Solani 656: Aged Burley Flake

Notes: Blender R.L. Will developed a unique toasting process to enhance the natural sweetness of this blend. No sugar has been added. As of 2022, licorice is the main flavoring "with a hint of chocolate", as per the label. The burleys on the tin are now listed as white burley only.


Brand Solani
Blended By R.L. Will
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type Burley Based
Contents Burley
Flavoring Cocoa / Chocolate, Licorice
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.41 / 4





Please login to post a review.
Displaying 11 - 20 of 267 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 08, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm going to say right now that to my palette, this is the best straight burley on the market today, on the stout end of the flavor spectrum. There are a few blends on the lighter, sweeter side of the genre that are of equal quality (Uhle's 00 comes to mind), but none that carry Aged Burley Flakes robust flavor profile.

Presentation is dark brown, uniform but loosely pressed flakes that rub out (or stuff) easily. The tin note is of fine chocolate.  True, unadulterated, top-notch burley taste: deep, rich cocoa flavors dominate, with a background of parchment, macadamia nuts, and just a hint of white chocolate on the tip of the tongue. The flavors are consistent from true light through the end of the bowl.  Even a good burley can get a bit ashy and monochromatic towards the end of the bowl, but there is none of that here. 

Aged Burley Flake is ready to smoke right out of the tin, takes a march well, and burns cool, slow, and dry. This is an exceptionally cool smoke for such a deep, rich burley blend. There is no heat here, and no bite. 

This is a blend that's been on my hit list for a long time. But only when my beloved Burley London Blend was discontinued and increasingly harder to find did I finally pull the trigger. Wow am I glad I did. I've searched and searched through other burley blends, many of them very good, but this is my new favorite. 
13 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 20, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Even though everything superlative said about a tobacco has been said about Solani Aged Burley Flake, I'm going to say some more superlative stuff about it because it is, without question, very superlative.

This was the first tobacco early in my pipe smoking hobby that I fell in love with. Back in those days, I was playing around, like many pipe smokers do when they're just starting out, trying different things. I liked some aromatics, some over the counter burleys, some crossovers, but no tobacco truly wowed me....until Solani ABF.

"Great God Almighty!" I cried out during my first bowl, scaring the crap out of my dogs.

That was long ago, in the mists of time. I am a different man now. There is a patch of gray in my beard and Alanis Morissette, whom I used to be a fan of, now sounds like a cat being tortured.

I still love ABF, though. I always will. Nostalgia is a big part of it....coming home late at night after busting my ass in the kitchen (I worked as chef in those days) and having a few beers and a bowl of ABF. It was the perfect decompression and probably why the patch of gray in my beard isn't bigger than it is.

It is a simple tobacco, really, all burley, from three terroirs, blended and aged and prepared with such skill that it is elevated beyond its components. Musty, nutty, rich,'s simply fabulous.

I wad and stuff it, like a big ol' chaw. I wad and stuff all my flakes. Rubbing out flakes makes them taste somewhat muted or, perhaps, muddled. Might be just me, though. Drying a flake a few hours before you devour it also improves things.

By this point in my hobby, I have found many wow factor tobaccos, some of which I like better than ABF, but as the first, it will always have a place in both my heart and cellar.
13 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 16, 2012 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Very Mild Unnoticeable
This is cased wet shit. How any of you shit's get through a bowl is amazing. Stick your aged burley up your ass. And I like burley. Never ever again will I buy this over priced junk.
12 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 19, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Blender R.L. Will has achieved a minor masterpiece in this truly elegant blend of burleys. This is the first (and thus far only) pipe tobacco that was so wonderfully rich, restrained and well balanced in its dark grandeur that it prompted me to pinch a small strip into a tiny plug, and pop it between my cheek and gums, just to slowly savor the flavor from a different angle. More on that later**.

The flakes here are a moist and lovely chocolate brown (the Kentucky dark), with some highlights of lighter brown (the Brazilian light) and beige (the Malawi white). The tin note has a restrained nutty aroma with hints of ground coffee, and only a modest hint of dark sweet malt. Some drying time is a must here, but your patience is richly rewarded.

