Wessex Brown Virginia Flake

A century-old recipe for natural flake with true tobacco taste. Navy Cut.


Brand Wessex
Blended By Kohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured By Kohlhase Kopp & Co.
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.22 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 23 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 24, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Wessex tends to offer strong flakes and Brown Virginia Flake was no exception. Deep in flavor and higher in nicotine content than many Virginia offerings. I don't know about you, but with Virginia leaf, the dark always beats the bright when it comes to lady-N. Anyway, this is a naturally semi-sweet Virginia with some punch. Does not burn particularly slow for a flake, and a little restraint keeps the tongue from being nipped. Great bottom to this one. Enjoy!

21 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 05, 2010 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I was anxious to try this blend and loaded a pipeful right after it arrived via UPS. What I like about Wessex Brown Virginia Flake is the absence of the typical grassy Virginia note. The flakes are packed in 4 rows across the tin's width and stacked. By no means dry, the flakes are difficult to take out intact as they tend to split up lengthwise - similar to my most recent experience with Mac Barens Navy Flake; quite crumbly actually. I don't think there is any glue used to keep these flakes from breaking apart. This is good for those who prefer a broken flake style packing, making it quite easy to load your pipe. They are of a medium brown color with lighter flecks throughout. The tin aroma had a naturally sweet character to it, reminding me of Mac Baren's Virgina No. 1 but not as heavy. I can not tell if BVF is cased from the tin aroma alone; only with deep inhalation of the tinned tobacco do I get a faint whiff of citrus/raisin. A beautiful room note to boot. My daughter says it is sweet and comforting. DGT also is spot on.

Considering the freshness of the flakes, it lit very easily and remained lit throughout the entire smoke. No re-lights required. It produced a good amount of smoke and did not start off harsh as many Virginias do. There was never any Virginia tang with this one, either. Its character remained pretty much the same throughout the smoke. No bitterness evident at all. In some ways similar to Wessex Brigade Campaign Dark Flake in the flavor department - perhaps not as strong.

UPDATE 8-24-10: I've been smoking this from a tin that after opening the vacuum seal, I let sit for nearly 8 months. It has darkened beautifully and the added fermentation has added a tremendous depth of flavor - not really citrus, but more raisin/fig/prune-like. By the way, newer tins now have the flakes cut as 2 rows of double-width flakes (similar to Orlik Golden Slice 50gm) across the tin's long side.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 29, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant
Great stuff, I can't see any Virginia smoker not liking this one. I've been meaning to review this tobacco for a few years, but every time I open a tin I smoke it down so fast I never get the chance to review it. This was again almost the case , I opened a two year old tin, smoked all but one bowl and put the remainder away for 3 months. Well, I just smoked that remaining bowl, I had to rehydrate it by mouth breathing on it a half dozen times .

The taste is a spicy ( not bitey ) Virginia that packs some "N" punch. It is a naturally sweet Virginia and more English style than Danish ( agree with reviwer "Zulujerk 2011-08-03" similar to FVF). I would also compare it to "Solani 660 Silver flake" but,,,,,,instead of a Kentucky component, I detect an addition of Samson. The Samson is most noticeable in the fragrance and when slowly "mouth breathing". More molasses tasting than grass/hay and even though this is a flake cut , it tends to burn fast.

Every time I try this tobacco, I think to myself "I should stock up on this" , I just never do , I seem to run out of money before I get down to the "W's" when ordering brands. I'm putting this on my "Wish list".
Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 2 years
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 03, 2011 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
My tin of Brown Flake was relatively old, sitting undisturbed on a store shelf for multiple years now. I bought it from a cigarette and bong shop that had a few pipe smokers long ago, in another life. The pipe tobacco was left over from the previous owners, who had made a decent effort at attracting us pipe smokers. Apparently, I'm the only semi regular that still frequents the joint on a not so frequent basis, which is sad, because we had quite a few fellows who would show up to sample the tobaccos, and their variety at one point wasn't bad. I presently use the place to pick up those now aged tobaccos, but the selection is wearing thin, and I realize that only a few trips remain.

There were two Wessex blends still sitting on the shelf, Brown Flake and Red Flake. I've had my share of Red Virginias over the years so I thought Brown Flake might extend the breadth of my experience. I was eyed suspiciously, and asked repeatedly if I wished to purchase an item, as if my plans for theft were well established and expertly devised. After a good ten minute search for my selection, I browsed the crummy supply of overpriced cigars for five minutes and finally gave up, delivering my single tin to the register.

I generally have sympathy for tobacco shops, but this place induces rage. I suppose it's not fair to criticize a purported smoke shop for selling bongs to make ends meet, and I guess one can't fault people for buying marijuana pipes disguised as briar. I know as well that lottery tickets will supplement such meager revenue, I just rather it be pipes and tobacco.

Upon opening the small, squarish tin, I could see firsthand the state of the container itself. It was entirely corroded away, the rim of the tin caked, black and sticky with a combination of oxidization and rust. The wax paper protecting the tobacco was absolutely covered in dark brown juice, always a good sign. At home I promptly removed the tobacco and transferred it into a discarded 2 ounce tin, to find that the inside surface of the old Wessex container showed similar signs of disarray, so much that I was forced to abandon the layers of tobacco that had come in contact with the tin itself, which had acquired a nasty metallic scent. I was worried there for a bit, but when I transferred the tobacco I felt reasonably sure the contents were fit for smoking.

