Mac Baren Capstan Original Navy Cut

(3.42)
This blend is a composition of select, ripe Virginia tobaccos whose citrus and grassy notes go brilliantly with the natural sweetness. A must try for everyone who appreciates a good, straightforward Virginia blend.
Notes: Originally produced by W.D. and H.O. Wills, now re-released by MacBaren. According to the Tolkien estate, this was J.R.R. Tolkien's favorite tobacco.

Details

Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Other / Misc
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available

Profile

Strength
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
Flavoring
None Detected
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Pleasant
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Taste
Medium
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.42 / 4
120

71

19

5

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 214 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 30, 2017 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
This is, simply put, one of the best VA flakes I have ever tried. I went through the first tin very quickly and without "trying" - a definite sign that i really liked it. This is not a "try-hard" tobacco. Burns clean and evenly with few relights, moisture is perfect right out of the tin and all that classic VA creaminess that we VA fans love and crave. Rubs out easily with a wonderful VA haylike grassy smell. This one smokes cool with no bite and no bitterness towards the bottom of the bowl. I think this would be a great VA flake for the veteran or the beginner. It can easily be enjoyed by all. There is no reason that great pipe tobacco should be a difficult effort. Capstan original is surely not difficult. It is quite simply one of the few perfect smokes I have ever had in my adventures with the pipe. PLEASE don't stop making this one Mac Baren. It is a Classic!!

4 stars ****

Cheers All,,

Glorfindel
Pipe Used: Peterson Half Bent Christmas Pipe 2016
PurchasedFrom: Pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: New
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 26, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Recently, I have had the good fortune to smoke 1938 and 1940 Capstan Blue. Here are my thoughts on them and the MacBaren version, starting with the 1938.

1938 Version: I’ve smoked three bowls and have enough left for one more. I think similar tobacco varietals are used in today's production. Dark Virginias usually have a dried dark fruit note or two, depending on the processing, and CB is no exception. The 1938 version obviously had time to age, and the further fermentation of the earthy, woody Virginias caused the stewed fruit flavor to be more prominent and sweeter than when it is fresh. I thought it was slightly more sugary, floral and bready, too, which was also caused by the aging process. New CB has a couple of rough edges (not to the extent of FVF or similar Va.s), and they were smoothed out over time in the 1938. I thought the nicotine level was lightly higher in the 1938, too.

This 1940 Capstan almost tastes like a cross between the 1930s version and the current version. The Virginia has a few grass notes (a shade less than the '30s Capstan), but is more earthy, floral and woody than the new version, which I attribute either to the tobacco varietal or age or both. The dark fruit and citrus notes area little more pronounced than the '30s version and very close, but slightly deeper than the new version, though a shade less sweeter than the new manufacture. It has the taste of fermented sweet matured Virginia. I'd say this is slightly tangier than the others, and has a minute spice tingle not found in the others, too. This is just a little muddier in flavor than the other two as well as a little more nicotine. There was a very, very slight hint of cigarette near the finish of the 1930s version which I do not experience here or in the MacBaren version. The flavor holds to the finish. Frankly, I like this a little better than the '30s version - not by much, though - and I think it has a little more interesting character and is a little more complex than the new version.

Current MacBaren Version: This is a little stronger, less sweet, and less cased than its brother in the gold tin. Slight citrus, fig, and a little grass/hay and a more earthy, woody, breadiness with a nice mild to medium tangy dark fruit Virginia flavor. Also is slightly sugary with a light floral quality. Not a very complex blend, though there are a couple of different Virginias in the mix. The strength is a step below the medium mark, and the taste level is medium. The nic-hit is a step past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, and barely has any rough edges. A rather uncomplicated blend that burns cool, clean and smooth with a very consistent flavor at a slow pace. Requires a few relights. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a very pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. A very comfortable all day smoke to pack and light with enough nicotine to get your attention without overwhelming your senses.

-JimInks
110 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
An excellent virginia flake at a very reasonable price, at least here in italy. Equivalent to FVF, this tobacco is ready to be smoked, not too wet and not too dry. Always perfectly ready: and this is something Samuel Gawith will hardly learn. Flake come in thin slices, so rubbing them is a matter of a second.

