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A burley dominated flake containing tobaccos from 3 continents. Besides burley, this flake also contains ripe Virginia tobaccos and a small portion of dark fired Kentucky.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByPer Jensen
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeBurley Based
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin, 100 grams tin, one pound box
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
None Detected
Mild to Medium, Medium
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 9 Users

29 reviews
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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2388)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

The nutty, earthy, woody, lightly molasses sweet, mildly chocolatey burleys take the lead over the other components. They also sport a touch of spice and light dryness. The tangy, ripe dark fruity, earthy, very lightly grassy dark Virginias play an important condimental role. There’s also a strand or two of red Virginia in the mix. The lightly spicy, woody, earthy, mildly sweet dark fired Kentucky is a background player. The strength is just past the center of mild to medium, while the taste level falls just short of medium. The nic-hit is a step or so past the mild threshold. No chance of bite or harshness, and has no rough edges. The flakes are a little moist, but I saw no need to dry them. They easily break apart to suit your preference. Burns a little slow, cool and clean with a fairly rich, mostly consistent, woody sweet predominate burley flavor from start to finish. I recommend a wide bowl to enhance the range of nuances this blend has to offer. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and does require some relights. The after taste is very pleasant, and lightly lingering. Can easily be an all day smoke.


43 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (231)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

After I saw JimInks post on that Iwan Ries had this for sale I immediately purchased 2 tins. I'm primarily a Burley fan with Burley Slice (BS) and Aged Burley Flake (ABF) favorites, and with their respective availability these days in question, the Mac Baren offering was a must for me.

I've always been a fan of the late Mac's Burley London Blend (one of the first tobaccos I ever smoked over 40 years ago) and Golden Extra in that order; always hoping for a Mac Burley done as a flake. Opening the tin reveled two neat rows of flakes ala Mac Baren that were medium brown in appearance. The tin note had a faint cocoa smell with a bit of sour and a very mild fruitiness which I assumed was from the Virginia in the blend. I've always found the moisture content of Mac Barens ready for smoking. Interestingly this Mac flake was sturdier than their Navy Flake and Mixture flake; not crumbling apart as easily. Loading and lighting were easy as expected. The smoking experience was superb. I didn't find any similarity to Burley London or Golden Extra. There was always a faint cocoa taste while smoking with a dryness and minimal sour I've come to experience with good Burley leaf. I feel the cocoa presence was a combination of the inherent quality of Burley and perhaps what the Burley was cured with; it wasn't a top dressing to me. I couldn't pick up any Virginia per se, but along with a subtle sweetness (probably from the Virginia) throughout the smoke and you have what this is all about. It has way less cocoa presence than ABF and didn't detect molasses as with BS. It smoked clean and dry to the heel with a minimal of relights along the way. The room note was that very comforting, pipey smell you get from a good Burley. All excellent across the board. Not as strong as ABF or BS and no appreciable nicotene effect with fast puffing. There was never any bite whatsoever and this never smoked hot - at all. If ABF and BS vanished from the USA market, this would satisfy completely as my go to Burley flake. A GREAT offering from Mac Baren and my favorite flake of theirs to date, one I will be smoking daily. Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Stanwell sandblast half bent Dublin

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: Iwan Ries

Similar Blends: Amphora Original (brown), Aged Burley Flake.

35 people found this review helpful.

DrumsAndBeer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrumsAndBeer (212)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is quite a departure from what I have come to expect from Mac Baren with their burley based HH series blends. When smoking this, don’t expect the bigger presence of Old Dark Fired or the spiciness & enormous low notes of Bold Kentucky. This one is designed to be a mild, yet flavorful all day kind of smoke, and in HH Burley Flake I think Mac Baren has created exactly that.

The tin note is unassuming; it’s dry and earthy in a vegetal kind of way, with a hair of sweetness coming from the Virginias along with a faint trace of hard wood smoke from the dark fired Kentucky. The flakes are evenly cut and perfectly pressed. The moisture content is spot on and any method of preparation could be applied here. Whether rubbed out, cubed or folded and stuffed, I found that Burley Flake burns easily and smokes slow and cool regardless.

When lit there’s a subtle sweetness that comes forth which quickly gives way to the woodsy, nutty, earthy mineral notes of the burleys. As the bowl progresses there are a few subtleties and the overall flavor develops into a balanced and moderately complex smoke that’s mild to medium in flavor and strength. The most unique aspect of HH Burley Flake is a light, yet pervasive cigar-like note that comes into focus at times, especially on the finish. I say “cigar-like” because it’s not a dead ringer for cigar, but rather something in the ballpark. I have never noticed this particular aroma or flavor attribute in either of the other HH burley blends, so I am going to assume that it’s coming from the Indonesian grown burley which adds a certain something that’s quite foreign to my senses. The uniqueness of this flavor alone makes HH Burley Flake an intriguing tobacco to smoke.