The tobacco itself smelled powerful, deeply fermented and fruity, despite the lack of an obvious casing. Over the years, the individual flakes had fused together, turning the tobacco into a solid sparkling dark red brick. It was impossible to separate the flakes at this point, so I picked away at the surface, pulling pieces apart and shoving them into my pipe. For my first trial I loaded the tobacco into a small Parker Billiard and gave her a quick light. The grassy notes were entirely absent, replaced with a deep, molasses-like undertone that coated the mouth with a sugary film. On first smoke, Brown Virginia bit fiercely, and I had to adjust my rapid puffing cadence with tiny sips until everything settled down. About half way into the smoke, the blend began to further develop a dark sugary flavor, caramelizing into a sublime, sweet smoke with some decent body (this blend alone is probably more robust than the entire catalog of McClelland Virginias, for comparison, much on par with something like Full Virginia Flake, or G&Hs Brown Flake).

I recently made a hefty Virginia order comprising many different manufacturers and their various offerings. It was my attempt to find a reasonable substitute for FVF, having come up short consistently now for several months of directed searching. My effort to scope out Virginias such as this Wessex variety was really a gambit to find that Virginia with a dark press similar to Samuel Gawith's product, that molasses note a target of my affection. But I suppose I'll have to wait for more opportunities when my much anticipated order arrives. Why don't more manufacturers employ this technique?

Brown Virginia Flake was really an impulse buy to get me through that waiting period, as I have grown tired of the many VaPers in my smoking cabinet, Perique having a unique attribute of components to wear me down after extended exposure. As it stands, Brown Flake is a decent, pure blend, maybe somewhat dull but perfectly smokable, and I'm puzzled as to why it hasn't received much attention from reviewers. I know, the black tin art is a little bland and definitely minimalist, but the tobacco is very nice, if lacking in flair.

A bit of advice to those seeking a replacement for FVF--I would say branch out in every direction. Don't be afraid to select something you're unfamiliar with. Virginias age wonderfully, and given a few years you really can't go wrong, even if you pull a few stinkers in all the madness. That might not rest well with those that want immediate gratification, and I understand, shopping for replacements can often leave one wanting.

That said, having killed half a tin of BVF, I'd be happy with another five sitting in my smoking cabinet.
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 28, 2005 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
This is one of my top 5 favorite tobaccos. I like this better than the Red flake but just by a little bit, it was a hard call they are so similar. This one to me is just a bit sweeter and just a tad richer. Very high quality tobacco. I think this is the best straight Virginia flake tobacco I know of.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 10, 2003 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a nicely prepared blend of medium to dark brown VAs with an ideal moisture content. The natural oils and sugars actually bled into the waxed paper tin liner although I don't know how long my tin had been aged. The layers are very pliable which permits packing without any breakup or rubout and results in an cool, even burning smoke. Relights are easy and do not bring even a hint of bitterness. Just as advertised, this one is a high quality tobacco with a true, natural but generally sweet taste. This taste is consistent within the bowl and from bowl to bowl. Some may view this as boring, but to me, this is an ideal smoke. I'm glad the recipe survived for a century to permit my enjoyment. If you like straight VA flakes, give this one a chance.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 07, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Virginia has a mild, toasty dark fruit sweetness with a light tanginess, and a bit of earth, wood, light sugar, a small floral hit, and a couple blades of grass. There's a minor spice note as well. The strength, taste and nic-hit levels are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. Won't bite or get harsh, and has few rough moments. The flakes easily break apart to suit your preference. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent, one dimensional flavor. Leaves almost no moisture in the bowl as it easily burns to ash. Requires an average number of relights. Has a pleasant, short lived after taste and room note. An average all day smoke that you don't have to think about that much. Two and a half stars because it lacks body and some richness.

8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 30, 2018 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is my first blend from WESSEX.Always wondered why a blend made in Germany can't be found in Europe.once the tin breaks a wonderfull aroma comes out very natural and pleasing.the flakes are made from bright and brown virginias, in proper moisture very manageable either to rub or to fold with easy lighting if rubbed.while smoking there's only pleasure.the flavours are rich,natural and pleasing.grass,citruses.dark fruits,earth and vinegar notes are combing perfect.i also noticed some plum notes.are you sure there's no perique included?burns medium hot and almost quick to perfect ash without moisture at the end of the bowl.the nicotine level is medium with no chance of tongue bite.the room note is ok and the aftertaste pleasing.it can be an all day smoke.totally recommended
Age When Smoked: new
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 12, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
A relatively mild flake with a wonderful mellow flavor. Mildly sweet dark fruit with some bread notes showing up in the second half of the bowl. Not a lot of complexity, but there are times when I don't want much. A very nice all day smoke for the Virginia lover.

Mild to medium in body and taste. No added flavoring. Burns great.
Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus
PurchasedFrom: pipesandcigars.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 08, 2020 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
its interesting, subjectivity and all, with pipe tobacco. Jimmilinks sees this as a more boring version of FVF or Wessex Brigade Dark. I see it as a fuller version of Dan Tobaccos Hamborger Veermeister. Or Gawiths Best Brown...which now that i think of it, is rather similar to this.

Its great quality, cool, burns slow as flakes should. I have to give it three and a half ...and maybe should be four. Its unadulterated and sort of a purist Va.
PurchasedFrom: cup o joes
4 people found this review helpful.
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