This blend is a composition of select, bright, sun cured Virginia leaf. Pressed, stored and cut into flakes. Capstan Gold Flake with the natural Virginia sweetness is a must try for everyone who appreciates a good, straightforward Virginia Blend.

Notes: Formally blended by Orlik and originally by W.D. & H.O. Wills. See W.D. & H.O. Wills for reviews of the original Capstan Gold Navy Cut. Produced by Mac Baren since 2006.

BrandMac Baren
Blended ByMac Baren
Manufactured ByMac Baren
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
FlavoringFruit / Citrus
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
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Very Mild
Mild to Medium
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3025)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A moderately sweet and easy to rub out flake with a little sugar and some citrus toppings complimenting the tart and tangy, citrusy Virginias. The Virginias offer a bit of grass, some hay and bread, plus a pinch or two of earth, and wood. Has a light floral quality as well. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium, while the taste almost reaches the medium mark. No chance of bite or harshness. A rather uncomplicated blend that burns slightly less than at a moderate pace, cool and clean with a smoothly, tart and tangy sweet consistent taste from start to finish. There are several kinds of Virginias in this to create a well balanced blend. Requires a few relights, leaves little moisture in the bowl, and will burn to ash. Has a lightly lingering, pleasant after taste and room note. An all day experience that works for the smoker who wants a gentle, sweet flavor without the most of the earthy characteristics darker Virginias provide.


44 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

A lighter bodied and lighter colored cousin to the blue tin I smoked recently. Similar tin nose but this one had a bit more citrus and less spice. Both things showed up in the taste. This had more sweetness from the citrus and less of the blue's subtle spiciness - more high notes here, but not so high as to be screechy or annoying, as in some bright VA flakes.

Comparisons with other tobaccos are almost unavoidable. First, this also seemed a cross between Mac Barens VA flake and Dunhill Light Flake but moved closer (than the blue tin did) to the Dunhill fruitiness. Neither is overbearing on the fruit but the Dunhill provides an extra oomph from the spice that this one doesn't possess (the blue tin follows suit, more a bit more subtly). A second comparison is that I might have enjoyed this one more if I hadn't just smoked F&T's Cut Virginia Plug, which realizes the possibilities of a gold VA flake more perfectly for me. This was far from a bad blend, it was just a bit forgettable by comparison. If you have no such biases, try this one if you enjoy some fruit tang without wanting to go overboard, coupled with some light grassy flavor and more than just a hint of sugared something-or-other. It's not overblown on any of those things. In fact, it's pretty middle-of-the-road for me. I prefer the blue tin, but this is still a solid 3 star blend - just one I probably won't buy again.

37 people found this review helpful.

Sasquatch Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sasquatch (90)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

Geez, reviewing this after DK seems a fool's errand.

I'll offer 4 stars as opposed to 3, though my thoughts are VERY much in alignment with DK - this is a slightly fruitier, slightly less bodied version of the Capstan. It's delicious and easy to get along with. I found it more interesting than OGS and better tasting with smoother edges than Cut Virginia Plug. CVP is great, this is.... pure and special somehow.

So, again, a great virginia, clean tasting, easy burning. A little one dimensional? Sure, and if you smoke this after something stronger it won't have much appeal. Clean pipe, clean palette, I can't think of many better offerings.

Pipe Used: all sorts - big, small, straight, bent

Age When Smoked: fresh

Similar Blends: Cut Virginia Plug, Orlik Golden Sliced, Tordenskjed.

