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A blend composed of both air dried and flue cured Virginia tobaccos. HH Pure Virginia is 100% Virginia tobaccos from North America and Africa. Both continents have a high reputation for growing the finest Virginia tobaccos in the world. Like all tobaccos in the HH family this blend has no top flavour and only the absolute necessary casing in order to emphasize the natural tobacco taste. You will experience the natural sweetness and “grassy” taste from the Virginia tobacco.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMacBaren
Manufactured ByMacBaren
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2595)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

The red Virginia in this flake is fairly tangy, dried dark fruit sweet with a some earth, bread and wood, and is the star component. The brown Virginia is earthy, woody, tangy dark fruit sweet as a supporting player. There are streaks of bright flue cured Virginia that offer some tart and tangy citrus and an ample amount of grass and hay. The description emphasizes the grassiness, but I think the earthiness is a touch more noticeable. It doesn’t have much complexity, though the contrasting flavors of the Virginias are melded together by the hot pressing, which is responsible for a slight fermented sweetness in the flake. There is a slight sour note here and there, which I tend to notice a shade more after the half way point, but I don’t find it distracting. The strength is medium, while the taste is a step over that line. The nic-hit is a couple of slots below the strength level. Has a few small rough edges. Like other flakes in the HH series, it breaks apart very easily, and is moist, but not overly so. Whether or not you decide to dry it any speaks to personal preference, but it’s good to go as it is. Burns cool and clean at a slightly slow rate with minimal relights, and sports a very consistent, well balanced, deeply rich, punchy flavor that never weakens. Has no harsh spots and won’t bite, though I recommend a slow to moderate smoking cadence for best effect. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl, and the red Virginia after taste lingers a little. Has a sweet room note. It’s not quite an all day smoke, but it is repeatable. Three and a half stars.


61 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

This is a very fine Virginia and as deeply rich and earthy as the best Virginia blends on the market today. The leaf has certainly been aged well as the fermented flavor you would expect from a ripe Virginia comes through in waves. And, also like well aged straight Virginia, the flavor deepens and offers a variety of sensations as the tobacco is consumed. I am off to purchase more tins for my cellar as something tells me wonderful things will happen when I re-visit this one in a 5-10 year old tin! Mac Baren, you done good with this one!


39 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (88)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

JimInks' review is right on... this is bang in the middle of the road virginia. Nice flakes (typcial MacB 1.5mm CNC Router type flakes, none of your random bacon-chips stuff here) which rub very easily into fine ribbon. A bit more moist out of the tin than I would ordinarily smoke, but smokeable as is or easily rectified with a bit of drying.

This is not as sweet as either Capstan offering, and has none of the complexity of something like Reiner Long Golden or even Mac Baren's other virginia-based blends. Also without the MacB honey or maple flavors. It's just dead-ahead virginia. Easy to get along with and a nice introduction to the genre. This won't probably be strong enough in nicotine to appeal to the long-time Va smokers or people who prefer big strong burleys a la C+D. But as a gentle autumn puff for the casual user, I'd say this blend has lots to recommend itself. Exhibiting the same softness of overall profile as the Capstan Gold, I suspect that ten years in the cellar will make this blend magical, and that's where the rest of my tins are headed. Quality stuff, and worth putting a few away.

Pipe Used: Various briars, medium to large

Age When Smoked: new

Similar Blends: Capstan Gold, Best Brown Flake, Mellow Mallard.

26 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29729)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

As always, Mac Baren gets an A for presentation. Nifty embossed gold wrapper that perfectly fits the beautiful looking, admirably symmetrical dark brown flakes with spots of gold. Wonderful tea-like fragrance in the tin. A bit wet and I ultimately dried this thoroughly to enhance the natural flavors, but I did not "crispify" it. It worked best with a small amount of moisture remaining. It didn't seem to care if it was rubbed out or folded and stuffed, as I couldn't discern a single iota of flavor difference. Since it took the match better when rubbed out, that's how I smoked most of the bowls.

I admit that I'm a huge admirer of the Mac Baren HH series concept. Even when the blend doesn't hit my overall preferences, I like what hot pressing does to their output, and I especially appreciate it when they keep the honey and sugar in their respective jars and make a perfectly natural blend. There is no Mac Baren tongue steam inherent in any of the HH blends, no pastry-like phony saccharine sweetness - just honest to goodness tobacco taste. This one is kind of a conundrum at this point, as I really found very little of the usual straight Virginia descriptors to apply, even the "grassiness" that Mac Baren claims. I did find a little sweetness, but I mostly tasted tartness and sourness with a nice background note of maltiness. This is a soft but spirited tobacco, with a provocative zestiness and tang (thanks to the red VA) which was nicely and just noticeably offset with a hint of citrus. Almost zero complexity but with a decent depth to the smoke. I think this one will age brilliantly and my other tins are headed to the cellar. I liked this and declared it "good" but it's not a great blend... yet! I do think there is some greatness there, but it needs to age awhile first. Kudos to Mac Baren for the HH series. None are currently in my rotation (ODF being recently displaced by SG's Lakeland Dark) but I sincerely applaud the effort. Once again, I find it difficult to disparage a Danish company from producing Danish products, but these more English versions are more to my taste.

20 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1961)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Mac Baren - HH Pure Virginia. I love EVERYTHING about this blend!

The tin contains three rows of flakes that are quite slim and dark brown in colour. The amount of moisture is better than many sealed tins, it's only slightly damp. Mine isn't in desperate need of drying, yes, that would raise the standard to perfect but I find it good enough to smoke right away.

I crumble my flakes as opposed to the fold and stuff method and this is easy to rub to a decent texture. Whilst doing so the only notable aroma I get is a straight up Virginia one; any extra casing must have been added very sparingly.

I find the smoke 'savoury' tasting. I struggle to detect many sweet nuances from this compared to many straight Virginia's. What I do detect is a slight saltiness from the smoke; not acrid or full but a delicate addition. Also, I get the least grassiness I've had from a straight Virginia, it tastes as if there's a tiny proportion of Burley in there to me; a slight nuttiness, making it even more savoury.

