Mac Baren St. Bruno Flake

St. Bruno Flake is a distinctive blend of smooth Virginia and smoky dark fired Kentucky — pressed and sliced into thin flakes that are easy to prepare and enjoy. It's topped with subtle floral and fruity notes for a unique aromatic experience.
Notes: Made by MacBaren since 2006, the company has owned the blend since 2015.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By  
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Kentucky, Virginia
Flavoring Floral Essences, Fruit / Citrus
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin weight, 50 grams pouch weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


Medium to Strong
Extremely Mild -> Overwhelming
None Detected -> Extra Strong
Room Note
Unnoticeable -> Overwhelming
Medium to Full
Extremely Mild (Flat) -> Overwhelming

Average Rating

3.29 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 61 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 29, 2014 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
I have been smoking St. Bruno more or less from the moment I bought my first pipe as a young man. It was a standard smoke for so many men then, back in the mid 1970s and I often associate a Falcon with it, which is probably why I have four of those pipes in my current collection. Having enjoyed the Ready Rubbed for so many years, when its cut width was changed not too long ago, I found it less satisfying, so switched to the Flake. It was an instant hit with me and I now love the simple but oh so satisfying habit of selecting a flake and rubbing it out in the palm of my hand. I find this tobacco to be a perfect, workaday smoke. It satisfies in taste and nicotine hit, it has a great aroma and I find its medium strength enough to justify smoking this everyday. In fact, it is the house blend that I always have in the cupboard. The flakes have a floral, heavy, fruity smell, something akin to fruits steeped in molasses and possibly alcohol. They can be quite moist and I've sometimes noticed after rubbing out a yellow stain in the palm of my hand! The smoke is clean,creamy and tasty, combining sweetness/woodiness with a very slight hint of spice (though only just) somewhere along the line. I have never considered 'soapiness' to be one of its qualities. It can sometimes smoke wet, so a pipe cleaner is usually to hand mid smoke, just for inserting into the stem if the goo is rising. I find there to be a good balance in taste and that lovely fragrant aroma. One observation, with some recent smokes that have gone the full stretch in a pipe, is that I discovered a slightly acrid, bitter taste coming through towards the bottom of the bowl. With this in mind, I now rarely smoke right down to the last shred. Be that as it may, St. Bruno Flake for me has all the qualities of a perfect blend for daily use. Medium in strength, tasty to smoke and smell, it satisfies continually. Uncomplicated, or even unspectacular it may be, but it has proven to be a good, solid, reliable friend over the years.
Pipe Used: Mainly Falcons
PurchasedFrom: Local tobacconist
Age When Smoked: New
35 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2015 Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant
To my shame, I have never tried this tobacco before, despite living in the UK my entire life, and smoking a pipe for over 10 years (with a few breaks). I finally got round to buying some & I'm very glad that I did! Being readily available, it means that there is an alternative to my usual stand-in for my go-to OTC blend of Condor. The flakes themselves are what I would call 'poor' in their presentation, as I'm used to smoking thicker, longer, more uniform flakes. The ones in the St.Bruno pack are quite short, thin & a bit broken, so the appearance is not the greatest aspect of the tobacco, to be fair. However, this is a minor aspect of any tobacco, in my opinion. The pouch note is lovely, a floral, citrus, stewed fruit scent. More delicate and nuanced than many other flakes (i.e. Condor), but the tobacco also comes through gently underneath these pleasant notes. The tobacco can be smoked either folded & stuffed or rubbed out. I found it smoked well either way, but I preferred it roughly rubbed, an it maintained the intensity of flavour without burning too hot. From the pouch, it was possibly ever so slightly over-moist, but not enough to affect the smoke adversely. The result was a cool, fruity, citrus-tinged smokiness that synergised with - rather than overpowered - the tobacco. This is an aromatic, but is not the same as the gloopy Black Cavendish mixtures soaked in PG & Vanilla that we know so well. This is a different class of quality aromatic, highly recommended for those who normally say 'I don't like aromatics.' The pipe rarely required a relight. As I got towards the end of the bowl, and my roughly rubbed bits got compressed further, the flavour seemed to be less casing & more tobacco, which is what I expected to happen, as it normally does. The room note is fairly pleasant, much more agreeable to those around than a stout English blend or Rope. It is also fairly light, and dissipates quite quickly. The tobacco level is medium-strong, although closer to medium than strong. This is a good, readily available tobacco. I don't know why I avoided it for so long - perhaps it was because when I took up the briar, I lived less than 5 minutes' walk from a tobacconist, and could pick up all manner of tobaccos, so overlooked some of the more 'pedestrian' workhorses of the pipe world. However, I am onto it now, and shall be consuming more of this in future. It's not spectacular, but as a readily-available got-to, one could do far, far worse than this. It's a good, solid, pleasant, trouble-free amiable smoke. The only drawback is the taste can become a bit 'samey' by the end of the pouch & one smoke of this is much the same as any other, although none of them are really bad. Since finishing this 50g. pouch, I have bought 50g. of the ready-rubbed & mixed it with 50g. of 'Gold Block' which is stored in a bail-top jar, and shall be opened when I receive a new pipe which I have ordered in a couple of months' time. I believe this mixture is called 'Ogden's Mixture' and I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Pipe Used: Parker Billiard, Everyman, Aerosphere Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Smokemart Brighton
Age When Smoked: New
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 16, 2012 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
St Bruno flake is one of the traditional mass-produced English tobaccos that's been around for ever. I first smoked it 30 years ago, and it doesn't seem to have changed or suffered much from changes of ownership and production shifting to Denmark. Flake used to be the choice of people who preferred their tobacco a little stronger, the ready-rubbed burning hotter and having a little less flavour and depth to it.