Overall this is an exceptionally smooth, high quality milder burley blend with a sweeter tone and absolutely no harshness or bitterness. It's an honest & unpretentious product. For now I am rating this as recommended. But I have a feeling that I might really grow to appreciate this flake even more down the road.

19 people found this review helpful.

oldermanpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
oldermanpipe (22)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The late, long-time Master Distiller of Heaven Hill Distilleries, Parker Beam, used to scratch his head when reviewers of his bourbons would comment that they tasted apricots and leather in his whiskey. "I don't put any apricots and leather in there. I put corn and water into an oak barrel; and that's all I taste: corn and oak." Well...rye (or wheat) and malted barley go in there also...and a closely guarded yeast...but definitely no apricots or leather! Parker, an old customer of mine, had as sophisticated a palate as there ever was, but his only criterion was: Is this good bourbon or bad bourbon?

Burley, like bourbon, was originally a Kentucky product. And, in fact, the two still compliment each other marvelously.

HH Burley Flake is a fabulous smoke. In the tin, it has the faint cocoa aroma that all good Burley has, although it comes through in the smoke only incidentally. There is no discernable top dressing, nor is there anything to caress the senses besides the exelent Burley, along with a bit of Virginia and Dark Fired Kentucky. Mostly, the taste is earthy and "summery," as in summer in the Ohio River Valley, where Burley first was grown.

Having been a longtime Burley lover, there is nothing to fault here. The smoke is cool and bite-free; whether folded or rubbed out. To me, there have always been two types of Burley pipe tobaccos: Edgeworth and Granger. This is more on the Granger end of the spectrum, a darker and stronger tobacco. This is not as brutally strong as Solani ABF, but it is fuller and tastier than Wessex Burley Slices. Though in character more like the Wessex. This is by no means a mild, nor medium smoke. But for ANY Burley lover...a must-try.


I won't say this is the best Burley smoke I have ever had; that still goes to the Larus and Brother Edgeworth Slices of 1972. But I was 19 then, and the memory of a 65-yr-old man is bound to be a bit suspect. Though the first couple of puffs of Sutliff's Edgeworth Match bring back just what was so great about it. After, not so much.

HH Burley Flake grabs the basis of that late, lauded smoke, and provides a wonderful Burley satisfaction for the whole bowlful. There really isn't a wrong note to be had. I might prefer a bit more cocoa, but that is by no means a criticism. This stuff is fine...just fine.

The original Edgeworth is gone. Just like the Original Balkan Sobranie, and the original Brush Creek. Or the original me. But for what's left of me...this will do.

18 people found this review helpful.

Mikefu Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mikefu (19)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Nice, wide easy to pack flakes with the typical MacB attention to uniformity and aesthetics. The pound box is really a thing of beauty, with its line of beautiful dappled brown flakes standing side by side like soldiers awaiting orders. I prefer the fold and stuff method over rubbing them out, and in doing so am rewarded with an easy to light and easy to maintain flake smoking experience. They start out just a touch too moist, and I dry them for 30-45 minutes before folding. At initial light, I am greeted by a nice nutty burley flavor with a touch of sweetness and a hint of vanilla flavor. Not from a topping, I don’t think, but just from a well executed treatment of quality leaf. The vanilla fades into chocolate notes after the first third, and the spice from the dark fired begins to kick in, giving occasional hints of Mexican chocolate on the retrohale. The molasses notes remain light and subdued throughout, and while present, are definitely akin more to light molasses than blackstrap. As the bowl progresses, it develops a minerality, akin to a dry old word white wine, almost a flintyness. The grassiness of the Virginia comes and goes for the latter two thirds of the bowl, rounding out the increasing spice of the dark fired. Not a terribly complex smoke, but one that doesn’t wear out its welcome with monotony either. Burns well, I only need a couple relights. Burns cool and slow, and you have to really try to get any bite out of it. Has a little moisture left over, but nothing serious. Overall a very good flake that I highly recommend.

Pipe Used: Various Briars

Age When Smoked: Fresh

18 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (168)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I am surprised some rank this as mild. Per (the blender) on PM radio talk show cautiously said the Indonesian burley component alone is powerful. It is "tempered" with Malawi and Brazilian burley and DFK. It is perhaps milder than the ingredients themselves would suggest. It is strong enough to satisfy someone who likes OJK by C&D IMO, but just not as heavy.

A burley lovers blend for sure. Earthy yet with a slight dark fruit note from say the Virginia. A cigar mouth feel due to richness but no cigar leaf is involved.

Easy to rub out and burns easy no matter how packed. Not hot, wet or biting, but straight tobacco.

Not as "coco-ish" or as strong as ABF but stronger and not as Virginia forward as burley flake #5.

A fine, fine repeatable smoke. Smoked near full 3 1/2 oz. tin, save a couple of flakes yet.

Pipe Used: Tim West TPC '18, Mark tinsky bulldog

Age When Smoked: new tin

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

Similar Blends: Solani ABF, C&D Burley Flake #5.

12 people found this review helpful.