This burns resplendently. Once it's lit it is very independent. I only need my tamper to maintain it. My lighter's only needed if it's not puffed often enough.

Nicotine? I think it's just below medium, it's a nice strength for my taste.

I think this is a completely unique straight Virginia. It's not just the usual sweet and grassy affair that I get from most Va's. Total perfection: highly recommended.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Strambach Vienna Meer'

Age When Smoked: 4 Month

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

19 people found this review helpful.

PeterD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PeterD (91)
Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

More than the middle-of-the-road to me...this is a very good Virginia Flake tobacco. I like the "pure" taste and while similar to other straight Virginia flakes/plugs/Ready Rubbed offerings, I find this a notch above many others.

Easily an all-day smoke and one for most any size pipe...Moisture level is perfect and easy to rub out...

...Another impressive flake in the MacBaren HH series...

Pipe Used: group 3 to 5 size

Age When Smoked: 2 months

Purchased From:

18 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (322)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

As I started to appreciate straight Virginias during the past few months I was looking forward to try Mac Barens shot at a straight Virginia blend. As I love the HH-Line, for their unspoiled, natural tobaccos I chose HH Pure Virginia.

Cracking up the lovely, classy, yet simple designed tin with it's intriguing rich yellow that has the Mac Baren lions on it I was instantly interested in how this one would perform in the pipe. Inside there's the typical and very classy golden wrapper paper Mac Baren uses and three rows of Mac Barens evenly cut, thin flake slices. They know how to make a flake cut, sure thing! 1,5cm in thickness, ~ 11 cm in lenght and 3cm in width the flakes break apart quite easily, which hints towards there's little to none glue applied! Optically seducing with their rich hue of mostly medium bron, bright brown and few bright-golden speckles.

The tin-note is very inconspicuous and natural. Slightly honeyed, mildly fruity, bready and tobacco-y and I could swear I perceive a faint vinegar-ish note to it, especially when cracking a fresh tin. Comes very well conditioned for a flake cut. Not too moist, yet demanding at least an half-, better one- to two hours of drying time. But it can be smoked right away, if properly rubbed out!

Slow and cool smouldering in the bowl HH Pure Virginia offers a rich aroma with some depth to it. Mildly notes of stoved fruits that underline the delicous somewhat bready and/or nutty aroma. A little earthy and very tobacco-y, fairly tangy and spicy for a straight Virginia. In the background I perceive some notes of grass and hay. Honeyish sweetness is always present, that is rather unobtrusive and mild, I'd bet this is all natural sweetness, none added to it.

Pretty bold for a straight Virginia and very rich in flavors this is one of the most complex straight Virginia blends I had. Diversified and refined it offers a enticing smoking experience that's far from being one-dimensional or boring! Definetly a blend I'll integrate into my rotation. Very All-Day suitable due to it's rather digestible strenght, this truly is a gem within the countless straight VA offerings.

4/4 stars for genuine, honest and interesting pure Virginia blend that is living up to the name of Mac Barens HH-Line - unspoiled, tasteful, rounded. Favorited!

Pipe Used: Clay Pipes / Various Briars

12 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (108)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I think this is a masterpiece. This seems to be as close an experience as you can have to smoking Virginia tobacco straight from the farm to your bowl. It has obviously been cured and fermented but it has no topping and a nearly undetectable amount of casing. Smoking uncased Virginias isn't a very pleasant experience. Some amount of casing is necessary to reduce harshness and fix any inherent rough edges of the leaf. The casing used here does not intrude upon the flavor at all.

This blend of Virginias tastes grassy. Occasional hay, earth, spice, and vague natural sweetness pop up. No honey, citrus, or molasses here. I sense a medium strength with a bit of a kick. I hope to see this released in the 16oz boxes so that I may age some!

11 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (298)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening the tin, the scent is nicely sweet, gently earthy (red VA...). It's the HH flakes' typical, chewing-gum sized slices stacked three-abreast in the tin, which I fold-twist-sink into a relatively wide bowl. Lighting is easy for a folded flake (I have not tried this rubbed out yet, but I will). Little to no glue applied; I like that.

From the beginning, the flavour is nicely sweet, with a gently sour side note that helps more than hinders the overall experience. Only little grassiness in there, and the room note is above average for a pure VA blend.

From the halfway point on, I get a nice side note of black pepper that stays on until close to the end of the bowl; the metallic flavour of so many other pure VA flakes is only marginally present. The burning behaviour is excellent, though the note by earlier reviewers that one should puff gently should be heeded. I have pretty much only ashes left in the bowl when I finish.

Overall, good one. Doesn't make me shout with glee, but a solid smoke from top to bottom, and one that I can recommend.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 11 and 105

Age When Smoked: Fresh from new tin

Purchased From: HoS, Lingen, Germany

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Golden Glow, Orlik Tobacco Company A/S - Richmond Navy Cut.

11 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (173)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Robust and full tasting for a straight Virginia. Fuller than Pease Union Square. Smoked a full tin.

However this does not have the sweetness of Pease's or Mcclelland's Virginias. But you can tell this is a Virginia from the get go, as there is that citrus taste but subdued due to pressing.

Cool, forgiving, and steady burning for a Virginia flake.

Flavor pumped up but not the sweetness. Not dark tasting.

Almost too much richness for me. Recommended for a heavier dose for straight Virginia fan.

Pipe Used: Arlington

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Mcclelland no. 27 (matured virginia), twangy flake (blakeney's best).

11 people found this review helpful.

Big Train Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Big Train (111)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Being a Virginia flake smoker I was excited to try this new issue . Upon opening the tin I was not impressed . The flake seemed way too hard and was not responsive to good packing . There was little or no tin note , not at all what I expect from a primo Virginia flake . The first bowl was not at all enjoyable giving me a nice case of tongue bite . I smoked a few more bowls and found it even less acceptable than the first . I have read the other reviews of this tobacco , all from reliable smokers , and I wonder why I am in such disagreement . This tobacco simply has none of the delicate , subtle taste that I associate with Virginia flake . I gave the rest of the tin away at the Kaywoodie show in New York and felt well rid of it .

