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 MacBaren
Manufactured By MacBaren
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams pouch
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 25 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 13, 2014 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
Retyped on 25/08/20.

Mac Baren - Original Flake (formerly 'Walnut Flake).

What a fantastic smoke! I didn't feel my review did it justice so am redoing it! Just opening the tray from the pouch makes my mouth water. Dark flakes, of which there are two rows, they have a slightly leather-like aroma, and a fabulous level of hydration.

The smoke? WOW! It has a slightly leathery touch, as per the tin-note, a strong flavour of nutty Burley, and is underscored by a fire-cured character. These flavours all coalesce together perfectly, resulting in a smoke that's good enough to eat! Ironically, the smoke is almost chewy in its thickness! It burns without a hitch, distributing a cool, bite-free, smoke.

Nicotine: healthy. Room-note: quite nice.

Original Flake? One of those blends where every bowl seems more enjoyable than the last; IMO. Four stars:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: Various
Age When Smoked: New
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2016 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
Sometimes, I think it is the circumstance as much as the tobacco. This evening, one and a half flakes of this in a smallish group 3 Dunhill ring grain gave me nearly two hours of a much needed respite from 10h of meetings in a stuffy conference room. That, and a cup of tea.

My first thought was, "Irish Flake!", but I soon noticed a sweet component on top of it that I rather like. Walnut flake maintains its cheerfulness much further down the bowl than Irish Flake, which tends to get into a bit of a slump near the bottom.

Very cool, tasty without requiring much exploring. Just what I needed tonight! It did need a relight about 2/3 down, but that was probably me relaxing so much that I let it go. I had prepared it with half a flake crumbled up in the bottom and a folded flake vertically on top of that, then some bits on top of that.

Suggestion: There should be two room note entries. To me, it was pleasant. to my wife it was, "... oh, one of the strong ones you got from England?".
Pipe Used: Dunhill Group 3 ring grain
Age When Smoked: Freshly purchased
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2009 Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
I was fortunate to make a trade with s UK brother, and this fine blend was one he sent me. I have been wanting to try for some time now. This is one mild blend, tame as a little kitten, could not make it bite or scratch. But plenty of great flavor. It is semi sweet in taste, the aromatic aspect is on the subtle side, nothing as flavored in the Highland tradition like a St Bruno or a Condor, but there in the background. It has no soapy taste at all, just a nice sweet mild blend that burned very well in my pipe all the way down, with no moisture and just a little dottle left. The ash in the bottom is a dark grey and very fine, and powdered out of my pipe when tapping it out. The packaging is interesting, comes in a platic tray with a foil cover and then inside a pouch. Only problem is, you can't reseal the container. It is composed of thinly sliced flakes of a dark coffee brown color with some light, almost Khaki colored pieced mingled in. I let mine dry just a little and it was perfect. This is another of the fine UK tobaccos I have come to really enjoy and were it available to me in the US, I would make it part of my rotation. Highly recommended.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2009 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Walnut is a very pleasant flake of the very most British tradition, something of the same league of St. Bruno.

High density firm flakes, medium-dark brown with lighter specs. A "regular" tobacco smell from the sealed plastic ashtray. Stoved Virginias, Burley & Kentucky, this is going to reveal as a manly smoke. Something similar to Peterson's Irish Flake, IMHO.

A medium-small bowled Sasieni, prince shape, one of my best axes, was used for the purpose of this review. One flake and half were partially rubbed into three small balls. Lighting needs quite a bit of commitment and patience... but then the whole surface went in fire and I'm in the game.

A steadily dry and thick smoke, good volume. It's mainly a nutty/woody/earthy aroma, secondarily musty/sweet. The fire-cured leaf has been used with a perfect balance. No trace of soap into this... and whichever the imposed flavouring is, it's just over the "none detected". Strength starts medium and develops to the strong side, so my rating is the average. The body is firmly in the medium-to-strong territory.

Walnut Flake earns my highest rating. This is one I would have in my regular rotation.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 15, 2008 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant
I have been all round the houses, if you care to search my reviews, to esoteric blends and flakes and mixtures from various companies but in general my enjoyment was not sustained and I could not find a tobacco with consistent manufacturing qualities so I went back to basics. My Dad smoked Walnut Flake so did my Uncle Joe. He smoked it all his smoking life, and why? Well it is simple. It is good, consistent, available almost anywhere and reasonably priced. Who am I trying to kid with all these fancy tobaccos? Those that my Dad used to refer to as sweepings up or squaw tobacco. Well my old Dad died some years ago but he knew best alright.

