J. F. Germain & Son Germain's Medium Flake

Red, brown and gold Virginia tobaccos pressed to give a medium color and a medium rate of burn, with fruit extracts.


Brand J. F. Germain & Son
Blended By J.F. Germain & Son
Manufactured By J.F. Germain & Son
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring Fruit / Citrus
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United Kingdom
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.84 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 51 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 21, 2014 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Medium Flake is what is says ON the tin - Medium Flake is what you get IN the tin. If you are looking for a no- nonsense , easy packing 'all day smoke' , look no further. Presentation is not as a 'traditional' flake , but more like a 'block' of loosely pressed 'flakes' , lacking any real form.Don't be put off by this description - MF is very easy to pack and handle - tease & fold the 'golden 'strips' , or rub out if you prefer. The result is the same either way - sweet , VA's of superb quality , with a very slight peppery note - adding another dimension from time to time. MF is not complex or challenging , however , its simplicity and easy going nature is its strength.

Pipe Used: Falcons
Age When Smoked: Fresh from a new tin
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 12, 2012 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Taken for what it is, Germain's Medium Flake is a lovely tobacco. But it is, without question, an aromatic—a mild, golden Virginia flake with an obvious topping applied quite liberally. A smoker expecting an unadulterated flake (or less obviously adulterated at any rate) will likely be disappointed with this otherwise fine offering.

This tobacco arrived on my shelf almost by accident. It was fuelled by a phone call from an e-tailer informing me that my order of Germain's Brown Flake couldn't be filled but the Medium Flake could be offered as a substitute. I agreed, even though I knew nothing of the tobacco. After I suggested the substitution, I wandered over to tobaccoreviews to get the skinny on MF and discovered few favorable reviews. A 2 ** blend. Ah well.

When I first popped the tin and loaded a bowl, I was less than impressed. What I encountered was a golden Virginia flake with a fairly intense citrus topping reminiscent of little Christmas oranges--mandarins, clementines, tangerines. The flake was pressed firmly into the wee tin and I found it well-nigh impossible to take a whole flake out of the tin. Instead, it came out as a fine ribbon--almost a shag—which, it turns out, is incredibly easy to load and keep lit.

I found this a little light and dull at first. But once the summer arrived in my dry, desert state, I began to turn to this lovely little smoke often. The mildness, gentle orange-flavored sweetness, and general cleanliness of this smoke just seemed to work exceptionally well in the dry, summer heat. I went for days where I smoked nothing but this. The only criticism of MF that I can offer is that even slightly accelerated smoking can transform the citrus notes into something more resembling burnt sugar.

Highly recommended as a hot weather smoke.
17 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 10, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This is Gawith Best Brown Flake's handsome brother. Light in appearance but not strength or smoking qualities. It is semi-sweet and has some sort of fermented dark fig flavoring added with just enough presence to really enhance the overall presentation. If you are one who enjoys stouter Virginia fare, this might be worth a try. It does not change much as you work your way down the bowl, just rock solid Virginia that leaves the palate refreshed.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 21, 2017 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The flakes have an overall bright appearance and are already sliced, so you cannot take out one piece as they fall apart. They are very soft with perfect moisture and rub out very easy. Once rubbed you get a mix of ribbons and shag(!) cut. Tin aroma is a distinctive hay-like Virginia with yeasty tones and there is a fruity topping as well which may be apricot as others have mentioned. Upon opening it smelled like a corked wine - something cardboard-like - but once aired it is certainly fruity. Yet this is not an aromatic tobacco, it's just slightly scented as most tobaccos are and here it is only more obvious.

Lights with ease and produces a rich, yeasty, succulent and creamy Virginia taste with honeyed sweetness and a nice counterbalancing hay-like sharpness. Smokes cool, dry and fairly slow. This is pure tobacco taste and the fruity scenting is barely noticeable, always agreeable and after some time vanishes. Moreover as the bowl progresses the flavors deepen becoming even more yeasty and show a mild spiciness. It is of medium strength with medium nicotine. A perfect tobacco!