9 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29729)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Deep brown hot pressed flakes cut with military precision, medium flavor with a wonderful peppery note, and fairly good strength. Presentation mirrors the rest of the quality - it's on point, Tip.

All you FVF and Best Brown Flake hoarders, buy a few tins of this for the apocalypse, and maybe some to smoke now.

Age When Smoked: 3 months

8 people found this review helpful.

Bulldog8483 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bulldog8483 (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the tin, you are greeted with a sweet, fig like and fruity smell. It is simply a phenomenal smelling blend. It comes in the traditional, thin MacBaren flakes (about half the size of an Orlik flake for comparison purposes) and the presentation is top notch IMO. It is easily lit, stays lit and smokes to a fine ash with no hard tobacco clump at the end to boot. Perfect in that regard.

Smoking mechanics: should be sipped like all pure Virginias and I dry it out minimally. Just enough so there is a little spring back when you squeeze it. I've found it to have best flavor if done this way. However, here's the key with this blend and I've found this to be the case more than many other blends I've had: YOU MUST FIND THE PROPER PIPE SIZE AND SHAPE TO SMOKE THIS IN! It drastically changes the taste if not done so. It honestly oscillates between a mediocre, so-so smoke to a phenomenal, top notch smoke if you find the correct combination. So far, the best shape I've found for the blend is the 320 Savinelli. The Savinelli Marron Glace 320 KS to be exact. Like I said, minimally dry it out, smoke/sip it slow and use a good pipe and you are in for a world class, second to none smoke. Just don't give up on it and keep trying things until you find the right combo for you personally. I highly doubt you'll be disappointed, if you like Pure Virginias that is. Happy smokes brothers!

UPDATE (6/21/2020): This blend has only gotten better since writing my first review of it. Simply phenomenal. I've found several other pipe combinations that smoke this beautifully and some that don't seem to do so well so I hope it's encouraging to all of you that smoke this terrific blend. I've got a couple of years on the jar I'm smoking out of today and it is wonderful. Smooth, mellow, and subtle with increasing sweetness as i work through the bowl. 5 and 10 years down the road WILL do wonders for this blend and that's saying something because it's tremendous right now as is. In short, I can only speak more positively of this blend as of this two-year update. My cellar is well stocked, enough said. Enjoy fellas, this one's a beauty!

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Online retailer

Similar Blends: Dunhill Flake.

7 people found this review helpful.

O'Confrère Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
O'Confrère (40)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Dignified, dark and deep, HH Pure Virginia offers a very distinctive take on virginias: Toasty, earthy, and, for a virginia, stout, with sweet tannins and a bit of nicotine, but after the fullness of the smoke it leaves the mouth feeling surprisingly clean. It’s a little on the tarry side, pleasantly so, but that just seems part and parcel of the rich and multi-faceted flavor spectrum this fine mixture brings to the table (pipe), and, hey, when the dog walks on the water who’s going to complain that it can’t swim?

Got the best results when I let it dry a little, rubbed it out thoroughly and smoked slowly. This mixture grabs my attention and doesn’t let it go.

Different than the best of McClelland, Samuel Gawith, C&D, Compton’s and G.L. Pease, but able to take a place at their honored round table. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Several, all reserved for straight virginias

Age When Smoked: About six months

7 people found this review helpful.

smoking-rob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smoking-rob (78)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This one took a while to grow on me but grown it has now. I have not seen other reviewers mention the saltiness which I clearly perceive and it could point to a smidgeon of Latakia being used (say 0.5-1%). The pepperiness I notice as well. A good solid smoke this, not much to add to the other reviews.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: new

7 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (29729)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

HH Pure is a medium-colored hot pressed flake made of what I can imagine are the highest quality VA tobaccos Mac Baren has in the warehouse. I can't knock them for anything mechanical - I smoked an entire tin folded and stuffed, because there was no need to even think about rubbing this out. It lights and burns beautifully, and smells pretty good while it goes.

I dinged it a star because it doesn't show the complexity I find in the English-style flakes or in the best quality McClelland straight VAs. It's not monochromatic by any stretch of the word but it seems to progress predictably from start to finish. Nothing wrong with that, but also nothing standout that would earn that fourth star.

This is good pipeweed, lovingly made and artfully presented, and it might be the stealth blend of the HH line since nobody seems to have noticed how good it is just yet.

Pipe Used: basket pipe

Age When Smoked: so fresh

Similar Blends: Dunhill Flake.

7 people found this review helpful.

Tantric Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tantric (310)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

Very similar to MacBaren's own Virginia blend (yellow pouch), this is a very nice flake, full of flavor, rich in taste, and easy to smoke. Unlike many Virginias--especially those under the MacBaren process--this won't bite.

It has a woodsy, slightly toasted nuance, very natural, with almost no sweetness to it (unlike, say, Dunhill's Light Flake or Orlik's Golden Sliced). I think this is a very good, high quality smoke, unpretentious yet satisfying and flavorsome in a most natural manner. Good stuff!

Pipe Used: Parker

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: Joshua Ward

Similar Blends: MacBaren's Virginia; Briar Fox..

6 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (174)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

HH Pure Virginia is another first class offering in this limited series from Mac Baren. Presentation is 3 rows of small, perfect flakes the color of toasted “wheat” bread of the sort one tends to get in diners. Tin note is grassy and fairly sweet, with some toast and some hay, with a depth to it that’s hard to describe. It can be folded and stuffed straight from the tin, but sans drying it takes patience to get it well lit or keep it burning. In the end, after a good deal of fiddling around with it, I prefer to rub it out and load it into a VA pipe. I find this blend to be naturally "aromatic" off the match, and the tastes get richer as it is smoked down, with meadow grasses, toast, and hay from the flue cured and just a little sweetness, earth, and oats from air cured brown and red leaf. I get no “dark fruit” from this blend (and not a lot of sweetness, either). Anyway, the balance struck is impeccable, and it is smooth and well melded top to bottom. Strength builds gently toward medium; likewise the tastes. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is a sweeter, lingering version of the best of the smoke.