If you are fed up with not been able to get hold of fancy brands because the company has no idea how to market their product and you are looking for an even mannered slow burning all day smoke that will not offend company which light easily and does not leave sludge in the bowl. Look no further. I honestly can recommend this tobacco of the highest order.

I just noticed the reviewer below state that Walnut Flake is no longer available in the Uk. What absolute balderdash. It is widely available and also stocked in supermarkets.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 19, 2003 Medium to Strong None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Tolerable
I like this blend so bear with me as I unfold its history, at least as I learned it.

I first heard of it several years ago while reading a back issue of The Pipe Smoker's Ephermeris (Spring-Summer 1997), p. 70. There a Simon Shepard of England boldly reviewed some 70 exotic blends, in terms of strength, aroma, coolness, etc., and scored each from 0 to 10. At the top of the list, his "king of all tobaccos" was Walnut Flake, with a perfect 10 score! Condor Long Cut, a fine scented flake, was next with a 6.

Walnut Flake was described by him as having superb flavor, cool, slow burings, satisfying, tranquilizing, rich, not too strong so it can be smoked all day, good quality, never boring, etc. He wrote an inquiry to the manufacturer, Imperial, and received a reply on 9/26/96, reprinted on p. 19 of the Winter 1998 Ephemeris. Imperial was pretty secretive, but did say the blend was introduced in 1905 but that they did not know why it was called that other than it tasted as sweet as a nut(I guess also indicating a nut flavoring was not involved). They described the blend process as involving leaf from four continents, large blending units, flavoring, moistening, standing, caking, pressure storing, and cutting into flakes.

I had to try this!

After some time in looking, I found Walnut Flake a in Wakefield UK. (About $10.00 a 50 gm. pouch with mailing. Stuff came in one week from England. Good service and a sample too boot. Thanks David.) I ordered three pouches, and have spent a week smoking 11 bowls in a 25 year old, unsmoked algerian briar pipe from the former Garfinkle, of Wash., D.C., a small squat bulldog; and about 7 bowls in a nearly new Nording high grade (#14). I had to smoke several bowls of this new tobacco to smoke some McB Navy Flake out of the then new Nording that I had broken it in with, but the olde Garfinkle broke in after just a few pipefuls. They don't make briar much like that anymore.

The tray in the pouch has some 30, 1" by 3" flakes, mostly brownish leaf, with some black (about 1/3) and a few flashes of blond leaf. It smells coffee like in the pouch. A right level of moisture too.

I am told by relatives that the buring aroma is earthy, foresty (more bark like than just woody). No artificial scent was noted.

I found that twisting a flake and pushing it in the pipe chamber worked fine. It was steady burning after the initial lites. It does burn slowly. It's medium/medium strong, with a mostly natural flavor. It is heavier than F&T cut virginia plug, and similar in flavor to but not quite as full as G&H's Brown Flake (unscented). It does not have a sweet scented flavor but has a relatively deep, dark flavor (but not nearly so as a true all dark flake). It is cool and relatively dry, but it does have some burley and fire cured leaf in it. So some smokers may call it just plain strong, but I've tasted stronger. Aging, beyond what it is already, is not needed.

Well, I don't know that I could call it the king, but it certainly should be knighted. I plan on smoking the other two pouches to see if my opinion stands or changes. I hope to be able to order more. But I did give it a fair test with smoking 50 grams in now dedicated pipes. If you like flakes on the fuller side without being too stout flavored, try some.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 12, 2017 Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
New pouch presentation for me as this came in a plastic tray sealed with a foil top within a traditional OTC type pouch. The flakes were moist but not wet and certainly ready for smoking. Twenty four 1 inch by 3 inch flakes were present, brownish/black in appearance with minimal light leaf visible and thinly sliced ala Mac Baren style. Seems more than what you get with Peterson's University /Irish Flake for 50 gms! There was no pouch aroma at all. Loading and lighting was quite easy, after which I had an enjoyable smoke. At first there was no taste whatsoever, but after a few minutes there was a nice, subtle berry note, and overall sweeter (but not cloying) as compared to Peterson's University Flake; which for me is the most similar tobacco to Original Flake. For me, OF tops UF. Also similar to St Bruno Flake minus the mild Lakeland toppings.The sweetness was brown sugar like and the slightest bit nutty. Unlike UF, there never was any harshness present nor did this smoke hot or with a bite. It smoked clean and dry to the heal. There is the slightest soap-like presence with the after taste (very slight and not always present). There is a moderate nic hit if you tend to smoke too quickly but not over the top. No Lakeland presence that I could detect either. The cost of ordering from the UK for USA delivery is the only negative to prevent this from becoming a regular smoke ($25.93 plus around $10 for shipping for 50 gms). Overall a very nice smoking experience.
Pipe Used: Peterson smooth tankard
Age When Smoked: Fresh from pouch
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 09, 2017 Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium Tolerable
I first tried this at a forum get together in my first year of pipe smoking. I smoked a bowl. One of about 10 or so I smoked that day whilst consuming a 12 pack of Molson's over a good 12 hour bender. I remember it because I heard so much about this and there was an unopened pouch sitting on a table. I asked about it and the person who brought it said, help yourself.

