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





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 67 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2013 Medium Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
It has a deep cocoa taste, a bit of nuttiness, earth and wood, and is slightly bready and floral with a light brown sugar and molasses. The white burley adds mild sharp, sour, acidic notes in the background, and some strength. It's responsible for the slight bitter note at the finish. They say there's no cocoa or chocolate added. That isn't true. These toppings moderately sublimate the tobaccos. The strength and taste levels are medium. The nic-hit is in the center of mild to medium. It burns clean, cool and slow, requires some relights, and the deep, rich semi-sweet, slightly savory flavor remains consistent to the finish with very little moisture left in the bowl. It has a pleasant after taste that slightly lingers, and the room note won’t offend a normal human being. Has no dull or harsh notes, and it will not bite. It does have a few small rough edges. Can be an all day smoke for the experienced smoker, and repeatable for anyone else. Four stars.

UPDATE 7-5-2022 . The blend has been changed. The deep cocoa topping was replaced by an almost medium strength, mildly sweet licorice which tones down the burleys a little more than before. I do notice cocoa far in the background. Overall, the blend is less sweet by two steps now. The burleys are different, too. The white burley has a similar ruggedness to the new Wessex Burley Flake: moderately rougher, earthier, woodier, breadier, and nuttier with a savory note new to this manufacture of ABF. Those aspects are a little less obvious here due to the licorice, but it’s still a different presence than it originally had been. The strength, nic-hit and taste levels have not changed, and all other non-updated aspects still apply. Three stars is my current rating at TR for this current production.

119 people found this review helpful.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 11, 2014 Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant
Solani Aged Burley Flake is the first and only Burley flake I have smoked to this point in the two and a half years I have been smoking a pipe. I found some of this in a jar in my husband’s pipe room and thought I would give it a try. I smoke this by breaking the flakes into small pieces and rub a little out to get the pipe going. At first light, I get a sweet, almost honey-like flavor, although not from a casing. ABF quickly turned earthy and nutty. There is also a light cocoa undertone to it too. ABF never burned hot and I find it to be a little on the strong side. If I am not careful it makes me a little dizzy. This is a very smooth smoke though. ABF has made me want to try out more Burley flakes and I would recommend this flake. BTW, I don’t think he will miss the jar!
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 28, 2018 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
When it comes to high Burley content blends, I'm generally not a fan. My chemistry says "bite" and a "Metallic" taste ? It's not the strength that I have a problem with. This one is somewhat different, strong-yes, but more of a Cigar note blend with slight hidden sweetness and some slight dark chocolate notes. I don't get the usual "bite or "Metallic" taste, a good thing. This leans more towards McC Dominican Glory than say Petersons Irish Flake. All in all, a quality strong dark smoke that should get 4 stars IF I was a Burley fan.
Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 4 years
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 22, 2015 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
This is my first Burley Tobacco. I'm a fairly new pipe smoker and has only smoked blends like mac barens scottish mix, borkum riff bourbon, and Peterson, sweet killarney. And I found this very nice. Smokes very cool, and that comes from a newb, I'm a fairly hot pipesmoker, I puff fairly often, which usually makes the smoke a little hot sometimes. This tobacco doest bite AT ALL. it's very smooth, and has a lot more taste than all the other tobaccos I've smoked. It has no chemical undertone at all.

The taste probably tastes like burley, but I wouldn't know because this is my first tobacco with burley in. It was smooth, kind of sweet and relaxing. After smoking it for a little while you're left with a nutty, coco taste. almost like a hint of dark chocolate, and nuts. As I've only smoked tobaccos with fairly small amounts of nicotine this was a little stronger, but not overwhelming. Not too strong, but enough to get relaxed.

To any pipesmoker this would probably have a very nice roomnote. The aroma it leaves in the room is extremely nice. but to most people i'd think it would be about pleasant to tolerable.
Pipe Used: Small apple-shaped briar pipe
PurchasedFrom: SolCigar Oslo Norway
Age When Smoked: Fresh
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 26, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
My first smoke of this flake left me wondering what the fuss was about? Why so many rave reviews? So I decanted the tin into a jar and forgot about it...6 months later I was looking for something different from my cellar and decided to give it another chance, Now I have been rewarded with a very pleasant surprise...the blend has mellowed and dried nicely into a very pleasing smoke. I'm not repeating all the comments previously left with regards to burn and flavour but what I will add is if at first like me you found it not to your tastes then give it some time out of the tin and you may find yourself rewarded
Pipe Used: Savinelli delux 123
PurchasedFrom: Bricks and mortar
Age When Smoked: 6 months
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 19, 2008 Very Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable
Opening the tin, it took me a while to convince myself I really bought tobacco and not chocolate. For the smell and appearance said the contrary. Not that it is artificially flavored with chocolate, of course, for this high grade flake is 100% natural.

The flavor is very good, although one ought not to confuse heaviness with fullness of taste. This tobacco is more the first than the second. But the flavor is not bad at all. A little whisper of licorice, perhaps, or nuts. It never goes bitter properly, but the heaviness can also be confused with bitterness.

I did like it, more than Wessex Burley Slice, for example, but I will still prefer to soften it a little with a 30% of premium virginia or cavendish. A sacrilege? For many, yes, but for me there are no taboos if I will enjoy more. Isn´t milk added to chocolate?
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 27, 2019 Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant to Tolerable
Bland and boring. I know others love this but it did not do anything for me. I won't be buying anymore. The first time Solani has disappointed me.
Update 08-09-19. I'm going to change up my review a bit because I've made a discovery. 656 is the most pipe style sensitive blend I have ever encountered. First smokes were done in a variety of pipe shapes. I was unimpressed with 656 to say the least. I decided to give it another try in a medium sized bowl long shank Canadian. BANG! Totally different results. I now really enjoy this tobacco. In 40yrs of pipe smoking I have never experienced this phenomenon in such a dramatic fashion. I'm bumping 656 up to three stars.
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: Fresh
4 people found this review helpful.
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