Here we are today, with TR as a resource and worldwide access to the best overall lot of tobaccos in my lifetime. There are great VAs aplenty, and you can add HH Pure VA to the list, IMO. It took me a while to figure it out, but I like it right enough now, and I recommend it a 4’s worth to experienced VA lovers.

Pipe Used: various VA briars

Age When Smoked: from the tin to 2 months in a jar

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: F & T's Vintage.

6 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (557)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I have come to expect great things when I try any of the HH blends by Mac Baren and this was no exception. A great Virginia as natural as you can get. This has abundant hay like sweetness with light citrus tones.

I really enjoyed this one, but it does not eclipse my favorite Virginia, that being Dunhill Flake. DF is a touch less natural and probably has a light topping on it where HHPV does not. I would also put Capstan Blue above this one, but these things will not make it any less than four stars in my book. If for nothing else, this will give one the taste of a Virginia with the minimal amount of tinkering.

If you like this blend then you are a Virginia lover for sure. Now that DF is no longer being produced and Capstan is expensive, this will become the Virginia I recommend to those who want to try a straight Va.

6 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (233)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I've always been a fan of Mac Baren's Virginia No 1 and their Virginia Flake. I've just added their Modern Virginia to that list, but their HH Pure Virginia is now my favorite Mac Va.

Mac Baren's tin presentation is always appealing as is the readiness for a smoke right out of a fresh tin. The tin note was of tobacco, mild and not grassy as is typical of many Virginias. There was no flavoring I could detect while smoking; just a very pleasant, atypical tasting, Virginia from first puff to last with a very appealing pure tobacco taste throughout. It didn't smoke hot or bite and it smoked dry to the heel. I can smoke this all day, every day. This is a keeper and as previously stated, now my favorite Mac Baren Virginia offering. 4 stars!

Pipe Used: Stanwell sandblast featherweight poker

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From:

6 people found this review helpful.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (130)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

Great middle of the road pure Virginia. Sweet grassy hay notes with a bit of citrus. Tin condition was near perfect with no drying of the flakes necessary. Smoked both runned out and folded. No great difference in the taste just the burn time. Formula burned straight through the smoke with few relights. Little to none on moisture in the bowl. Another solid smoke from the HH line. Planning to set a few tins back to age, believe this may jump to a 4 after some age is applied.

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: pipes and cigars

6 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (201)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This was my first blend from the HH series.As a virginia flake lover i could not resist in this special version of MacBaren.the tin appearance prepares you for something unique and top quality.since the tin breaks a wonderfull smell comes out.pure tobacco notes including sweet and sour notes.the flakes are mostly dark with some bright and brown stripes.the flakes are very manageable in proper moisture.i prefered the rubbing method in this one because with the folding method the lighting is very hard due to it's solid pressing.while smoking the flavours differ a bit than these ones the smell promises you.the dark virginias are dominant offering dark fruits,earthy notes in a tangy way.the other virginias (brown and yellow)are in the backround offering sweet and grassy notes.rarelly some citrucy notes came out.i expected more sweet notes i could say.I also detected some sour notes,something like a plum or vinegar topping also.the flavours combine well each other and after a half bowl the sour notes become more present.the nicotine level is medium and the taste above medium.the room note is pleasant.burns cool and slow with a few relights needed.leaves some moisture at the end of the bowl without chance of tongue comparison with other virginia flakes i tried this one is one of the can be an all day smoke to those who like strong flavours.

Age When Smoked: Rubbed and packed at once

5 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Flavor is tasty and well rounded. Fruity, tangy and a bit of grass. The flavor is also mild and mellow which surprised me a bit considering the medium body. Thought it would be a little bolder. If you prefer a milder flavor this would be a great choice. A very nice smoke.

Medium in body. No added flavoring which may be why it's milder and mellower compared to some other flakes I've been smoking lately. Taste is just a shade over mild, I'll go with mild to medium. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Dagner Poker, Country Gentleman, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

5 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (76)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

You don't want to drive your Ferrari every day. If you need to nip down the road for a bag of nails, the Ford will do.

The HH series is your Ford tobacco. And that's a good thing.

I rarely go for straight virginias but the summer months brings out the desire.

Pure Virginia fits the bill because of its great quality of being eminently user friendly.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billard.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the shop.

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop (nice chaps).

5 people found this review helpful.

Nordmann Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nordmann (1)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I stored a few 50g tins in my cellar for a year so my review/impression might vary from others beacuse I'v never smoked this one "fresh" from the tin. I also let every tobacco dry for about 15 minutes after rubbing out the flake. The tin note reminds me of black bread with a fresh sour note, verry pleasent for me at least. The taste is fresh and bready with just a tiny sweetish note. If not puffed like a freight train I'll get no tounge bite and the taste remains for the complete bowl. The nicotin hit is not overwhelming but with the great taste of the tobacco it's a verry satisfying all day smoke for me.

Pipe Used: Corn Cob, Falcon, Meerschaum, Ben Wade Billiard

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: local tobacconist

4 people found this review helpful.

jpiper33 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jpiper33 (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

The presentation is top notch and the tin note is enticing. As a lover of all things, Virginia these two aspects make me excited, very excited. Unfortunately, this is where my excitement ends with this blend. Bright Virginia's take to the forefront and are grassy with a moderate zest. There are the occasional dark fruit notes and a fleeting sweetness that becomes more prominent in the last third of the bowl. Overall, the blend is rather monochromatic and uneventful.

I know that this blend receives lots of love but I just can't get on the wagon. I appreciate the HH line and their goal to "emphasize the natural tobacco taste." However, this one is a miss for me. Out of all the VA varietals, brights are my least favorite and this obviously impacts my opinion of the blend. I would love to see an addition to the HH line that highlights reds as opposed to brights.

