time I noticed a tin of this stuff, which, btw. is not even listed on the manufacturer's web site as of this writing. But my Trusted Tobacconist had an open tin, so I could have a look and a smell, and I decided to give it a go.
The tin contains three rows of slices; just one is enough for most of my flake pipes either rubbed out or folded and twisted. The leaf is medium to dark brown, with occasional bright highlights. This is a matured VA; very little hay in there if any, but a somewhat fruity scent out of the tin that most likely is actual tobacco and not a sauce.
I didn't even attempt to fold this flake at first; it is quite densely pressed and even rubbed out, it takes more than only one match to light up. When I finally did fold-twist-sink, the single slice in the pipe lasted forever and burned very, very coolly.
The smoke starts out nicely once lit up; there is a good strength in there: Vitamin N junkies please take notice; this has a bit more punch than most other plain VA flakes I have had so far. The taste is rather less sweet than I am accustomed to from VA blends. That might be due to a large percentage of U.S. VA tobacco; that would also explain the price of this blend where I am. The taste does gain in sweetness throughout the bowl, though, and there is a satisfying spiciness to it.
There is only a slight, but nice, sour note in the taste. The room note is, shall we say, conservative, but not entirely bad. After re-entering a room I had smoked this in, I got an incongruous note of boiled ham; maybe my nose was just out of whack at the time.
In all, I'd say Dark Virginia Flake is worth the expense for me; the taste isn't overwhelmingly sweet, but sweet enough, and grows throughout the bowl. I end up with a minimum of dottle, but need a few relights. Good strength for me; I'd say more Nic in there than most other plain VAs, and the experience will be forever married to the Connemara Single Malt Irish Whisky for me, which just shines alongside it.