I dont know why this is so underrated, and FVF get all those stars, but so much better for the price of the tin..

Pipe Used: lubinsky
45 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 01, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Capstan has quickly become my favorite morning smoke and is giving Samuel Gawith a run for their money as my favorite Virginia flakes.

The flavor and aroma remind me of freshly baked bread, or toast. A little honey sweetness, especially on relights. No fireworks, just excellent plain tobacco flavor.

My mornings tend to be busy so it's not often that I can devote the time to completely finish a pipe. I'll smoke for a few minutes, let it go out, and come back to it several times throughout the morning. A bowl might easily last me until just before lunch time. Capstan is very tolerant of this smoking pattern. Each relight brings renewed sweetness and flavor. Doesn't get bitter or nasty the way some other tobaccos do when you set them down for a while. If anything, it gets better.

I also appreciate that Capstan is not a palate wrecker. I can smoke it all morning and still be game to smoke anything in the afternoon and evening, whether I decide to stick with straight Virginias all day, or switch to Virginia-Perique, or something with some Oriental/Turkish, or whatever.

Burns easily and stays lit with slow, gentle puffing. Works best for me rolled up, rather than folded and stuffed. It comes apart a little when rolling but I try to keep it together in a roughly cylindrical shape as much as possible and stuff it into one of my preferred flake pipes, either a little Group 2 Parker billiard or an Ashton XX canadian. I do this last thing before bed the night before and it's dried out to perfection for smoking the next morning. I suppose you could also rub it out, but that sort of defeats the whole point of a flake.

I love this tobacco and will be cellaring as much of it as I can afford. Some days it's seriously the most pleasant thing in my earthly existence and I don't ever want to run out of it. It's a little more expensive than some other Virginia flakes but in my opinion completely worth it.
42 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 08, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Recently, I have had the good fortune to smoke 1938 and 1940 Capstan Blue. Here are my thoughts on them and the MacBaren version, starting with the 1938.

1938 Version: I’ve smoked three bowls and have enough left for one more. I think similar tobacco varietals are used in today's production. Dark Virginias usually have a dried dark fruit note or two, depending on the processing, and CB is no exception. The 1938 version obviously had time to age, and the further fermentation of the earthy, woody Virginias caused the stewed fruit flavor to be more prominent and sweeter than when it is fresh. I thought it was slightly more sugary, floral and bready, too, which was also caused by the aging process. New CB has a couple of rough edges (not to the extent of FVF or similar Va.s), and they were smoothed out over time in the 1938. I thought the nicotine level was lightly higher in the 1938, too.

This 1940 Capstan almost tastes like a cross between the 1930s version and the current version. The Virginia has a few grass notes (a shade less than the '30s Capstan), but is more earthy, floral and woody than the new version, which I attribute either to the tobacco varietal or age or both. The dark fruit and citrus notes area little more pronounced than the '30s version and very close, but slightly deeper than the new version, though a shade less sweeter than the new manufacture. It has the taste of fermented sweet matured Virginia. I'd say this is slightly tangier than the others, and has a minute spice tingle not found in the others, too. This is just a little muddier in flavor than the other two as well as a little more nicotine. There was a very, very slight hint of cigarette near the finish of the 1930s version which I do not experience here or in the MacBaren version. The flavor holds to the finish. Frankly, I like this a little better than the '30s version - not by much, though - and I think it has a little more interesting character and is a little more complex than the new version.

Current MacBaren Version: This is a little stronger, less sweet, and less cased than its brother in the gold tin. Slight citrus, fig, and a little grass/hay and a more earthy, woody, breadiness with a nice mild to medium tangy dark fruit Virginia flavor. Also is slightly sugary with a light floral quality. Not a very complex blend, though there are a couple of different Virginias in the mix.The strength is a step below the medium mark, and the taste level is medium. The nic-hit is a step past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, and barely has any rough edges. A rather uncomplicated blend that burns cool, clean and smooth with a very consistent flavor at a slow pace. Requires a few relights. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl. Has a very pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. A very comfortable all day smoke to pack and light with enough nicotine to get your attention without overwhelming your senses.

