Wessex Campaign Dark Flake

Dark brown Virginia, full bodied and smooth.


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


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

Average Rating

3.54 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 65 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 17, 2013 Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The dark Virginias provide a lot of stewed sugary ripe dark fruit, earth, bread, wood, some tart and tangy citrus, vegetation, a little hay/grass, floralness, and a pinch of spice. There's a sugary topping that very mildly tones down the Virginias without detracting much from the them. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is just past the center of mild to medium. It never bites or gets harsh, no matter how much you push it. Barely has any rough edges. Depending upon your preference, it may need a light dry time. Burns clean, cool and smooth at a reasonable rate for a broken flake. It's not complex, but it is very consistently sweet and that translates to the pleasantly, lightly lingering after taste. Leaves very little dampness in the bowl. Needs a few more than an average number of relights. Has a pleasant room note. An all day smoke with a little punch. Four stars out of four.

6-13-2022 Update. There are some differences in the blend besides the cut of the tobacco, which is now a regular flake cut. It’s just a little less fruity and a tad more sugary with less stewed fruitiness from the dark fruit. The tart and tangy citrus is a little more obvious than before as this aspect now lead the fruit factor. Even though it’s not visually apparent, the amount of red Virginia was cut with a lot of orange Virginia, which accounts for much of the decrease in dark fruit and increase in citrus in addition to a little more grass, bread, floralness, light acidity. So does the mild increase in the topping. The grassiness rates a couple of notches higher than the earth and wood now. There’s a small lemon note not previously present. The nic-hit is more potent, and is a step below the strength level, which is still medium. The taste is now a slot stronger than that. The rest of the previous comments from the earlier production still apply. I rate this as a three star blend, barely. My ratings reflect what this currently is.

46 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 14, 2006 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
I'm with Newman and Tantric regarding this lovely, straight Virginia Flake. It is cool, well rounded in flavor, and packs just enough nicotine punch to suit even the harriest of chests.

Upon opening the tin, I found a somewhat dark, slightly moist compilation of slightly broken flakes. The smell was a subdued natural Virginia sweetness. I rubbed out the flakes (which is my preference) and loaded up the short cut, ribbon leaf which packed very easily.

At the match, the taste was delightful. Medium heavy tasting with a crisp, clean presentation that made smoking this tobacco nothing short of pure pleasure. It burned cleanly to the bottom of the bowl with very few relights.

This one beats similar tobaccos (made by the same blender) like Marlin Flake, Hal O the Wynd, and Astley's #44 by a country mile. A terrific surprise, this Wessex Campaign!
37 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 30, 2013 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Deep, dark flake with a pungent aroma of great virginia leaf, plus a whiff of some type of topping. Sweet and rich - and wet! I experimented with drying times and settled on 4 hours, to the point where the leaf was dry but not crispy. Too crispy and that rich molasses flavor was leeched out. Too wet and it burned poorly plus had a little too much topping flavor present.

I recently smoked Wessex' futile attempt at a VaPer and commented that it tasted like a Mac Baren roll cake with a bit too heavy a hand on the cavendish and honey. I was surprised to find a bit of that flavor here as well. Not nearly as much as the Curly Cut, which was smothered with Danish flavoring, but this had enough to notice. Kept it from a 4th star. But I don't want to make too much of that - this is still a very worthy blend. Just a bit too sweetened for my regular rotation. Still, it's worth a try for any virginia lover. Clearly, other reviewers like this one better than I do.

Well, there are no foreseen new blends in my future, although I do tend to get a lot of samples from folks. But reviews will be much reduced from here on out, as I focus on my favorites. This six year run of trying as many new blends as possible has taught me a lot, such as the value of a good blender of oriental tobacco (which I enjoy more than latakia), that flavoring is a sticky wicket... if I like it, flavoring is good. If I don't, it's bad! 🙂 And much more. It's been fun. But after spending a few days with Stonehaven and a few of my favorites, the search for Tobacco Nirvana is over.
28 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2012 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I debated on whether I should write a review on this one. It is a bunch of reviews like this that caused the disappearance of blends like stonehaven, penzance, and Full Virginia Flake. If word of this stuff gets out too much, you can kiss finding it goodbye. This is the logic that causes me to suffer greatly from DCD or deep cellar disorder. Like a doomsday prepper I have this stuff stockpiled for years in advance waiting for the cat to come out of the bag and everyone to swarm the shelves of tobacconists and the sites of online stores. This stuff really is that good. Magicians never tell you how they do their tricks, hunters and fishermen never give away their prime spots, and a a true pipe smoker never gives away his sleeper blend. That's what this is for me, my sleeper blend. While the rest of the pipe world is staring at computer screens all night with bloodshot eyes waiting for Full Virginia Flake to come back in stock, I am sipping on a bowl full of campaign dark flake and loving life.

You don't hear about this blend much, which is purely ridiculous. This stuff is fantastic. I have yet to enjoy a bowl of this that has not kept me smiling from packing to dottle. It never lets you down. As you know from my name here on tobacco reviews I am a musician, and so to explain this blend I will use a music analogy. If Orlik Golden Sliced is the trumpet of the tobacco world, then campaign dark flake is the bass trombone. It is a little more powerful, a little deeper, a little more complex, but every bit as enjoyable.