Pipe Used: Various briars and meerschaums

Age When Smoked: 3 years old

4 people found this review helpful.

DCD Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DCD (8)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

For a straight Virginia this could stand as a model of the form: a beautiful golden/amber color, a tin aroma of grass and hay with a touch of raisin, which carries over into the actual smoke. I read or heard somewhere that this is lightly cased with sugar water but otherwise left natural. All I taste is natural Virginia, with that deceptive simplicity that a well matured Virginia can have. Its sweetness is balanced by an herbaceousness that just screams "Virginia" and makes me think of John Rolfe, Sir Walter Raleigh, QEI and what made the world go crazy for tobacco in the first place. It invites you to think about it, and when you do you'll find fruit and spice aromas subtly lurking behind the pure and classical facade. This is also a great flake to try for those, like me, who are new to the cut. Pressed and steamed under 55 tons of pressure and cut by modern machine, the flakes are uniform in size and density, making it easy to learn the fold-and-stuff technique before trying more raggedy flakes like McClellan or Samuel Gawith. I always come back to this flake for its simplicity, its pure tobacco enjoyment, its easy smoking qualities, and its extremely high standards of workmanship.

Pipe Used: Small Stanwells

Age When Smoked: new in tin

Purchased From: Boswell's

4 people found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (167)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Boy, this is among the top three virginia flakes available. No joke. Gawith Full Virginia Flake is considered the gold standard and this is just as good. In fact its rather similar in composition and level of stoving. Its maybe not as complex but it has genuine depth of flavor and is pure tobacco. I consider McClelland 1776 flake to also be near the top. The second tier would include Butera dark stoved, and Astely's #44, and probably Wessex Campaign Dark flake. McClelland's dark star and blackwoods flake are also excellent. But honestly, I think this HH Macbaren flake is even better. It has great natural sweetness ( much as I like the wessex for example, it does contain the very slightest casing...very slight but its there). Cornel & Diehl's Opening Night is very good and Pease's Union Square;...both are broken flake. The Pease is maybe the strongest nicotine wise. But this macbaren flake is rich and very cool smoking and needs only the slightest dry time. The nic hit is between mild and medium...a bit closer to medium. Not as strong as the Pease, but perhaps stronger than astely's or the Wessex.

If you like lighter virginia, Gawith's Golden Glow and butera's golden cake are very good. Dan tobacco's hamborger veermaster is excellent as well for a light virginia flake. And if you like heavily stoved virginia...the sleeper is McClelland's bulk flake...Navy Flake. Its top flight stuff. But even if macbaren is associated with aromatics and lightweight burley blends, the HH line is something altogether different and this is maybe their best offering.

Purchased From: 4noggins

4 people found this review helpful.

PipeTobaccoReviewer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PipeTobaccoReviewer (12)
Mild Medium Mild Unnoticeable

This tin came with a little over a year on it from TP. A mildly sweet blend with notes of light citrus, hay, and honey for the first quarter of the bowl. It develops a buttery ginger spice quality with hints of caramel/toffee as it progresses. Fleeting hints of an odd chalky flavor which appear randomly and not in every bowl. However, unfortunately, there are a lot of rough edges and harshness in this blend which cover up an otherwise good profile. It gets acrid very easily. The finish gets hot and ashy at the heel, each bowl. For being just over a year old, this should be much better than it is.When the harsh edges recede, which is rare, and the profile fully presents it’s rather good. Unfortunately that just doesn’t happen anywhere near enough to mitigate the unpleasant aspects.

The tin presentation is top shelf; it comes in typical MacB fashion of extremely uniform stacked flakes wrapped in a thick shiny gold paper. The leaf quality, while not poor, leaves something to be desired. The burn qualities are generally good, but can get hot if pushed even slightly. Each bowl was a one light affair. Aside from the moments of really good profile notes, it is consistently “meh” from bowl to bowl. Even with its failures, it is extremely repeatable as far as impact on the palate and can easily be an all day smoke for those so inclined.

However. All that being said, I did get a distinct chemical fertilizer taste in my final bowl out of 5 smoked. That was alarming and really not good. Anything that can give that taste I won't smoke.

Pipe Used: Sav 802 and 702

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

Voyaging Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Voyaging (66)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable to Strong

Presentation is wonderful as it always is with Mac Baren's flakes. They are neatly organized and uniform. This review is based on a four year-old tin. The flakes were really dark with some bright flecks here and there.

The tin note upon opening smelt of vinegar, a slight dried fruit hint, and somewhat like cured meat. As it spends time in a jar it gets closer to smelling like dried fruit. The flakes are a little moist. I tried folding and stuffing and rubbing out as well. I found that rubbing it out and drying it a bit to burn best and taste the best.

The smoke starts out sort of nondescript, just a slight vinegar and fermented taste. At about mid-bowl I pick up tangy vinegar notes, woody notes, nuts, maybe almonds, toasted bread notes, banana, oats, hints of cinnamon, pastry notes, a touch of cake batter, sultanas, figs, molasses, and it builds in woody smokiness towards the middle and end of the bowl with those pastry and fig notes lingering in the background.

There is not much acidity, and no citrus notes, to my palate. I didn't find this to be a sugary sweet flake. I also don't get the honey notes typical with many Virginias.

Strength is medium maybe. Nicotine is medium. I have gotten a big nic hit with this blend once. I had just a little food in my stomach, smoked too fast, and it got me.

I recommend this for the Virginia-lover who enjoys the more natural tobacco taste, or the person who likes darker Virginias. This blend showcases all that Virginia can be, in that it is both sweet and earthy, or sweet and savory. To my taste, this is closest to Wessex Brown Virginia Flake, but maybe better. If I blind-tasted this I might think there was Burley, but the tin does say there are air-cured Virginias in there as well.

I would buy this again, and hopefully get a younger tin with some bright notes and honey notes, which I think I missed out on because my tin was old. It's a quality Virginia with complexity, depth and roundness.

Update 7-18-2019 It's got depth and body and it might be the best straight Virginia I have smoked yet. I think it just needed air.