GabrielCRT Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
GabrielCRT (99)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I'll be smoking a lot of this flake this summer. The "HH" series is full of home-runs and this is a great addition. Lots of hay and earth in the tin note. The Burley is very smooth with chocolate, molasses, and an elusive cinnamon note. The grassy Virginia helps provide balance. I find the Kentucky leaf most evident at the end of the bowl. It's mildly woody with a little bit of spice. Faint cigar notes pop up occasionally. This is definitely designed to be a mild-medium all-day smoke and it delivers bowl after bowl.

11 people found this review helpful.

J. Ward Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J. Ward (51)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren’s HH Burley Flake exceeded and shattered my expectations. The smoke is delicious and phenomenal. The flakes break apart easily and really require no dry time, and I smoked 3 bowls in succession after cracking the tin. There’s a light hay and honey sweetness that accompanies the nutty, cocoa, and earthy notes of the Burley. The dark Fired lingers in the background contributing the slightest bit of wood to the blend. By the last 3rd of the bowl there’s more earth, nuttiness, and cocoa than hay and honey, but it remains slightly sweet. I’m inclined to believe there’s a very lightly and expertly applied topping of honey to this blend, but if there’s not, I’m blown away! This blend slightly resembles Mac Baren Golden Extra in the first 3rd (but better!) and Solani Aged Burley Flake in the last 3rd (but better!), yet this blend is a uniquely delicious, top notch Burley Flake. Strength and flavor just a hair below medium. Easily 4 stars.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mac Baren Golden Extra , Solani Aged Burley Flake.

9 people found this review helpful.

arpie55 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
arpie55 (71)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

First impressions, first bowl. The flakes are perfect moisture level and rub out perfectly and easily for loading, the tin aroma is pleasant and in no way overpowering. Lights easily and delivers a nice consistent smoke that burns easily. By far one of the best Burley blends I have smoked, not sweet, but the Burley chocolate note shines. No worry of tongue bite. I would call it a must try.

Update- After a half dozen bowls or so the only thing that I have to add is that this blend has a fair nic hit. Some have suggested that it might a good all day smoke, I find it to be more of an after dinner smoke, not well suited to early morning on an empty stomach. I am not one that tries to review a blend with lots of nuiances but with this blend there are not a lot anyway, it is a consitent flavor throughout the bowl, that being said, it is overall an excellent blend and, as before, I stll say that is a must try for most any pipe smoker that like to have varity in their rotation.

Pipe Used: Savinelli

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

8 people found this review helpful.

DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (880)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mostly darker flakes with a bit of light mottling and a rich, slightly pungent and deep burley tobacco scent. I've come to love Mac Baren as a company. Not only do they produce quality blends, but they also present their life's work to show their pride. Mac B always gets an A for presentation and that speaks volumes to me about the care that went into the blend and the care they have for their customers.

I always tout drying flakes for best results. You simply have to reduce the moisture content so it doesn't subdue the flavor of the tobacco. Not so this one. I smoked the first bowl at tin moisture and I was as disappointed as I knew I'd be. My next step was to dry a bowl to crispy. VERY much a mistake! This one preferred a moderate drying time so that the flakes were still pliable and felt moist. Even then it produced a dryer smoke than I preferred, with a bit more of the burley bitterness than I liked. I kept thinking that if they had included a hair more Virginia to tame that bitterness, I would prefer it, but it's a burley blend - what did I expect? The Kentucky was evident most of the time and it reminded me of a toned down Old Dark Fired. But where that one had some sweetness to round it out, this one tasted pure burley. As I'm sure was the point! It does compare favorably with Solani's Aged Burley Flake in some ways but it lacks the creaminess ( a weird way to describe burley but when comparing the blends, it's all I can think of!) of the Wessex Burley Flake and the old Edgworth Slices. Those two are rounder and more complex. This is a very worthy blend and I'd be shocked if it didn't generate tons of fans. So while I'm smoking Wessex instead, I'll not look down my nose at anyone puffing contentedly on this, a very good representation in its genre.

5 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (121)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong

This is every bit as good and flavorful as the Solani Burley Flake. I really loved sipping this one! When a burley is good, it's nutty. This blend is both nutty and relatively smooth. It lit well, after a single char, down to the bottom. I folded it into my bowl rather than breaking it up. I feel flakes should almost always be smoked folded and not broken up—flakes are flakes for a reason. This was another Chicago Pipe Show sampling (I got five full flakes), and, I suppose it was worth the price, even in spite of some of the other blends that were part of the sampler. My only downside is the strength, but, hey, what do you expect? It's a burley!

Keep on Pipin'!

Purchased From: Chicago Pipe Show

5 people found this review helpful.

Ducksbreath Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ducksbreath (120)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is something like the current University flake but without the plum topping and toned down perhaps a step further.

I can see a number of people liking this natural, creamy, slightly spicy flake, but for me it is not robust or interesting enough.