It's a very "basic" Virginia-based (probably African Virginias) blend, in that it has no pretentions and is pretty undemanding. A reliable, smooth, medium strength non-"Danish/US aromatic" tobacco that really tastes of tobacco, doesn't bite, blends well with plugs and twists and you can smoke it all day, every day. If it was a drink it would be a decent large-scale mass-production 5-year old blended Scotch intended to appeal to the masses, not a heavily peated 35 year old single-malt only enjoyable by a few determined "experts".

Which is pretty much what it was always intended to be.

If you want to know what the tobaccos smoked in the glory days of mass English working-class pipe smoking were like, forget Latakia-heavy blends and orientals, this is one of the three big hitters along with Condor and Gold Block. I used to smoke it 30 years ago, and while it's not my number one "go to" choice nowadays it still has a place in my heart and I smoke it once in a while. The world would certainly be a sadder place without it.

Every smoker should try it at least once, and if you're an aromatic smoker tempted to try a first flake or "real" tobacco, you could do far worse than St Bruno.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 30, 2022 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Given what I'd read about this tobacco I was expecting something like Condor Flake or Ennerdale Flake. Perhaps the Ogdens original was, but aside from being of the same essential idea; steam pressed flakes of Va and Ky touched up with a hard to describe or identify flavouring, they're not nearly as similar as I expected.

I wouldn't myself call this an aromatic. It has a flavouring, apple geranium would be my guess, but it's lightly applied. You couldn't say that about Ennerdale or even fairly recent versions of Condor. It's probably closer to something like University Flake.

It's fairly consistent thru the bowl. Quality tobacco that is rich and deep and smoky, balanced out by the lightness of the topping/casing.

It's a little moist straight from the tin and in that state will leave some moisture and gunk in the pipe. Otherwise a straight forward blend which imo is a sort of gentrified version of blue collar classics like Revor or Irish Flake.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2011 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Being of a newer generation of American pipe smokers, the glory years of this fine flake had passed me by. After reading Keith Richard's (yes...of the Rolling Stones!)autobiography where he discussed the wonderful smells of this flake in his father's home, I was incented to take a look for it. I was gifted some by a friend from the Ogden's era of St Bruno and it was excellent. There is an underlying sweetness that I found very similar to Dunhill's MM34596, but where that tobacco fails to deliver, St Bruno brings along some great tobacco flavor to boot! It packs well and burns to a white ash. There is plenty of Lady Nicotine in St Bruno as well. I truely enjoyed this historic blend. My only reason for 3 stars instead of four is simply because I found the flavor to be one dimensional. However, I would strongly suggest trying this grand blend.(if Ogdens can be found) 3 1/2 stars!
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 08, 2021 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Tin note features figs, hay and grass with a clear note of wood smoke in the background. Smoked using a fold-and-stuff method and the blend tolerated fast smoking on my part with little to no tongue bite. Smoked to the bottom of the bowl with several relights maintaining a consistent pleasant taste till the end.
Pipe Used: Bent Billiard
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: New from tin
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 03, 2009 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable
Packs very well and lights easily, it is also easy to keep lit. Offers a long lasting, rich smoke. It has a cool, semi-sweet true tobacco taste which becomes full bodied at the middle of the bowl. The nicotine kick just fits my needs.

It deserves a four star rating but for an all day smoke I need something much more tasty, not this much monotone.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 03, 2022 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
A classic but strange blend. Semi-aromatic but also very natural-tasting. Nice presentation of narrow flakes that ask for some drying before loading. Very unique, characteristic taste.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 28, 2021 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
now this stuff ain't to bad if you like dark fired tobacco, and a bit of Lakeland essence.

when I first opened it o was a bit disappointed, but that wS because I was expecting a lighter flake like Dunhill or orlik. instead I saw flakes very much comparable to Peterson Irish flake w a slight hint of Lakeland essence.

the taste was very much like IF topped w Lakeland essence. it's not a complex but what it has in flavor ot does well. and I wouldn't call this an aromatic because the flavor isn't that noticeable in room note or flavor.

although I did enjoy it I won't be revisiting it soon as there many many other tobaccos I'd like to try
Pipe Used: billiard, Dublin, falcon
Age When Smoked: fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 26, 2018 Strong Medium Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I used to puff on St. Bruno Flake many years ago (in the 80's); I was just getting warmed up to it before it suddenly disappeared from the American market. I remember being really disappointed by that.

A few years ago, while in Europe I picked up a pack of St. Bruno Ready Rubbed (RR); this tobacco reminded me of the Flake, but now, now that I've smoked the Flake again, I've discovered my memory of it wasn't as sharp as I once thought.

Indeed, St. Bruno Flake is almost an entirely different animal than the RR. The Flake, though it shares some of RR's taste profile, is much more nuanced, subtle, smoother, not as packed with as much in your face flavor—and, that's a good thing. St. Bruno Flake is a much more interesting blend than the Ready Rubbed. The vinegar additive, presumably used both for flavor and preservation, is present in the taste, but only mildly, and, what taste you do get from the vinegar weaves itself in well with the other flavors present in the blend.

In short, I love sipping this one and am truly grateful this blend is back in the US (in a tin!). St. Bruno Flake is a classic!

Keep on pipin'
Pipe Used: My new Lee Van Cleef replica Turkish Meerschaum!!!
PurchasedFrom: Ye Old Pipe Shop, Phoenix, AZ
3 people found this review helpful.
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