Update 12-25-2019 I bought a younger tin to see what this is like with less age. This tin is dated Oct2018. It has the dried fruit notes, honey notes, cereal notes, in addition to the notes mentioned in my original review: smokiness and nuttiness, cocoa.

The only negative thing I can say about it is that when it's young it can be a total fruit bomb, and make your pipe taste that way. The development runs its course into more flavors when smoked, but it is very fruity Virginia flavor when young. It has more zest when young, and more darkness and depth when aged.

This is an extraordinary straight Virginia.

Pipe Used: Bent brandy,billiard,bent apple,Canadian

Age When Smoked: ~3 years, 1 year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Wessex Brown Virginia Flake, Amphora Virginia.

3 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (261)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

This has medium brown flakes with light brown streaks running parallel throughout. This has to me the typical sweet Virginia tin note. This smokes very, smooth, mellow with very little if any tongue bite. My tin was from Sep 2015 and as good as it is now, I wonder what aging ten years would do for it? On a side note the tin art is very impressive on this blend. If you like straight Virginia's this is definitely one to try. I try not to pass out four stars indiscriminately but this one deserves it in my book.

Pipe Used: Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 3 years

3 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (24)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

This might be a strange review, because, basically, I do not like Virginia flakes. This goes back to 1972, shortly after I started smoking a pipe, and having just discovered the original Edgeworth Slices, and the Original Balkan Sobranie Smoking Mixture. I grabbed a green tin of Sobranie Flake, popped it open, loaded my pipe, fired it up...and thought, "What the hell???" There was nothing about it that I liked. And though in the 46 years since, little has changed, I have developed an understanding and appreciation of what Virginia flakes are about. Some, I have even enjoyed.

Mac Baren HH Pure Virginia Flake is one these. How so many reviewers here can taste all those extraneous flavors in pipe tobaccos is utterly beyond me. All I can say about HH Pure Virginia is that it tastes like an early fall afternoon smells...sweet, a bit vinegary at times, slightly smoky. It is that good. Like all tobacco, it is best puffed slowly, but fear not: it absolutely cannot be puffed into the hot zone; there isn't a bite in a bowlful.

The big surprise was that the tin I received from Smokingpipes was dated September, 2015. Three years old! The flakes were a very dark brown, and at perfect moisture right out of the tin. That bit of good fortune probably had something to do with my enjoyment.

Will it be in my rotation? Probably not. Just as Scotch will never be a regular drink. But will I order it sometime? Absolutely.

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

3 people found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (213)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

2 year old tin. It gets full points for presentation and smell off the tin. My flakes were hard to keep lit, I had to relight a lot. In the taste department it's more earthy than grassy or sweet with some brioche flavor.

While advertised as topping free, a sweet licorice taste shows up. After smoking it with a regular pipe, I tried it with a new pipe and the licorice taste was omnipresent. I guess that a casing can do as good a job as a topping. Licorice is my favorite flavor since I was a kid, there's no hiding from my taste buds.There are better "pure" Virginias out there, sorry for being the party pooper.

Virginia lover

3 people found this review helpful.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (129)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

A very fine Virginia flake indeed.. Another solid blend in the HH series or line (whatever you wanna call it).. Pure Virginia is exactly what it says it is.. it is a pure and clean smoke.. The bready, earthy, sweet notes are what I taste the most.. grass and hay more in the background.. little citrus.. smooth and cool burning.. very well behaved.. nothing really to complain about.. Of all the HH blends I have tried this one probably excites me the least.. but it still excites me.. I find the hot pressing, while improving the mechanics of the smoke, kind of tones down the flavor (which you can still taste underneath.. just a little muted).. but the subtle complexity and comfortable smoke behavior make it so good! The aroma while smoking it is just fantastic! I think even people who don't like virginas (usually the same people who are susceptible to tongue bite) will love this! The tin I smoked had a few years on it.. i think with a few more i could give this 4 stars.. as it stands, i am torn.. i really like this.. i just can't say it blows me away.. so i will say 3.. but some smokes have been 4 ;)

2 people found this review helpful.

B&D Pipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
B&D Pipes (9)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

HH Pure Virginia - Part 3 of 6 - MacBaren HH Flake Reviews

In honor of the just released MacBaren HH Rustica Flake (that I have jarred and reintroducing oxygen) I will be reviewing the five previous HH Flakes leading up to a final review of that new release. I feel all tobacco requires a “Cool Down” period after you open the tin. A minimum of a month so the prior five HH Flakes will give me enough time to get Rustica ready for my liking. With that said: here is Part 3 of 6 . . . of my MacBaren HH Flake Series Reviews.

I have always understood that Virginia tobaccos were normally the base of most blends due to the natural sugar content. That sweetness greatly assisting the blender with balancing their creation. Using a food analogy, I have always seen them as the grains of the tobacco world. Like bread or rice (both of which I love), I simply was not able to eat them by themselves. I needed some jam on that bread or some beans with that rice.

Back in September of 2018, Dorothy and I were at Sutliff for their excellent pipe show. We met a lot of good people those couple of days. Some of which later became very dear friends. The older gentleman sitting across from me had an IT background much like myself. We were both tinkerers and due to this we hit it off almost immediately. Having such similar interests, I was hooked on our conversation. During which I asked what was in his pipe. His response: “Amphora Virginia”. I immediately scoffed at him. “How can you smoke straight Virginias like that? Put some Latakia in it!” I proclaimed. Back then I was hooked on Lat-Bombs and anything else was seen as an inferior smoke in my mind. His response was that Latakia is too heavy. Virginias were something he could smoke all the time. He proceeded to pinch out about half his pouch, put it in a Ziplock, and gave it to me. Not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I thanked him and put it away.