There’s so much going on here that I’ll skip ahead to mid bowl, by which time the flavors have fully settled and come into focus. Now, most of us pipers are familiar to some degree with the gentle nuttiness that a good burley brings to the table, but the triple dose of perfectly matched top quality burleys here takes things to a WHOLE new level. Here, a rich complex nuttiness takes center stage ... picture a large mortar holding a palmful of freshly roasted brazil nuts and filberts (with shells & bitters intact), add some toasted carob pods, roast chicory and cocoa nibs, some medium roast coffee beans, some dark malt extract, a small curl of Saigon Cassia, and perhaps a chip of black licorice candy, then crush it all up with a lightly charred wooden pestle straight from the fireplace. Try to picture the combined aroma, and that’s as close as I can get you.

In addition to all that, there’s an equally wonderful lack of major flaws or balance issues. The sweetness is restrained - neither dominant, nor submissive. The Kentucky dark also brings a subtle nuance of smoke. The natural alkalinity of the burleys is present but not onerous, and the gentle bite actually compliments the slightly tannic and peppery finish. It’s a very impressive multi-layered balancing act that somehow all works, despite (apparently) a complete lack of added flavors, sweeteners or aromatics. Color me impressed. The only minor crime here is that this brand currently only comes in tiny 50 gram tins (nothing larger) that are not vintage dated, nor fully airtight once opened (tip: repackage in glass, if you plan to consume slowly).

This is a rare find, and highly recommended, both for straight up smoking, and for blending some tasty complexity into lesser fare. A perfect four stars from me.

---------- ** Taste: Smoking definitely brings out more of the complexity than mere saliva, but for the record, a tiny pinch exudes some of the same notes of coffee beans, carob and chicory I mentioned earlier, along with a pleasing astringency.
Pipe Used: Grabow Royalton
Age When Smoked: Unknown
11 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
In appearance these are dark chocolate flakes with a generous measure of of light tobacco spread throughout. The layers of leaf are on the loose side and rub out easily.

The tin note gives off generous cocoa aromas with woody undertones and the sort of caramelisation one finds with well cooked roast beef. I apologise for the bizarreness of that comparison, but it took me awhile to locate where I had smelt that aroma before and that really is what it reminds me of. There is also a soft malty sweetness.

This is a very slow burning tobacco but will require some attention. Rubbed out, a single flake lasts me well over an hour. One would be hard pressed to find a tobacco that delivers better value.

In terms of its flavour while smoking, this is not a tobacco that has been processed into something different to its burley nature, in the way virginian tobaccos are transformed by being pressed into flakes. Rather, this is a burley that has been tamed. Aside from its slow burning qualities, it has no bitterness at all and is exceedingly smooth. I did not detect any particular flavour profile beyond a creaminess and a malty, but not especially sweet, taste.

Of special note is how the ph of this tobacco has been balanced, at least to my palate. I did not need a drink to accompany this tobacco and did not find myself with any excess saliva at all. Nor does it seem to have much of a kick nicotine wise. Of course YMMV.

This is a very good all day smoke, surprisingly gentle, that would go well with a real ale and good friends. Honest tobacco, made well.
11 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 22, 2014 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
Wish I didn't have to write this. Opened a tin of this about 3 weeks ago. Been trying since then to dry some out the way I like it. It's not possible. Laid a bowls worth on a paper towel like I always do. Usually have several blends drying at the same time. Dozens of blends dried over the next seven days, most in just an hour or two, except for one, That would be this one. Seven days and it was still as wet as it was when I put it out. How wet? Very wet. You can use dozens of matches to get through a bowl. This is unacceptable. I tried the microwave method next. 8 seconds, fluff it till it felt dry. 8 more seconds, fluff until it felt dry. Still takes dozens of matches to get through a bowl. I don't know how you folks managed this stuff. There must be a secret that I'm not privy to. Never got a good enough taste of it to properly comment on that. Also, you shouldn't pay any attention to the ratings of strength or such. I have no real idea of what they should be. I'm through trying. They should have named this Aged Humectant Flake.
Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman
Age When Smoked: fresh
10 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 16, 2013 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a quality burley smoke. There is good, solid tobacco flavor and none of the bitterness you get sometimes. This smokes like a slightly fuller version of Uhle's Blend 00, and I do not detect any topping. I think there is a little in Blend 00. I have enjoyed this a lot. Even if you think you don't like burley, you should bum a few flakes from a friend and give this a try.

This and Uhle's Blend 00 are about as good as burley gets for me.
Pipe Used: various briars
9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2009 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
I'm not a big burley fan but this is a great tobacco. I've been enjoying this blend for quite a while, but had not had any in a few months. I found the open tin in my stash and it's totally dried out, and I mean crispy. Loaded it in a little Herter's Angler's pipe, which holds just enough for about a 20 minute smoke. Obviously there was no problem lighting it.

