Mac Baren Original Flake

An exceptionally cool, slow burning flake tobacco with a rich and distinctive aroma. Ideal for those smokers who appreciate the full bodied rich flavor of choice leaves spiced with burley and fire-cured tobaccos.
Notes: Formerly known as Odgen's Walnut, currently made by MacBaren. The name changed in October, 2016 to comply with EU laws.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging pouch weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.12 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 19 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 02, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
There's a lightly subdued natural Virginia dark fruit sweetness and earth mixed in with the mild earthy nuttiness of the smoky, lightly woody Kentucky burley, which also has a little molasses and brown sugar sweetness. The spice from the Kentucky is very mild. The burley is the lesser component in terms of composition, but there's a healthy amount of it present. A few detect a little Lakeland essence, but I do not. It is not here at all. The topping reminds me of treacle, but I'm not certain that is what it is, and I think it's more fruit-like. Has a mild nic-hit. Won't bite or get harsh. Burns cool and clean at a moderate pace with a very consistent flavor. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl, requires an average number of relights, and has a nice after taste. Can be an all day smoke.

19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2014 Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
This was a generous gift from a friend. The flakes are dense and dark. There is a wonderful smell of slightly smokey and rich tobacco in the "tin" note.

I have rubbed mine out, and found the smoking experience to be similar to St. Bruno. It had a depth and smokey, slightly spicy quality from the Kentucky. The topping is very mild and may be a berry of some kind. The flavor profile is a little more Virginia forward than St. Bruno. It all works very well.

When puffed, you get more of the topping and the Kentucky. Sipped, it is a slightly sweet Virginia with Kentucky and mild berry notes. The strength is a little overrated in some of the reviews, and I find it to be milder in vitamin N than Old Dark Fired. I liked it and found it nicely balanced.

if this was all I had to smoke, I would be happy with Ogden's Walnut. It is not easily or affordably availible in the US, and that is a pity.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 10, 2018 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
Children love walnuts, which is evident every time you go to the shops and witness those hordes of little boys and girls nagging and pulling their poor mothers to the nut and dried-fruit section of the supermarket. So Walnut Flake must now be called 'Original Flake', because the original name encouraged too many children to take up pipe smoking. Is this the logic of our nanny state?

Ranting aside, 'Original Flake' is indeed a tasty and nutty blend of burley and Virginia - along the lines of St Bruno, though with far less added aroma, and Peterson's Irish Flake, but with less nicotine. I've always found it a touch less smooth than those two blends, but it's still a very enjoyable tobacco and you should definitely give it a try if you like flake tobacco of this genre and tradition.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 26, 2014 Strong Medium Full Tolerable
Walnut is, in many ways, similar to St. Bruno. It contains VA, Burley and fire cured leaf (read: Kentucky), and it has this typical oily texture and feel, as found only in UK.

Whereas St. Bruno is rather soapy with rose, geranium, and perhaps tonquin oils, Walnut is only ever so lightly flavoured.

Walnut is strong, and I recommend sipping it. It also behaves best in a pipe with a small chamber and thick walls.

Taste and smell when lit is pungent, semi-sweet, cigar-like - a bit like Old Holborn rolling tobacco, should you ever have committed the "sin" of enjoying a home rolled cigarette.

I like it very much on outdoor occasions, when the weather is crisp and cool (it's often like that in Denmark), because it seems that I only truly appreciate Kentucky in the open.

Quality leaf, indeed. Monochromatic. Masculine.

Highly recommended for Bruno-fans who seek something less soapy.

***** Jakob Kiilerich, Denmark *****
Pipe Used: Stanwell Lovat
Age When Smoked: New
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 07, 2012 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
A very difficult tobacco for me to describe; the flavor is dark, slightly but pleasantly bitter. I get no sweetness at all; certainly not even a hint of Lakeland florals. A few times, I got a bit of toasted walnut or walnut oil towards the end, but that could be the power of suggestion. Overall, a satisfying smoke, but in a smaller bowl! Since I know there are many tobaccos out there I would rate a 4, the question arises would I rebuy this particular tobacco, assuming my tastes don't change much more. In this case, the answer is not too often.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 17, 2012 Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
50g pouch with foil sealed carton inside.

Pouch aroma;black berry,boot polish,peculiar soapy domestic cleaning product,the magic teadybears floral forest,witches brew medicine,pot pouri incense..

It smells heady in the carton and mysterious,then it became mild as the package atmosphere dissipated.