I loved the original University flake of yore, and I occasionally smoke the current version. This is even more refined, though, and very nice on the palate in body, just not enough in flavor for me personally. Presentation and quality are impeccable, as to be expected.

Out of all these HH flakes I find ODF to be the sweet spot for me. YMMV.

Similar Blends: University flake without the plum topping..

5 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (362)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I will cut to the chase with this review. HH Burley Flake is very good. If you like burley, you should try this.

The flakes are a medium dark brown, and they are a long, wide flake - 4 3/4 in by 1 3/4 in. Mine were in a large sample and not straight from the tin. Moisture level was good. I rubbed mine out and smoked it without drying time. I smoked one bowl folded and stuffed. The flakes are not so firmly pressed that they are challenging to rub out properly. The pouch note is slightly earthy-sweet.

Smoked this is a wonderful burley-forward VaBur. There is no sour or bitter edge. The Kentucky provides a little spice. There is a little cocoa and I tasted a few sweet notes from the Virginia. It was slow burning and easy to keep lit. The taste was very consistent, although the Kentucky may have been a little more forward in the second half of the bowl.

This is a solid 4 on the scale. For my smoking dollar, it is not going to replace ODF, but if this was all I had, I would be happy and grateful to have it. If ODF is a little "much," I claim this might be just right.

4 people found this review helpful.

DenizBeck Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DenizBeck (307)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

When Mac Barenn announced a Burley Flake I got quite excited.. when I read that it was part of the HH-line my anticipation arose to the max..! And it did deliver what it promised!

The tin note is very nice and natural. Vegetative, natural tobacco aroma, with a slightly sour-fruity undertone to it. Rich earthiness, some tart nuttiness, even hints of dough and bread can be found in the tin note. Only slight notes of cocoa and (dark) chocolate, you can tell by the smell that this blend wasn't overly cased, nor flavored! Classic Mac Baren presentation.. golden wrapper, uniformly stacked and shaped flakes.. very classsy, as usual, I appreciate a blend coming in a appealing wrapper - doubles the pleasure, doesn't it!? ;-)

In the smoke the Burley offers full-bodied and warm, natural tobacco goodness. Rich earthy foundation on which delicate notes of (tart) nuts, wood, cocoa, dark chocolate and even some dough-y notes linger and melt into a perfectly harmonized smoke. The Virginias straigthens the rudder of the Burleys feral nature, adding a very mild sweetness, and I also attribute the slight dark fruit note to the Virginias. The dark fired leaf is only a whisper in the background, but enough to add a pleasant spice and a hint of smokiness to the blend.

Full-bodied and rich in aroma, yet very All-Day-suitable in terms of strength! It's not too far fetched to compare this to Solani's Aged Burley Flake, yet the HH Burley Flake is much more natural. Whilst the ABF is obviously cased (I'd even say flavored!) with a cocao and milk-chocolaty aroma, the HH-Burley flakes only has a hint of a dark coaoa and chocolate casing. I chose flavoring "extremely mild", but it's not flavoring, but a casing I suppose! If you like ABF, but prefer more natural smokes, you'll love HH Burley Flake.

Thanks Per, as a Burley-Bloke this blend is a wonderful enrichment for my rotation and that of any Burley-Aficionado!

4 people found this review helpful.

WolfmanSam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WolfmanSam (35)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Upon opening the square tin, I’m greeted with three rows of perfectly aligned dark brown solid flakes. They feel slightly damp, but do not need to dry. I usually fold and stuff, but rubbing out works well if that’s your preference.

When smoking, I taste nuts, some earthiness, and chocolate, at times. It’s spicy but has some sweetness (molasses?) to it. It’s never harsh, even if I take quick puffs. It smokes well in various briars and cobs. It’s a slow burning tobacco, so set aside at least an hour to smoke.

This is an exceptional all-day burley. If you love burley, this will make you happy.

4 people found this review helpful.

Dr.James Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dr.James (34)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Dried out a bit and packed in the the traditional flake folding method, these hearty flakes are easy to work with. Upon first light and throughout the first quarter bowl the sharpness of the burley is offset by the sweetness of the Virginias in the blend in a somewhat off-color sort of way highlighting a slightly perfumed and musky steamed fruit nuance. As the bowl progresses more of the grassy aspects of the Virginia harmonize with the nutty barnyard qualities of the burly and earthy cocoa nuance is brought to the foreground after which the flavors remain relatively consistent as the tobacco burns to a off-white ash leaving a little moisture behind. Leaves a somewhat pleasant aftertaste and has a decent room note. Strength is medium, a nice change of pace for the burley lover.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1863)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Mac Baren - HH Burley Flake.

This has reminded me just how good Burley can be!

The presentation is second to none. Inside the tin sits a VERY shiny, gold wrapper which conceals two rows of wide, thin, medium brown, flakes; I see a few yellow flecks but nothing major. My moisture looked great when the tin was initially opened so I never had to allow any airing time.