People talk about "nutty" flavors, and I agree, but to me it's the earthy kind of nuts like brazil nuts and a hint of filberts. The first half of the bowl was pure earth, like fresh garden dirt. It warmed up to a combination of nuttiness and earthiness and was just plain good all the way down. To be honest I've forgotten what it tastes like fresh, but I can vouch that it's good even when crispy dry.

I have more tins, and hopefully I'll be trying some soon that's fresher. Regardless, this is a really good, tasty blend. For me it's meant for sipping. It is not overly complex, but it has enough variation and nuance to keep it interesting to the bottom if you slow down and enjoy it. Easily a four star burley.
9 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 06, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
First a commentary: I notice that there are often debates of the manufacturers claims on tobacco's; it is essentially, "Are they lying about the ingredients or not?". What I find funny is that the tin says what it says and then you read 10 reviews and 6 say there is and 4 say there isn't... so to me this shows that it is not clear and then I ask why question the manufacturer. We taste what we taste and it is there or it isn't. If it is to you, then it is there. Perception is reality.

This tobacco is a finicky one in my experience. In the right pipe it is very good, in the wrong pipe it is like a mouth full of soot. The problem I have is that it is not easy to tell so once I found the one briar I liked it in, that is where it is going to stay. In a meer or a cob this is consistently good but different in each. The tin note is like nestle's quick and some straw, a very nice smell. Simple and light. The smoke, as others have said is very straight forward and uni dimensional, but that is good in this case. It is a light grassiness to it, lightly sweet and slightly bready. This is where I break from the crowd. I smell the chocolate in the tin but get no such flavor in the smoke, which is unusual for me since most Burley blends have a chocolate note to them. This is lauded as THE Burley and I don't get it at all. There is a slightly woody/light honey/vaguely floral like taste to it that is very pleasant but also, for me was hard to pinpoint. I have often felt like using "nutty" as a descriptor, but I cannot tell you what nut it tastes like. The best I get is like acorn, but I have never eaten an acorn...nor do I know if that is actually categorized as a nut. The mind is a terrible thing. Light finish and crisp aftertaste. Burns well and clean.
Pipe Used: meerschuam, cob and briar
Age When Smoked: new tin
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 11, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
Until this tobacco I would have considered myself a Virginia and Latakia enthusiast. The Burleys that I had smoked previously had mostly been dark fired Kentuckys, and I find these tobaccos a bit too spicy for my palate. The one Burley exception - Semois (which I guess you could say really isn't a Burley but another plant altogether) is one of my favorites. So I wanted to try a Burley that wouldn't irritate my mouth. I enjoy stronger taste tobaccos, but not a tobacco that is spicy. And so my experiences with Burleys had been not as good as my experiences with Virginias. However, I have been enjoying Solani Silver Flake - even though it contains dark fired Kentucky - and is just a bit rough on my mouth. It's a tobacco that I can recognize as top notch, even if a bit spicy for every day smoking for me. So I decided to look for another Solani that I could try.

I read many of the reviews of ABF. It sounded like it was worth a go. And I'm glad I did. In comparison with all the other Burleys that bite or burn my mouth, ABF smokes very smooth. Plenty of flavor, and I must say that I find the room note to be very pleasant - just a warm, rich tobacco aroma.

This is a tobacco that comes ready to light right out of the tin. The flakes themselves are are wonderful to look at, hold, and smell - thick enough to hold together but not too thick - wonderful ranges of colors. Not overly moist. Superb tin note. On first opening the tin I was amazed that Burley could smell this nice. And the first smoke didn't disappoint either.

I cannot compare this with any other Burley, as I'm not a Burley guy. But I am a Solani ABF guy. I just purchased a second tin, and I'm going to lay in a fairly large stock to age for a year or two - not that it really needs it.

And so for the Virginia smoker who hasn't had much joy with Burleys - this is a great way to find out if you can possibly like Burley - or at least Solani's take on Burley. Yes, it's a bit more expensive than other tobaccos, but I have found both this and Silver Flake worth any premium that I pay. Just top tier tobacco.
Pipe Used: Peterson Killarney. Savinelli. Butz-Choquin
Age When Smoked: New from tin
8 people found this review helpful.
Please login to upvote this review.