For me this is a superb Virginia flake, deeply intoxicating, surely one of the top I've ever tried. Could be an all-day smoke, but it's too good for me to use constantly. Comparisons with Best Brown Flake and Golden Glow are unavoidable and I find Medium Flake much more pleasing and less fussy - actually it is one of the easiest tobacco to handle. I think Germain's Medium Flake is a much underrated and underappreciated tobacco.
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The red, brown and gold Virginias offer a fair amount of tart and tangy citrus, some tangy dried fruit and grass, hay, bread, wood, and earth with a touch of spice and floralness. I’m not sure of the toppings, but it has some citrus and certainly some apricot, and they moderately sublimate the tobaccos, particularly in the first half on the smoke. After the half way point, the citrus, grass and hay are more obvious over the rest of the tobacco flavors, though you’ll still notice the aspects. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. The strength and taste levels are a step past that. It won’t bite or get harsh, but has a few small rough edges. The thin cut flake is very easy to break part, mostly into strips that remind me of a slightly thicker ribbon cut. Burns a tad slow and cool, and fairly smooth. Leaves virtually no moisture in the bowl. Requires an average number of relights. Has a short lived, pleasant after taste, and lightly stronger room note. Can be an all day smoke. It's more of a two and a half star blend. Awarding it three stars pushes it because of the inconsistency of taste, so I settled on two.

9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 29, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant
J.F. Germain's - Medium Flake.

I adore Germain's Rich Dark Flake so this had a lot to live up to!

The moment I open mine up I am greeted by a Virginia aroma with a zesty addition. It's a little moist, but not Sam G' wet! Mine includes a few broken flakes. These are easy to prepare.

Lighting this one is a real easy task, a few short touches of the flame are plentiful to supply a full burn which is very even and consistent. I like the taste, it's mainly Virginia but in the background there's a notable tingling of citrus, which becomes amplified if retro-haled. The nicotine level is quite mild with this one, not ridiculously so, but still below medium. The burn's medium in temperature and it doesn't bite.

A nice flake that's just short of a full house.

Pipe Used: Falcon
PurchasedFrom: G.Q Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: New
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
The wide variety of reviews make me wonder if there are some quality control issues with this, or if it just shows how subjective we are. In any case, my tin is firmly in the apricot tin aroma (as opposed to citrus or florals), which really only showed up in the pipe the first few times I tried this. At that point, I was rather unimpressed, as I was left with a rather unpleasant last 1/4 of a bowl. With the tin almost finished, however, either the topping has blown off or I've gotten used to it, as it primarily tastes of medium-dark VAs with just the slightest hint of fruit at the beginning of a bowl, and it's a solid 'medium' blend. As I've noticed many of the Germain blends improve after being opened for two weeks, I'll go with that explanation. For me, it works best in taller bowls.

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 often.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: pipes & cigars
Age When Smoked: 1 year after purchase
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 07, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I am a huge fan of Germain. Be it their Esoterica, Smoker's Haven or in-house tobaccos, I consider them my favourite blender by a large margin.

Does that mean that Medium Flake is amazing? Well, no. Is it good? Well, yes. Really good? Well, kind of. It's subtle, fruity, and I love the cut. If you don't know Germain, you have to understand that the way they cut tobacco is rather unique. Their flakes look like shag. Their ribbons look hair-thin. Their cakes look like ribbons. Uncanny.

Back to Medium Flake. It's a fine, mild, fruit-flavored VA. Tin-note reminds me of fresh pineapple juice. But that's about it. Do yourself a favour. Get a tin of Capstan Gold instead and buy yourself a cold one with the remaining change. If you're expecting an epiphany with Medium Flake because it's Germain, you're in for a slight disappointment.

That's the problem with Germain. Now that everybody is fighting to get a tin, most forget that they also do tobaccos that are just fine without being incredibly good.
Pipe Used: various briars
PurchasedFrom: GQ Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: new
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 12, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Having had a string of Germain's tobaccos recently, I picked this one for no particular reason other than not already having tried it. Given the appreciation I've developed for all the other offerings I have sampled, I had some expectation for this, I'm not sure this met or fulfilled the anticipation but am not completely disappointed.