My first bowl was prepared by fully rubbing a flake. Because of the thinness this was easy, fine rubbings can be achieved with a gentle touch. But fully rubbing, although making it easy to light, causes it to burn too fast. So, I recommend folding a flake, instead. This gives a slower, cooler, smoke. And because of the thinness of the flakes lighting up is still simple! The flavour's an impeccable Burley-lead one. The sweet, slightly smooth, Burley's running the show, with the others taking a clear support slot. I find the Burley doesn't taste as rustic as is often the case. The Virginia remains the lighter of the three, all the way through, whilst the Kentucky seems dormant until a quarter of the way in. After the first quarter has passed the Kentucky joins in and supplies a touch of potency, and fills out the flavour. Because of the moistness, many relights, etc. aren't a requisite. Once lit a bowl burns steady and independently.

Nicotine: medium at a push. Room-note: not great.

HH Burley Flake? Four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Vauen

Age When Smoked: Four months

Purchased From:

3 people found this review helpful.

J.R. Patton Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
J.R. Patton (107)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Just a disclaimer right up front. To everyone except the newbies, we all know our individual tastes well. This is burley. If you know you do not find burley agreeable, it's probably not likely that you will be reformed by this blend. As a burley man myself, this stuff is a virtual gift from the gods. Disclaimer done.

It has been nearly a year since being able to obtain Solani ABF, one of my burley staples. So a pipe friend (one whose advice I actually trust) suggested MB's HH burley flake as an alternative. Being an avid MB HH smoker, I was startled at first that this one had slipped under my radar. No surprise, really, I live in rural Arkansas with the nearest tobacconist 2 hours away. Anyhow, I quickly ordered a 100g tin as a sample, seeing as how the 1lb box is currently backordered. The tin arrived yesterday and I cracked it this morning.

Some of the previous reviewers have nailed the aromas and tasting notes, notably to me JimInks. I totally underestimated the depth of this one! Nuts and molasses abound, with a delightful lingering aftertaste of dark tea coming from the fraction of DFK it contains. I agree wholeheartedly with previous reviews with the one caveat that I would put this one down as a bit too complex and hearty for an all day smoke. That is my personal inclination, however. I save the all day puffing for cheaper, less crafted blends that I can puff on without devoting much thought to flavors. Back to my friend's recommendation, this is no ABF, but it does not try to be. And it fills the gap just perfectly.

I have just finished my second bowl, and I am resisting a third (but only because I have finished half a pot of coffee and my bladder will thank me for stopping now). Thoroughly impressive! Mac Baren has done it again. As soon as supplies are available, I will be adding a couple 1lb boxes to the old cellar most assuredly.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Caramella, MM Dagner Poker

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Old Dark Fired.

3 people found this review helpful.

RoyOdhner Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RoyOdhner (7)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Full Pleasant

I love MacB blends, and I don't think I've met one that I don't like - at least I don't remember any MacB blend that I don't like. When I heard that MacB was coming out with a burley flake blend, I got all excited. Golden Extra in flake form? The return of the beloved BLB, but in flake form? Two awesome buley blends to be sure, but when I read the ingredients and saw "dark fired Kentucky" I knew this was gonna be different. I figured maybe it was a burley companion to their ODF blend, and thus it had to be awesome. I ordered five of the big tins on the assumption that it was gonna be awesome.

Guess what? It's AWESOME. I fished the package out of the mail box, ripped it open, and cracked a tin: burley goodness mixed with hay and...smoke or ketchup? OK, the burley companion to ODF seemed likely. Rubbed out one of those beautiful brown flakes - a classic MacB flake to be sure - filled my pipe and fired it up. Tobacco Nirvana!!!. So many similarities crossed my mind: Granger in it's heyday, the new ERR, Solani, Wessex - but so many differences. The burley companion to ODF? Sorta. More seasoned tongues and more experienced reviewers may get a similarity to another blend out there, but I mostly get a fantastic burley blend that is different than any other.

The spice of the dark-fired bridges the cocoa nuttiness & molasis of the marvelous burley and the soft & pleasant hay/clover quality of the Virginias, but that bridge doesn't stand out like some post-modern monstrosity - it's an old ivy covered bridge that blends in with the Virginia hay and clover fields. The burley goodness takes the forefront, but the Virginias and dark-fired refine it. I get a little of the MacB honey topping (which I still say is some version of mead)...but not as heavy as some of their other blends. MacBite? At one point I began puffing like a freight train and not even a tingle on the tongue. Presentation? Classey: that embossed golden MacB liner lovingly cradles the traditionally perfect MacB flakes.

I've only smoked three bowls of it, so I'm still wrapping my mind around it. Still, I'd easily give this four stars. An all day smoke? For sure. Will it hold your interest? Yezzir. Is the room note nice? Yezzir, very pipe-like... but also a wee bit cigar-like. If you've never been able to cozy up to burley-based OTC blends, give this a shot cuz I think you'll appreciate the refinement. If you're an old-school burleyphile like me I think you're gonna love it cuz it takes burley tobacco to a whole nuther level. In short, a monster blend well-worth every penny. I'll be buying a lot of this over the years.