There aren't many Virginia blends like this out there, definitely try some and you will see. Very highly recommended. Also, just to let you know, If I begin to see this sold out everywhere I plan to edit this review to say this stuff is horrid, and I suggest all the other reviewers who have lauded the virtues of this tobacco do the same.
24 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 20, 2009 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This is the only Wessex-branded tabac I've had, and possibly the best Virginia I've had to date. A very fruity nose in the tin, almost like pineapple. It's a medium-colored flake, so I'm not sure why it's called Dark Flake. The strips are folded over and stuffed in the can but they come apart and rub out easily. Mine burned perfectly right out of the tin.

Quintessential VA flavoring as you "sip-n-ahhh." Or is that "sip-n-awe"? It really is delicious through the first 80% of the bowl. The last 20% is too, but it requires some TLC in my experience, to keep it cool and keep those sweet VA flavors rolling. Too hot at this point and it tastes like a cigar. A good cigar though. But maybe you'll like that! I would love to stash away 50 tins of this for a few years.
16 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 23, 2013 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Oh ya. The taste here is quite complex and deep for a viriginia flake. I can pick out tangy Virginias, grassy Virginias and sugary, darker Virginias throughout the progression of the bowl. Syrupy notes, fruits, sharp pangs of bitter...all there. A very good smoke. The jury is out whether this takes me to the same place as Full Virginia Flake, but it at least would be a solid replacement. Darn good. If it was available in bulk I would have it on hand frequently but alas, the secret is out and it goes quicker than presents at Christmas. Stock up if you can get your hands on some. My tin was three years old so I'd say it ages like a Virginia should. It deserves four stars.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 28, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
Wessex - Campaign Dark Flake (Brigade).

I ordered this without reading any reviews, and very often that can blow up in my face, but not with this beauty!

After ordering I skipped through the reviews and noted a few complaints/pointers regarding the moisture, but although the paper wrapping inside the tin was oil stained, the baccy was perfectly smokeable. It comes as no shock that the flakes are dark in colour, albeit, dark brown, not black.

My first bowl wasn't aired any, and gave a good burn, of a medium speed. The smoke doesn't bite, is cool in temperature, and has a lovely flavour. Deep, rich, satisfying, Virginia: there's enough of a molasses sweetness (as others note) to augment the flavour, without seeming cased. And then there's the rich Virginia side: not so grassy/hay-like, but full of deep, dark, tasty, fruity flavours.

Nicotine: medium. Room-note: not its greatest feature.

Campaign Dark Flake? Four stars, easily:

Highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Altinok Lee Van Cleef; Friday pipe
PurchasedFrom: Smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: Four months
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 08, 2004 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Strong
This blend is from the German house of Kohlhase & Kopp and is blended and packed by hand which may partially drive the high price. However the overall high quality tobacco must also be considered. This is the same Co. that gives us many Astleys and Rattrays selections and this blend could be included with #44 or Hal O' the Wynd with respect to overall enjoyment. I've tried other Wessex VAs: Brown, Gold, Red and enjoyed this one the best. However, this flake is darker and stronger and not recommended to new VA flake smokers. The room note of DF was also more intense than these other Wessex flakes.

The 6" + long flakes are nicely coiled into the screw top tin and are quite pliable and therefore easily packed even if not rubbed out. The natural oils partially stained the paper liner. The initial moisture content was higher than I prefer and I obtained bettter smokes after some drying. Without any rubout, this one burned evenly, coolly and without any hint of bite in pipes with various bowl sizes. The great, rich but yet smooth natural VA taste was consistent throughout the bowls and left a slightly spicey aftertaste. This blend is most enjoyable by me after meals. Experienced VA flake lovers should give this a try.
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 03, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant
I have been doing my annual year end cleaning of my pipe room and stumbled on this little gem. In looking at all the great reviews, I somehow missed this one. Big mistake! For what it’s worth, this review is based on a five or six year old tin. Campaign greets the nose with deep figs, raisons and molasses. The flakes are very long and need to be cut to fit into a pipe. I mainly use the fold and stuff method, most often in a medium bowl. The nose scent was so strong, it led me to believe that there is likely a very light topping. At first light, there is a touch of hay, but quickly settles into dark, rich sweet molasses like flavor that can be expected from a darker flake. It is a simply delicious medium body flake. I now wish I had socked a lot more away now that it is difficult to get. Great stuff!
Age When Smoked: 5 years
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 29, 2015 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Dark fruity flavors, a touch of molasses and a nice bit of sweetness. While experimenting with moisture levels I found something interesting. It only came out when I smoked this bone dry (2 days on a paper towel). This has a mild Lakeland floral essence added to it. With moisture in the flake it's well hidden, but very dry it's easily discerned. Luckily for me, it's mild and tastefully done. If it were any heavier I would not be liking this. As is, this is a very nice flake and even more so when mixed with a quality Burley such as Wessex's Burley Slice.

Medium in body and flavor. The dryer it is, the better it burns.
Pipe Used: MM Country Gentleman, Diplomat Apple, Mark Twain
PurchasedFrom: 4noggins
Age When Smoked: fresh
7 people found this review helpful.
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