My thoughts at that time were that it was a smokey and slightly soapy blend. From my jaded memory, I had myself convinced that this blend had latakia in it. I am glad I did not write a review the next day based on that experience. So all of that was just to say that if you are one of those people who smokes a bowl at a social gathering, you should not review it after the fact. A proper review requires time with the blend.

Fast forward to three years later and my piping friends growing outside the US, I have put some trades together to land more Walnut and now have a few pouches in the cellar. After finishing the first pouch, I can affirmatively say there is no latakia in this blend. lol The smokiness I perceived then is still there it is just my palate is more experienced to know this was dark fired Kentucky leaf.

One thing that remains from my first taste to the last, is that this stuff rocks. Between Condor and Walnut, I would say the Brits are truly blessed with their OTC options. Walnut is much different than Condor though. It is much less soapy and perhaps more of a brown sugar/fruity sweetness with just a slight floral twang. The topping is very hard to ascertain and may include some flavors/essences that I am just not accustomed to being an American as I am.

This one also has a decent Nicotine hit, although I find it to be less than St. Bruno. It is really a smooth smoking treat that I believe most Burley lovers would enjoy.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 17, 2018 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I have returned to Pipe Smoking after a hiatus of about 10 years and decided on treating myself to a new Ben Wade Woodsman Dublin Zulu. I wanted to use a bold fuller flavoured flake (nice and cool) to break it in. I would have chosen Redbreast Flake if it was still available but sadly it has long since gone the way of the Dodo. St Bruno is good but not my favorite and it can impart a taste of its own. I had smoked Walnut flake in the dim distant past and remembered that Ogdens had at the time of withdrawing Redbreast recommended Walnut as the closest replacement. Fast forward to the present day and Mac Baren now make Original (aka Walnut) flake and the Ogdens factory is gone. I ordered 50g of the latest production from and loved every puff of it from the get go. It burns the coolest of any tobacco I have ever smoked and lights easily and stays lit and burns down to a light grey ash. It has a stout leathery earthy honest tobacco pouch note with no soapyness. It tastes amazingly good with citrus notes aplenty and a solid background of Burley nuttyness. Nicotine is medium to strong and perfectly manageable. The room note is one of the best I personally have experienced, being "proper" tobacco aromas and not artificial.casings and toppings. The blend was introduced in 1905 and it and its Stable Mate St Bruno flake are as close to time travel as we can come. The aroma reminds me of pipe smokers that I knew 50 years ago working in a garden potting shed with my father. Just that real honest sweet tobacco smell. In summation, I have found my ideal tobacco and it has become my daily smoke. It is great as it arrives with perfect moisture but jarring it is a must, as the packing is not air tight once opened and I have found that the flavours benefit from the time in a jar. If you are looking for a true English Heritage Flake then look no further than Original (Walnut).This is it !


This tobacco is exceptionally cool burning and is perfect for those prone to tongue bite. It is at its absolute best in a Falcon System Pipe.
Pipe Used: Ben Wade, Peterson Shamrock, Falcon and others.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 04, 2012 Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
I cant express how much I like this blend . It's rich , burns perfect & has plenty of nicotine . It's a finely cut flake that has , imo , what smells like a little bit of Tonka/tonquin bean added to it . I dont get the Lakeland soap thing goin on nor do I get a berry flavor at all . I do taste a rich fermented tobacco flavor . It burns cool and dry as can be . It starts med and tends towards full at the finish . It's a ' back in the day ' blend that , if I could get it all the time , I'd smoke the daylight out of it !
4 people found this review helpful.
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