Pipe Used: Sav sandblasted bulldog

Age When Smoked: Right out the tin

Purchased From: Pipes &

Similar Blends: Not sure.

3 people found this review helpful.

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

I have to agree with my esteemed colleagues before me. This is a very good tobacco, full of nutty flavors, rich in taste, very straightforward in its structure and composition (Burley being the predominant taste, with a discreet yet eloquent support from the Virginia and Kentucky). It's smooth, harmonious, easy to pack as it is (folding the flakes or rolling them up), but it can also be broken up with no hassle. It's a medium strength smoke, not as sweet and nutty as Golden Extra and not as dry and formal as London Blend (both, by the way, excellent Burley smokes). Perfect for an autumn evening, when the wind starts to get cold and crisp. A highly recommendable, natural tasting smoke.

Pipe Used: Big VBen Champion

Age When Smoked: N/A

Purchased From: Joshua Ward

Similar Blends: Burley London Blend; Golden Extra.

3 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (179)
Mild None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

All hail Mac Baren, king of the perfectly cut and packaged flakes! Seriously does anyone make a more perfect looking and enticing flake than Mac B? This is a strong second place to Aged Burley Flake by Solani. At times it is first... depending on my mood. The big difference for me, and this is odd coming from Mac B, is that HHBF is "purer" flake for me. There is not topping I can detect and the flavors all come from the tobacco's. I really like how the DFK and VA's support the Burley ( I know DFK is a Burley but it is a condiment here). This is a great representation, for me, of how Burley has the cocoa, nutty and woody qualities but none of the flavor here comes from an additive. The flavors are subtle and crisp. The VA provides an underpinning of sweetness that enhance the Burely flaovrs and the DFK adds a slight tang/sour earthiness that I really like. The smoke is cool and dry, even from a relatively moist, folded and stuffed flake with no drying time. It burns slow and leaves a great, clean and bright aftertaste. I do not get any nuance but it is a great smoke from top to bottom. I only put this second most of the time because, well, I guess I like toppings on my Burley just a pinch more...most of the time. This is also a great Burley for the nicotine wimps out there (like me). Not much of a kick and no bite (unlike most Mac B blends).

Pipe Used: Briar’s and cob’s

2 people found this review helpful.

Adam T Valleau Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Adam T Valleau (19)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I wanted to get to this blend to try it for a long time. I finally got a nice 100 g. tin as part of my winter stash. Upon opening the tin, you'll see the gold paper flaps, and within layers of beautiful dark flakes. Very nice presentation. The tin note is earthy and a little nutty, as would be expected of a burley blend. There is Virginia in this as well as some Dark Fired Kentucky. I cannot really detect either of these in the tin note, but my nose for tin/pouch/baggie notes has never been that good. You may be able to separate these better than I can. The flakes have just about the right moisture content for me, but others might find a few minutes drying time is in order. I always use the fold and stuff method and the flakes load and pack easily. A char-light, tamp, re-light, and it's off to the races. I could immediately taste burley and the Dark Fired. Lots of nuttiness and something rather dark in flavor, which I find hard to describe. Maybe a bit like bbq sauce and beef. Must be the DFK. Nice, mellow, full-bodied smoke. Wonderful mouth feel. Very creamy. The Virginia becomes more evident as the bowl progresses. It provides that little bit of sweetness which gives this blend very good balance, but the Virginia is very much in the back seat. This blend is never harsh. In fact, it is surprisingly mild. Surprisingly, the nicotine seems moderate to me, and I have a medium nicotine tolerance. I could really smoke this all day long, if I wanted to. This blend requires few relights and is very well-behaved. I use the sipping method to smoke this one. Go easy with it, and it will provide lots of burley flavor. I experienced no bite whatsoever. I've smoked this in a MM Country Gentleman corn cob, a Nording, and my small, thin-walled meerschaum. Very good in all of them, but it really shines in the cob for me. Excellent blend and I recommend it highly to everyone. Even if you aren't crazy about burleys, give this one a try. Well done Mac Baren!

Pipe Used: Nording, MM Country Gentleman.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From:

Similar Blends: Solani Aged Burley Flakes and Wessex Burley Flakes..

2 people found this review helpful.

ATW Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ATW (78)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

After my not so good experience with 3 of the HH blends over the years, this one has completely restored my faith.

For starters, I love how Mac Baren hasn't changed over their square tins. I hope they never will. The tin aroma is like raisins. My tin is a touch on the dry side but it's perfect for this blend. I have smoked it using the fold a stuff method and rubbed out. With the fold and stuff method, it is very consistent from start to finish. It is a nice and soft burley flavor with hints of cocoa, brown sugar, and cream. With it rubbed out, it is still very consistent with more of a light black pepper spice coming in from time to time. Has a decent nicotine hit. I have tried my best to hot box this stuff. It will not bite or get hot at all. And the flavor does not change if you set it down for a while. When you come back to it, it picks up right where it left off. Burns very cool and clean with absolutely no tongue bite.