If you have been following my other reviews you will have already guessed that about seven months later . . . my palate burnt out due to my blending and taste testing latakia forward tobaccos. I was forced to move away from that leaf. One fateful night I was frustrated that I couldn’t enjoy pipe tobacco like I used to. I pulled out the Amphora Virginia that I was given, stuffed it into my pipe, and proceeded to start a journey of which I have yet to return. That experience can only be described as utterly sublime. I was simply enthralled with the flavor. I thought to myself: “OH MAN! If what some consider to be an OTC Virginia is this good . . . I wonder what is seen as a more Premium Virginia will taste like?!?!” That fleeting thought eventually lead me to picking up a tin of HH Pure Virginia.

The tin note of HH Pure Virginia is a bit underwhelming. A touch of sweetness and grass. But that’s about it. The flakes are beautifully cut and optimally hydrated, which is what I have come to expect of all MacBaren tobaccos. I always choose to fold and stuff any MacBaren flake I come across because to not do so just seems to be a bit of an injustice to me. They are simply the perfect candidates for that method. When you light HH Pure Virginia you are immediately greeted with that subtle sweetness that is very familiar. A dried fruit sweetness akin to raisins. You will notice an earthy tone throughout the smoke. The main notes you will taste are grass and hay. Occasionally you will be greeted with a bit of citrus that is a bit tart but never unpleasant. When you retrohale this tobacco you are overwhelmed with the grassy taste that MacBaren proclaims you will experience, but you will also taste a bit of bread and hay. An experienced smoker will find this blend to be surprisingly complex for a straight Virginia and will easily be able to pick out the Red and Bright Virginias.

HH Pure Virginia is a prime example of a damned near perfect straight Virginia. I dislike comparing tobaccos. I honestly feel that every tobacco blend has its own special quality that is only cheapened when being compared to something else. With that said, I feel that this is one of the few scenarios where it would be appropriate. If you’re a smoker of Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake, Capstan Blue, McClelland 5100, Orlik Golden Sliced, etc . . . you will most definitely enjoy MacBaren’s HH Pure Virginia Flake. If Escudo Navy De Luxe sets the bar for VaPers, then HH Pure Virginia sets the bar for straight Virginias. It is a wonderful tobacco that only gets better with age.

As I sit here smoking my final bowl of HH Pure Virginia for quite a while (due to smoking so much of it for this review), I cannot help but think of that older gentleman that I met going on two years ago at Sutliff. His generosity in giving me that huge pinch of Amphora Virginia really had an impact on my tastes and how I perceive tobacco as a whole. If you are reading this review, you know who you are. This past October, I was able to thank you in person for the role you played in my journey through this vast hobby. It may have been such a little thing to you . . . but know that to me it has meant everything.

~ Barry

Pipe Used: Multiple

Age When Smoked: Fresh to 6 months

Purchased From: Pipes & Cigars, Local B&M, SmokingPipes, TobaccoPipes, TheStoryTellersPipe

2 people found this review helpful.

Zippo2000 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Zippo2000 (11)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

I got this in a 50g pouch and even had aluminium foil sealed,it's very dry. when smoking got a lot moisture. compare with other pure Virginia flake this not impress me at all, just like average Virginia out there.

Pipe Used: Unknown Briar, Peterson.

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Online Shop

Similar Blends: Wessex Red Virginia Flake..

2 people found this review helpful.

Connoisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connoisseur (47)
Medium None Detected Medium Unnoticeable

Definitely my favourite in the HH line. Baren HH Pure Virginia is a high quality all virginian tobacco with a rather unconventional virginia taste profile. Straight out of the tin, I originally found the flavor to be OK but nothing to write home about and it possessed none of the sweetness promised on the tin description. However, after a month or two in a jar, boy does this stuff come to life - becoming darker and more flavourful, with a combination of bright and low notes and just the right amount of sweetness.

I believe HH Pure Virginia will age superbly and I have set aside several tins to enjoy down track. Excellent stuff!

Age When Smoked: 2 years

Purchased From: 4Noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

Goose55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Goose55 (33)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I was recently gifted with a couple of tins of this with 3 years age and I am smoking my 1st ever bowl of it as I type. Wonderful very rich tin note of sweet grass & hay. Wave after wave of sweet smoking Virginia that takes to the match well straight out of the tin, with absolutely no bite. Even if puffed on hardily. It'll take me some bowls to figure out how much depth & complexity this has. I'm looking forward to enjoying a bowl during my evening happy hour one day soon. This very well could definitely be a keeper.

Pipe Used: Upshall Tilshead bent Billiard

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Was a gift

2 people found this review helpful.

Uncle Al Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Uncle Al (17)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

HH Pure Virginia is for connoisseurs of top quality Virginia tobaccos. Will definitely age, but I'll never know. An exceptional blend. Medium (maybe a little higher) strength and straight Virginia flavour. If you take it slowly, gently and moist from the tin it's gorgeous! Cut and rubbed or folded this really is something special. So do yourself a big favour and get some.

Pipe Used: Bulldog

Age When Smoked: No age

Purchased From: 4Noggins

2 people found this review helpful.

Philo Beddoe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Philo Beddoe (220)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is good stuff! HH Pure Virginia should satisfy most Virginia smokers, as it’s not offensive in any way and it succeeds in its mission of being a high quality Virginia Flake you can smoke all day and be satisfied with every bowlful. HHPV fresh out of the tin reminds me of a tin of OGS I smoked that had ten years of aging on it, a richer, deeper OGS. This isn’t trying to compete with 40th Ann., rather HHPV is simply trying to be one of the best straight Virgina flakes you can smoke all day and IMHO it has succeeded.

Pipe Used: Various briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Local B&M

2 people found this review helpful.

WikingPipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WikingPipe (1)
Mild Mild Medium Pleasant

I went into this blend with very high expectations as I love all of the HH line. My expectations may have been a bit too high as I was underwhelmed. The blend was a bit lifeless and too fresh. I wanted that sweetness and depth you get with other Virginia offerings. I placed it back on the shelf within the tin and revisited it a month later. I don't know if it simply needed to breath a bit and rest, but it did the trick. I loaded up my go too straight Virginia pipe and that sweet depth presented itself. Gently sipped brought out the savory sweetness and high citrus notes that we all long for. This offering IMO is a mix between SG Best Brown and Orlik Golden Slice. The grassy citrusy notes are the front-runner here like in Orlik, with the dark earthy depth presenting itself only when sipped and searched for like in Best Brown. This will age wonderfully which will marry the Virginia's to bring out more of that earthy depth and will only increase that sweetness. 3 stars for now, but well on its way to 4. Cellar up men and this one will be able to hang with the legends.