Appearance;two rows of stacked flakes,dark brown,some light streaks of which some have a blue stain fade,,looks slightly like a sliced revor plug but with more of a robust St BRUNO hand feel consistancy.Quite moist.

I don't mess about and cut both stacks in half with tin snips and transfer to a kilner jar to preserve the essence.

I take about a flakes worth and fill a falcon pipe with a rustic dover bowl,twisted and rubbed out a bit to fluff it up.The flakes are quite crumbly and so loading with the grain of the flake pointing downwards towards the heel is difficult, so i just pile it in roughly.

Lighting;using matches it expands a bit and needs tamping to keep it down,,3 matches later and its going.

Medium light smoke,yet darkish and bodied at the same time,i realise that this is an easy smoke.Only when lit do i get the walnuts,bitter sweet toasted walnuts in their burn't or slightly charred husks,a well done date and wallnut cake edge minus the dates(wallnut cake then)probably an accidental nuance of the natural tobacco rather than an applied essence,it implies a wallnut factor if you use your imagination.

Certainly has charecter and evokes a strange atmosphere where i feel i am playing from the dark end of the chessboard,rosewood peices,its woody.

Being used to potent stuff it doesn't make much of a bombastic impression at this point;it seems quiet but thoughtful, with a wry pleased, private smile, as if it knows something i don't know. The aromatic flavour is strange and in my mind i am transported to an enchanted forest of undergrowth and wild berries,maybe poisonous to eat,or maybe magic?. A super green leafy canopy obove, with branches swaying with the breeze and strobing with the sun rays obove. Rough twisted tree roots abound,and creepers,ladybirds,dead twigs,mounds of green fresh moist grass with daisies,dandylions,dragon flies,some dwarfs,birds tweeting natures song. (I know this sounds stupid and irrelevant,but sometimes if i cannot describe an aroma sufficiently,i can only convey the landscapes i am sort of transported to,and might i add ;this escapism is the reason i smoke pipes,and no i am not a Tolkien romantic fantacist either BTW, although i read the books once.)

The first half of the bowl doesn't blow me away this time, but i appreciate its woody, spring woodland, utopian aroma. Quite a cool one,i decide to puff instead of sip to see what its made of and i get more interested(the visuals start).

Midway i suddenly get some good woodsy, barky soap, which then fades back to a consistant wallnut again.Nearing the bottom i start to taste that mystery,spicy,perfumish berry note,which evokes an indigo colour in my mind.

Nearest tobacco comparisons would be Revor plug,St Bruno flake,condor ready rubbed,but this has a persona of its own..

I cannot remember if i bought this online or at Sainsbury's now(i have bought about 50 different baccies lately).

Yes i would buy this again,i don't know if it will be an everyday smoke with me,it has the capability of being an alldayer but i generally go with harder hitters(kendal ropes,condor etc). But having visited the strange scenery that this evokes in my mind while smoking i know i will revisit once in a while.

The room note is quite mild,burns right down to a roughish dark mottled ash,and doesn't leave much moisture in the moisture trap so its a dry smoker.

An easy,tasty smoke,a teddybears picknick.Its alegorically chewing gum as opposed to a melt in the mouth affair;think of licorice root.It works best when puffed,i may try it folded and stuffed in a narrower gauge bowl later which might make it burn hotter because as it is, its quite a cool smoke.


Having it jarred and since leaving the pouch,a certain amount of the initially strange aromatic properties have faded:The taste is more rounded and less peaky.Expanding on what i have already noted i can say it is a lumpier textured smoke, but not rough,more "agricultural" is a good adjective for this light rustic smoke.

Starts off mild but tasteful,midbowl i start getting real toasted wallnuts again(probably burley producing this) and the berries return nearer the bottom.

Part of me wants to taste the topping as it tasted on the first trial,but i feel for the longterm that the baccy should be the decider of overal quality and not the topping,and so i will say that since the initial topping has dissipated somewhat,it has become a baccy that i will less tire of because i think that topping would become fatiguing if this baccy was smoked exclusively,as such it has transfigured into a more viable alldayer contender.

Definately worth three stars***
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 28, 2012 Medium to Strong Medium Full Tolerable
This is a 'proper' old english dark flake. Sadly the Ogdens in Liverpool factory no longer produces any tobacco, and I believe this is now made like the other Ogden's blends outside the UK (and has been for many years, no matter what the misleading packaging says). But it is still the 'real deal', alongside St Bruno and Player's Digger (that is still available if you know where to look!).