-JimInks
42 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 19, 2002 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I have just completed my adventure with a 20-plus year old tin of Capstan Medium and found it to be a delightful experience. This is an old classic, and while nostalga probably played a part in my determination to like this flake, the leaf itself also had a lot to do with it.

Capstan Medium had a pleasant enough smell in the tin, but certainly nothing unusual. My nostrils detected a slight essence of hay and fermented fruit. The strips were moist but not overly so. I did rub out fully for an easy pack job in one of my smaller Mark Tinskey Billiards.

The flavor was bold, my Virginia Bite-O-Meter barely registered, and the pipe kept the weed at a wonderfully even burn throughout each smoke.

Is this one of those rare "I've gotta celler some tins" type blend? You bet, and I was certainly pleased to meet Capstan Medium's acquaintance!
34 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 04, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Back in about the 1970's and early 80's the all time favorite Virginia flake in the pipe shops where I worked in Portland, Oregon was Dunhill Light Flake. However when Dunhill farmed their tobaccos out to Murrays the natural flavor of that tobacco was overwhelmed with a topping which made it smokable but not nearly as good as the original. Many of us went at that time to Capstan Navy Cut which was actually more like the original Dunhill Light Flake than Murray's version of the Dunhill product. When Macbaren reintroduced the product last year I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that their version was very very similar to the Capstan of old produced by W.D. and H.O. Wills. It is now my "go to" flake although I find it occasionally interesting to mix it half and half with Capstan Gold Flake for a little more sweetness. I must disagree with the reviewer that claimed that Capstan's charm lies only in its heritage. Take it from an old timer, this is what great Virginia flakes tasted like back in the day!
Pipe Used: small bowls, Dunhill,Sasieni, Comoy, GBD
PurchasedFrom: cargohold at Poulsbo, Washington
Age When Smoked: 1 year
23 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 26, 2013 Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
New version by Mac Barens. Beautiful light brown thin flakes in the tin, perfect for folding. A nice clean tin aroma with the usual virginia hay and grass and an underlying spicy fruitiness. But not over the top on any one aroma.

In the pipe, this reminds me of a mix of Mac Barens Virginia Flake and Dunhill Light Flake. It has the formers middle-of-the road hay flavor but not its lack of pizzaz. It has the latters hint of sour fruit and spiciness but not its bold flavor. This would then be a solid if unremarkable virginia flake that smokes very cleanly and easily, and with a very moderate amount of complexity. No overabundance of nicotine and it stays lit very well. It shows some potential greatness at times and this would be a good one for me to cellar and smoke again with some serious age on it. Something tells me a 5 year old tin of this would hit 4 stars solidly. I never consciously wanted for anything when smoking this - never wished it were this or that. It was just a nice comforting smoke that completely took my mind off the fact that I was puffing. A nice "set it and forget it" tobacco, but with the promise of something great down the road.
22 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2005 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I had never before tried anything with the legendary Capstan name on it, so I cannot comment on the original virtues of this blend. Hunting for some decent tobaccos whilst on a short trip to Spain (or, to be more accurate, to that Arabic enclave in Southern Europe also known as Andalusia), I spotted these small rectangular tins, a la Dunhill's Light Flake, with the Capstan name clearly inscribed on them. There was a light blue tin, with the inscription Original Navy Cut under the name, and there was a mustard-yellow version, with the Capstan name in red and the inscription Gold Navy Cut underneath. Eager to try some natural tobacco taste (according to the very cute Spanish señorita behind the counter, both tobaccos were of the English type, meaning by that they had no artificial aromatic agents), I bought both.

These are my impressions on the blue tin, or the Original Navy Cut. I kind of expected a Gawith or John Sinclair type of flake, with that soapy and rather sweet Virginia aroma English tobaccos sometimes have. This expectation augmented when I read a very small print on the side of the tin stating: ?made in Denmark under license of Imperial Tobacco Limited, England?. I was wrong. The tin aroma was closer to Orlik's Golden Sliced or Stokkebye's De Luxe Navy Cut. The texture of the flake inside was also rather similar: light and dark brown intermingled in neatly pressed, pliable rectangles. The more I smelled the contents the more it reminded me not of molasses or dried raisins, but of freshly mowed hay, with an agreeable grassy note, quite inviting and fresh. Packing in the flakes was a very simple process. They are easily rubbed up, but they can also be packed in as they are. It looked promising! I lit the pipe, and yes, a wonderful, natural Virginia flavour ensued, ever so smooth, buttery and mild, with a toasty undertone, which I very much appreciate.