This is an absolutely wonderful Flake. I have been searching for a smooth and consistent blend for an all day smoke and this for me is it. 1 pound boxes will be ordered for sure.

2 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (282)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Another HH blend, and of course I have to get a tin ASAP. I guess you can guess I'm a fan of this relatively new line by MacB. Anyway, the 50 g tin was waiting list only with all of my usual sources, so I trusted the Halberg family enough to get the 100 g tin instead, without trying it first. No regrets.

The slices are half the cross-section of the tin, good to fold or rub out. Both approaches give me about the same overall experience. The tin note is of cocoa (though not as strongly as Solani's take on the same theme), some coffee, meat, dryness.

Rubbed out or folded, lighting is no problem, the burn out of the freshly-opened tin is good, hardly any dottle at the end. Good sweetness. Cocoa and chocolate define the flavour, with enough sweetness to make it a repeater. The room note is remarkably good. The choc topping that I believe to make out is not obtrusive, and more constructive than detrimental.

Before I go into too much detail that nobody wants to read, four stars already.

Pipe Used: Various

Age When Smoked: Fresh from new tin, up to 6 months old.

Purchased From: House of Smoke, Lingen, Germany

Similar Blends: Solani - 656: Aged Burley Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Just-smoking Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Just-smoking (7)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Great tobacco, so full of taste but mild... I could smoke this all day. Right moisture, easily smoked to the bottom. I'll order more of this right now...

Pipe Used: Stanwell

1 person found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (145)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Bang! Another Instant Classic! No sooner is it released than Mac Baren’s HH Burley Flake joins Old Dark Fired and Bold Kentucky at the head of the class! Though it’s not so easy to find these days, BF is easier to find than Stonehaven, and it’s a fine substitute!

I actually watched and waited for this stuff for some time, finally found it in bulk at my “local” tobacconist’s (only 45 minutes away…). Bag note is subdued dark chocolate over dark fruit leather. The well-formed flakes are mostly dark brown with lighter striations and flecks ranging to blonde. It handles, loads, lights, and smokes down evenly and easily, like a fine cigar, when it’s folded and stuffed loosely, right from the bag. Initial scents and tastes are rich, sweet, fermented, air cured brown VAs, possibly some stoved red, and darkly fermented Burley, with just a brooding hint of Ky. I suppose the lightest flecks in the blend might be a smidgeon of flue cure VA, and this could account for the “open” nature of the smoke, especially at first. It starts out soft, like a caress, then it gets richer and more focused, and it winds up more like a deep, full body massage. Right nice. For all the Burlley, and the rich, deep and deepening tastes, BF is pretty darn sweet, top to bottom. But don’t worry, Burley lovers, there are bitters aplenty, as well. Scents and tastes run parallel, top to bottom. A #4 bowl lasts me a good long while, and I am pulling for the last ¾. Strength is more strong than medium. Tastes are more full than medium. Room note is nice, Aftertaste is the best of the smoke.

Based on experience, you'l probably have to search it out. IMO, it's well worth the effort. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: 3 - 4 briars preferred

Age When Smoked: 4 1/2 mos?

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Compare/contrast to Esoterica Tobacciana Stonehaven.

1 person found this review helpful.

Falliver Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Falliver (22)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Opening the tin, the flakes are neatly presented and delivers a tin aroma that you would expect from a burley-heavy tobacco blend: sweet and chocolaty.

It is of perfect working-moisture right from the tin, but I found the tobacco to deliver a much too hot smoke to be thoroughly enjoyed - even with a slightly longer stem than my regulars. Somehow, a bent pipe worked better for this blend. Storing it it a day or two with with a moisturiser help cool the smoke down, and for me to focus on the flavours of the blend. This helped bring of the creamy almondy marzipaniness I have come to enjoy from burley, and play down the spicy sweetness of the Virginia, and the musty tanginess of the Kentucky.

The flavour is consistent throughout the smoke, and the ashes are pale gray, and easily removed from a tap to the bowl, upside down. I still find it, however, to smoke a little too hot for my liking. It is easy work with, wether cube cutting or rubbing, and due to the low nicotine hit, you can much easier focus on the flavours, if you can look through its hotness. All in all, a good smoke, but it is not perfect.

Pipe Used: Mesna Lillehammer 1254; GL Lillehammer.

Age When Smoked: From the tin

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Phil Potwell Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Phil Potwell (10)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Over the last week, I was very much anticipating the receipt of a recent 1lb order of HH Burley flake. Three days ago, the figurative Wells Fargo wagon finally turned the corner on my Long Island street, and I walked out consciously restrained to meet it, hands clasped behind me. It wouldn't do to skip at my age, would it? Then the routine - I tried to seem calm as I was handed first the light bill, then the AT&T bill, yes and then cable, before a few brochures and other odds and ends, and finally a large - and heavy - envelope. This is the one for which I was waiting! Fast forward 1 hour, and I was so impressed from the nice smoke I had enjoyed, I knew I wanted to get some thoughts down when I had time. Stay with me for a moment or two and I will tell you what I liked...