Less floral than St Bruno, and less sweet too (a bit like the difference between a milk and dark chocolate). I originally thought the name came from the colour, but there is definately a nutty taste there, particularly in the last half of a bowl.

If you only like american style aromatics then you won't like this, but if you like classic english blends where the tatse of natural tobacco is to the fore then you should love it. It may not be from a trendy 'artisan' producer, but it is a quality product nevertheless.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 22, 2012 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I seldom read tobacco reviews on any blend before I've written my own in order to stay as unbiased as possible. But the reviews on this one remind me that tastes differ and more so, our interpretations of strength? This one full??? Or strong??? They were hard to miss so I read further. Hmmm... well, MY interpretation follows.

Comes in a pouch with the tobacco inside a sealed plastic tray. Pretty cool. Pop the seal, take what tobacco you need and reseal the pouch. The tobacco is a nice deep brown with a mild aroma of Lakeland essence, nothing too heavy. The flavor is mild as well to my tastebuds, with a muted fruitiness that is quite pleasant. I found the nicotine level on the lower side. Everything about this tobacco screams "mild". Comparisons to St Bruno are prevalent but St Bruno has a much more noticeable burst of flavor at lightup that lasts the entire bowl. This is much more subdued. Where St Bruno is a classic, this one is "merely" good. I can't say the flavor is walnut per se, but I can't say it isn't. Whatever it is, it's mild and pleasant - nothing to write home about, but still quite nice and mellow. Not very spicy or complex, this one could definitely be an all day smoke, as it won't overpower the smoker with flavor or nicotine. Definitely recommended, but not destined for my cellar.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 22, 2009 Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
When I first started smoking pipes this was one of the first tobaccos to really catch my attention (along with Diggers Flake), when it used to come in a little cardboard case with the tray inside (same as Diggers flake). I think it was still made in Liverpool then, so some of this review might be tinged with a bit of nostalgia. The first thing I bought when I started smoking pipes again was this (as most of my other favourites had disappeared from the shelves). As far as I can tell it isn't quite the same product, something has changed. I used to remember it being a sublime tobacco, and I thought upon opening a modern packet that something had gone in the smell of the tobacco and also that the flakes were drier and crumblier (crumbier?)

But having said all that it still smokes well and is easy to handle and is just simple to get along with. I really don't have any trouble with this stuff and I find its taste very agreeable. It smokes pretty evenly and there is a good change of taste about half way into a bowl that gets very nice; a deeper and more robust flavour starts to come out and whenever I finish the bowl it always seems a tad early, which I think is quite a good sign. Burns right down usually too, very little dottle.

I like it and it seems to still be a solid product, even though the packaging has been ruined. I would give it four stars but for the fact that I don't think it's as good as it once was and I hate all this thing where companies buy up brands and still stamp things like Ogden's of Liverpool when such a thing no longer exists. It is good tobacco I think, but there is definitely better stuff out there.
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2008 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
Disappointing that a flake doesn't come in a tin but that's cost cutting I suppose. Once you peel the foil off the plastic tray there's no way of resealing the pack.

Presentation was poor with not all of the flakes stacked uniformly and a couple of them not being intact. This being the case I rubbed out one and a half for my first smoke.

It's called Walnut because it tastes of walnuts. This however can sometimes equate to a dry, bitter smoke. I've never had a really "soapy" smoke before this one but now I know what the term means! It has little of the virginia sweetness of its Ogdens relative - St Bruno.

In its favour it burns well, is cool and mellow with no bite (in a 9mm filter pipe) It offers a satisfying nutty smoke without being too heavy on the nicotine.

The packet states "Rich in flavour and exceptionally cool". It's fairly accurate but whether the flavour is for you is a matter of opinion.

No longer readily available in the shops in the UK, I had to get it mail order.

UPDATE - revised review and upgrade to 2* after a few more smokes of Walnut

UPDATE 2 - Two weeks later and I've finished the 25g pack of Walnut and will be ordering some more. Despite my initial misgivings it's turned into a bit of a sleeper plus it's very economical in use. A good satisfying smoke that I turn to in the evening - probably a bit too heavy for during the day. The soapiness is always there but receeds the more you smoke it. Coupled with Gold Block (another Ogdens of Liverpool product), these two tobaccos are my current non-aromatic daily smokes. Recommmended.
2 people found this review helpful.
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