As I progressed through the bowl, I was happily surprised by both, the smoothness and at the same time the consistency of flavour of this blend. It is a very mild Virginia, but somehow it also very tasty and rich, in that Danish sort of way. I thought to my self, either Capstan used to taste like Orlik or this is just another excellent mild Danish type of flake under an English name. Then it hit me: this is very similar not to Orlik, but to Fribourg & Treyer's Virginias (be it Cut Virginia Plug or Cut Blended Plug).

In any case, this is a very gratifying, reliable mild smoke, excellent as a change of pace after a couple of weeks of smoking alternatively Dunhill's Standard Mixture Medium (a tobacco which, by the way, I have come to appreciate much more in recent times) and some of Mac Baren's aromatic mixtures. As a final note, I can only say that this a very nice Virginia, well pressed, with a very refined taste and excellent burning characteristics. It may not be that original, but it certainly is a good choice when looking for a subdued smoke, that does not seem to bother anyone and that packs enough flavour to make it memorable (03/05).
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 25, 2016 Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Capstan - Original Navy Cut.

I've had this in my cellar for about a year now, I've just never gotten around to opening it up. I'm glad I popped the lid today though; it's been well worth the wait!

When I removed the lid I was met by two rows of wide, medium brown, highly mottled flakes. I took a sniff to try and identify the other/misc flavouring but I couldn't smell a thing; obviously I could smell the tobacco but no enhancements of any sort seemed to be present. As the moisture's good I rub and fill right away; because the tin's air sealed I assume the year I've cellared it hasn't ameliorated the moistness of the blend any.

The second I took my first sip from my Erik Nording I could understand why this has been around for so long; it's a brilliantly simple smoke. Just like the tins aroma, I can't pick out anything extra that's embellished the taste. The flavour I can identify is a lively and zealous Virginia one. It's almost the archetypal flavour of a lesser matured Virginia actually; there's a lot of lemons/citrus and grass/hay to the smoke; it's so lively it would be a great smoke for the outdoors on a nice hot day!

I don't find the nicotine to be at all strong; it maybe becomes medium at a huge push but for me it's pretty mild for most of a bowl.

The rest of this review consists of positives: it burns great, doesn't bite, has a good note and leaves me wanting more!

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Erik Nording
PurchasedFrom: The Danish Pipe Shop
Age When Smoked: 1 year
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 12, 2017 Medium None Detected Full Pleasant
There are tobaccos, and then there are _tobaccos_. I'll cut straight to the point: this is an exceptional tobacco. Already the 50s styled and coloured tin somehow gives off an air that something special is awaiting you. Tin notes are beautifully rich, with notes of honey, grass, hay, figs and raisins. The flakes are clearly of exceptional quality: dense, regular, cleanly cut and carefully packaged in two neat stacks. For me, Capstan Blue works best with the fold, stuff, twist method. It allows the sweetness and complexity to come out better, undoubtedly due to the somewhat cooler smoke with this method. It can be a little bit tricky to get going, but once started, burns evenly to the heel. On first light, I was immediately transported to pipe smoking bliss. How can tobacco taste this good? Light at first, then develops a honey sweetness with an ever so slight balsamic vinegar tang, without any harshness or ashiness whatsoever. Extremely expansive and persistent flavour, not unlike a good Sauternes. Room note is light and elegant, sweet and without harshness, with notes of cedar, orange peel, cloves and allspice. One of those that could probably be passed off as incense. I've been looking for a pure VA I like (in theory it should be my preference) without success; but here I found the holy grail. This has got to be one of the best tobaccos I've ever smoked, all categories.
Pipe Used: Corn cob, Olive billiard
PurchasedFrom: Tobacconist in Spain
Age When Smoked: 0-6 months
15 people found this review helpful.
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