The tin aroma was very pleasant, possibly lemon with hints of pineapple perhaps, made me think a little of Holger Danske's Royal Navy Flake with the flakes looking not too dissimilar. The tobacco rubs out just fine and lights just as well. The fruity flavour comes through nicely initially, not wildly exciting, just nice. A little of the tobacco comes through, but it's not hugely noticeable. This pleasantness, though does dip about a half to two thirds into the bowl into some kind of... mild unpleasantness is the only phrase that springs to mind, not sure if I can place it but there becomes a certain roughness and mucky taste to it that brings the the whole smoke down a peg or two.

I've found myself getting strangely bored of this. That first half of the smoke is pleasant enough, might have been enough to warrant three stars of it kept on going to the bottom of the smoke. That last third to a half though, while not necessarily that bad per se, is enough the bring the smoke down a notch. It's telling that, judging by the info above, that this is the only Germain's I've had that hasn't been blended by them and simply carries the badge. Will I buy this again? Probably not. Would I smoke it if I got given it? Probably, and I'd enjoy it in much the same vain as I have now. Two stars is about right.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 23, 2016 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
The tin opens to give way to scents of tangy fruit mixed with leather and fermented hay. The tobacco is in almost broken, loose, flake. They are beautiful medium brown flakes with specs of yellow that easily rub into a long, thin, shag that is easy to load in the pipe. Lights easy with a charring light and then a second. Remains lit with gentle but firm tamping.

The smoke is creamy, tangy, and almost sharp, but not in an overpowering way. It seems to be a perfect balance of natural sweetness that is deep and rich that is offset by the citrus tang mixed with cream. The room note is wonderfully sweet, but not cloying. I'm lucky to have had a friend gift me some of this hard to get tobacco. It's very good stuff. It reminds me of Long Golden Flake, but the citrus is a bit more subdued, until the 2nd half of the bowl and the flavor seems to be more deep and rich than LGF.
Pipe Used: Morta Poker, El Dagner
PurchasedFrom: Gifted
Age When Smoked: Unknown
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 02, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Tolerable
A light to mid brown flake, I'd say 100% Virginias, and the tin note having some citrus quality to it. The cut is thin, like flakes used to be before the EU "1.5mm or more thick or get taxed at the much higher cigarette rate" rule came in. Maybe Germain's get away with the cut because although Jersey is a possession of the British Crown, the British monarch being Duke of Normandy since 1066, Jersey isn't part of the UK or EU. Anyway, on with the tobacco.

Very easy to load, though does take a few lights to get going. I bought a couple of tins of this while looking for a replacement for Orlik Golden SLoced which Orlik ceased selling into the UK a couple of years ago. And there is a definite similarity to OGS. The citrus notes are quite pronounced, whether from a topping or the tobacco itself.

As a mild, light flake it's very good. However...

Firstly, this tobacco bites like no other and does so ferociously. I can't smoke it at all without a filter and even with one have to smoke very carefully. I normally don't use filters and smoke a lot of Va based flake, but for Germain's Medium Flake I've found a filter or Peterson system pipe is essential.

Secondly, I have had the current tin I'm smoking open for a couple of months now and the contents are showing little to no signs of drying out. Which makes me suspect there's a humectant added to keep it moist - which may well be making the bite problem worse. I've not encountered this with any other Germain blend I've smokes, and I smoke a lot of their Brown Flake and Perique mixture. I've seen it said that Medium Flake isn't produced by Germain's but is made for them by one of the big European manufacturers. True or not, I don't know, but the blend and humectant do remind me of Danish-style aromatics.

If this didn't bite me like mad I'd give it three stars. But because of the bite I'll say I certainly recommend it as a tobacco worth trying if you like light Va flakes, but be aware that you might not get on with it.
Pipe Used: Filtered cobs
4 people found this review helpful.
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