Parcel securely in my paws, I was surprised at how compact and densely packed the box was. Tearing away the shipping envelope revealed a thick paper Mac Baren box, and inside it, a large rectangular clear Ziploc with a foil paper bundle within. Unfurling, opening, and uncasing revealed several rows of flake - a very nice presentation.

Digging a bit, I pulled out three very long flakes that were also quite wide and substantially thick, and dropped them into a jar I had handy for two reasons: 1. Peeling them away from the slab would help to get a bit of air around them, even if the jar was sealed, and 2. Planning ahead - it was a bit of a production to get into the box, then open the Ziploc, then unfold a few layers of foil paper – all this just to get a single flake (or really half-flake) serving, before reversing the process to re-seal the bundle. I say half-flake, because I estimate at first glance that for an average-sized pipe, a single large flake would easily fill two bowls.

I used a “fold, 4 light rubs, and screw in” method to pack this into a wide Ed Burak Connoisseur billiard. In the “fold” step, the flakes were actually snapping, so the tobacco was a good bit drier than I first thought - ready to smoke straight away. All the better. A charring light actually had things lit reasonably well, but for evenness, I followed up with second true light and we were going strong. This flake contains Burley, and matured and red VA, and Dark Fired KY, and I would say the components present themselves in that order. The earthy burley brings a dry roundness, sweetened by the VA poking through, which to me is less tangy than I sometimes expect from red VA, but more of a darker sweetness. Sweetness may also be contributed by the darker shadow of KY – it is not significantly spicy IMO. DF is a condiment here and not the main attraction. This is not HH Old Dark Fired or even HH Bold Kentucky, but a lighter Burley flake, peppered with a light hand of KY. Taken together, the three components blend to give a medium strength obviously Burley flake, with some subtle sweet chocolate molasses notes as the bowl progresses. I thought the bowl was quite consistently lovely from start to finish. Nicotine was light at the start but moderate to medium and readily noticeable in the middle and last thirds.

Mechanically, this burned to a fine white ash, without any fuss whatsoever. The combination of what turned out to be a perfect moisture content, and some luck in my filling treatment, made for a worry-free low maintenance, and for me, a very enjoyable and slightly unique smoke that I highly recommend.

I think English smokers that typically look past Burley should give this a try - just for the experience of what a fine Burley flake can do. My father comes to mind – he pretty much exclusively goes in for the standard triad of VA and Orientals and heavy helpings of Latakia, and I am excited to hit him with this one when we are next together to see if perhaps the brow furrows, the eyes cross, or -as I predict- the gray moustache twitches before gradually upturning in recognition and appreciation of this fine flake. A Maverick and Goose high-five may be too optimistic, but I don't want to rule it out prematurely... Very nice! Four stars!

Pipe Used: Ed Burak Connoisseur billiard

Age When Smoked: New from Box

Purchased From: 4Noggins

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Voyaging Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Voyaging (47)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

The presentation is fantastic as usual for Mac Baren's flake tobaccos. There is a kind of bready, grainy, fruit smell upon opening the tin. Kind of buttery with a touch of honey too.

The flakes are thin, even and uniform.

I have smoked this rubbed out, slightly rubbed and stuffed, and just plain folded and stuffed. I prefer to fold it and stuff. The flavor is great no matter what, but it seemed to burn with far less heat when folded and stuffed.

I got mostly woody taste notes, and sometimes a sweet wood, some barbecue woody sweetness. There is some spice in the mouthfeel. There is a cinnamon or nutmeg-like note I picked up. There are some mineral notes I find hard to describe, some bread notes, cereal notes, then toasted bread, hint of dried fruit. It also made me think of raisin bran cereal at times, with a molasses note. I had this aftertaste like I had been drinking red wine at other times. There are cigar notes and coffee notes as well, some nuttiness. For me, this has been one of the closest things to achieving a mild to medium cigar-like taste in a pipe tobacco, and I enjoy that about it. There is enough elegance for it to put it in the fine flake tobacco category though.

The combustion and moisture of the tobacco was perfect for me. I didn't really have to relight it until I got to the bottom.

I would say the strength is mild to medium, and the nicotine level is medium. I don't think it's weak, nor do I think it strong.

The smell that comes off the pipe is of strong tobacco, like a cigar of some kind, but not a cigarette. I can't imagine a non-smoker enjoying the smell. However, if you're careful and sip this, you'll get the Virginia, burning sugar smell. Sweet.

I would recommend this to someone looking for a burley-dominated tobacco, anyone that likes burley tobaccos, someone who likes cigars, and even the Virginia-lover. It's just good tobacco. It could be an all-day blend.

Pipe Used: Billiard,bent apple,lumberman

Age When Smoked: ~one year

Purchased From: Iwanries

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