Pipe Used: Rinaldo Triade YYYY Silver Line

Age When Smoked: 4 months

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Orlik, SG Best Brown.

2 people found this review helpful.

brashboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brashboy (84)
Medium None Detected Very Full Pleasant

I agree with Pipestud's review: this is a very fine Virginia, indeed; for my taste, it is light years beyond MacBite Virginia classics such as Virginia #1. Complex, a little citrusy at times, some sweet and sour and loads of real tobacco taste. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Cobs

2 people found this review helpful.

Timbo 556 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Timbo 556 (6)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant

Once again the MacBaren HH line impresses me. I received a sample of this from a friend of mine as he and I frequently trade tobaccos. He gave me enough for about 3 or 4 pipes. The tin once again is simple and nicely done. The presentation of the flakes are beautiful which is expected of MB flakes (they look like perfect sticks of gum) the flakes were bright with multicolored streaks which is from the multiple different va's used. The tobacco fresh out of the tin was moist and has the typical grassy lemon zest of most other straight va flakes I have smoked. I did give the flakes some dry time before smoking but multiple re-lights were still needed. It was good but nothing that blew me away until..... I let them rest in a canning jar for a little while. I re-visited after 2 weeks and the flakes were perfect for smoking (dry wise) I tried it both full rubbed out and folded. Both ways this blend was excellent after some rest time. The sweetness that I love came through along with that farm hay flavor. The blend isn't complex by any means but is very consistent. I have plans for buying in larger quantities to let these flakes age for some time a I prefer them aged in a jar which I feel brings the flake to the perfect moisture and allows the sweetness to build up as well (I am not talking sticky sweet aromatic sweetness) just natural sweetness. I have been playing around with 9mm filters and I like this blend with or without a filter. I give this blend a 3.5 and it will be my new go to Straight VA flake.

Pipe Used: Stanwell 118 9mm

Age When Smoked: Fresh to 2 weeks

Purchased From: Gifted by friend / he got it at

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake, Dunhill Virginia flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

troyniss Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
troyniss (18)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Presentation: As with all the HH MacBaren blends, the standard is a neatly, even and uniform flake with the gold wrapper. I love opening any Macbaren tin, I can always count on quality. Shades of brown, tan, mocha and yellow are layered in a fine flake. Rubs apart effortlessly and one can assume that a fold n' stuff method would also guarantee a nice smoke. I find that this blend among others comes slightly moist and could benefit for a short 10-15 minute dry time for ease of keeping lit.

Palette: Where as one might suspect this being a pure bright leaf blend, it is a melange of reds, browns and a little bright. The tin aroma is fantastic and offers a sweet hay and grass aroma along with the bread like reds. A touch of honey initially and caramel if you leave your nose in long enough. The blend is sweet but not as sweet as a pure bright. The red Virginia is nice and soft but pop in with some tickling spice every now and then. The brights are a good compliment and keep the tone from reaching too deep.

Performance: Smokes effortlessly and doesn't require many relights. I only experienced one relight with one whole flake. Leaves barely a drop of moisture in the heel and produces a semi-fine ash. Mild nicotine hit and a nice side stream note.

Conclusion: While I normally tend to prefer pure bright VA blends, this is a great bridge between red VA and bright VA. Would be perfect for a discerning smoker who is trying to figure out of they like brights or red's more. It offers best of both worlds and is a good benchmark for a quality VA blend. Not an all day flake but perhaps one or two throughout.

Pipe Used: Sasieni Family Era Billiard, Various Briars.

Age When Smoked: Less than 1 Year

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Any VA flake that has a mix of reds,browns,brights..

1 person found this review helpful.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (75)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

HH Pure Virginia: A very tangy and tart red-Virginia flake

The flake seems to be made up mostly of red Virginias as it is the tangiest and tartest straight Virginia flake that I have ever tried. My tin has four years of age on it, so all of the tobacco has darkened—making it hard to ascertain the other components. There is quite a bit of earthiness and a subtle sweetness. Any grassiness or bright notes from the other Virginia varietals have faded. The smoke has some body to it, similar to F&T Vintage Flake. However, HH Pure Virginia is more straight forward in its flavor profile. The tobacco also has a texture similar to C&D Small Batch Carolina Red Flake.

The flavor profile of the tobacco improves with a month in the jar.

If I try a more recent tin, I will update my review.

1 person found this review helpful.

Jackob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jackob (3)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Very Strong

My first unflavoured Tobacco and my first Flake-cut too...

During my first tasting it had a lightly sharp flavour which bit my tongue, but the second time it worked better.

Flavour on Skales from 0 to 7: flavoured: 0 smokey: 5 vanilla: 0 roasted: 5 grassy: 0 nutty: 3 acid: 0 wort: 5

I drank during my tasting a cup of herbtee on my balcony. It was a cold but dry evening.

I'm not quite shure if this is really my type of tobaco... But my friend dislikes the aftertaste and the smell of this.

Pipe Used: Venini, Light Bent, Filter

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From:

1 person found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (125)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

This reminded me a lot of the one I just reviewed, Amphora Virginia. The latter is a 'ripped flake,' this Pure VA is a pressed flake. The taste profiles between the two blends were similar, at least to my palate. Much of what I said for the Amphora blend goes for this one, too—a bit sharp, slow burning, strong. I prefer softer, lighter, pressed flakes. This one's a good sipper, but I much rather burn up a Capstan Yellow or an Orlik Golden Slice, they're lighter, and more pleasant to smoke. Still, HH Pure VA is pretty good. If you really like sharper VA's then this one's for you. 2.50 stars.

Purchased From: A full tin, from the Chicago Pipe Show

1 person found this review helpful.