35 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (241)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

After smoking the blue version flake I moved on to the yellow. Most everything said about the blue can be said about the yellow with regard to presentation, handling, smoking characteristics, etc. It is a bit lighter in the tin than the blue and its tin aroma is more on the bright side, but not extremely so. Some have said it reminds them of Orlik's Golden Sliced, but I would disagree on that one. For starters, this Capstan flake was darker in color and it lacked that characteristic tin note of GS; nor was there any present in the taste thankfully, as I quickly grew tired of that in the GS. Overall, the yellow-tinned flake was less spicy and not quite as full-tasting as the blue, however, it is still one superior smoke. Like the blue, I can smoke this one every day if need be. I enjoy both the blue and the yellow equally - sometimes mixing them. I enjoy that spiciness I described in the blue and the slightly fuller body to the smoke. As with the blue, a stellar, 5 star smoke. Hat's off to Mac Baren as both will be in my weekly rotation for sure and in my favorites category as well.

21 people found this review helpful.

Stan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stan (178)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

This is one good flake. Nice stacks. Easy burning with minimal rubbing. Cool. Dry. Quite sweet in a good way.

Enjoyable and superior flavor. Reminds me of the old days with Edwards' Honey Cavendish, but this is a more meaty flake.

It's not as strong as Capstan blue lable, and is sweeter to me than new Dunhill Flake is. It is somewhat comparable to Orlik's golden slices (latter being more orangy).

However, it's ready rubbed sibling (gold label) smokes too hot to me. The flake is cool and for me. A desirable smoke.

16 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

As many have stated here this is a simple flake. It's also delicious. The natural flavors of hay and citrus mix very well with the added flavors of more citrus and a slightly darker fruit. I think StevieB suggested plum and that may be correct. That darker fruit flavor has the added benefit of rounding this out nicely. It can burn a little warm, but not enough so to deduct points for it. Flavor is consistent, but doesn't evolve much and for that I'll deduct a half point. This is a 3.5 smoke for my taste and I'll round up to 4.

Mild to medium in body and taste. Flavoring is mild. Burns like a champ. This is a very nice smoke.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

12 people found this review helpful.

Pseudo Nim Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pseudo Nim (128)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An honest unpretentious tobacco, Gold Navy Cut is the same as Mild only in the more PC euro tin. A very fine quality leaf ranging from bright yellows to almost reds, a flake cut and uniform in the tin 2x3 inches if measurements are required.

In the past, I would pack and light straight from the tin, nowadays, I tend to dry out my tobacco's for about 24 hours before lighting. For this review, I opened a tin and air dried for an hour or so. Still rather moist for my ever changing taste, this still rubbed out well and took easily to the match, gentle puffing produced a slightly sweet fruity taste which soon dissipated and left me with a fine virginia and the occasional hint of Lemon or citrus, but only just. As I tend to smoke alone, I find the room note tolerable, that is, when I can smell anything.

I didn't note any huge voluminous clouds of smoke, but I never look for that anyway, being more interested in taste, flavour and strength, of which all three I find satisfying.

This is not a complex tobacco but nor is it a monochromatic smoke either. It will not bite unless pushed, and burns cool in the pipe after only moderate drying. I find this an excellent tobacco in warm and humid weather, particulaly first thing in the morning or at the end of day when I've been smoking too much of the stronger stuff and want "just one more pipe" before retiring.

11 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A beautiful mild,tasty flake that satisfies. What a delight. I can't contain my joy while smoking this. This is the McBaren version. Cool burning and extremely delicious with a lovely dry hay-like taste from the all lemon leaf. I enjoy this and the Blue equally. Why did we have to wait so long.

Update: The more I smoke this, the more I like it. I think this and the Blue are the blends I've been looking for all these years. These are my first 5 star blends.

Update: I find that a year of aging does wonders for this already excellent blend. Also excellent mixed 4 to 1 with Wessex Brown Virginia Flake.

10 people found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (143)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

I don't mind a topping on my flakes as much as I do on ribbon cuts. There are plenty of good examples of topped flakes I could give you from Escudo, to St Bruno, to PS Navy Flake. I think the pressing makes the topping a background character for a lot of these and thus I don't hear the same gripes said about them as I do with true aromatics.

The tin is the same as the Capstan Blue Flake and you get about the same amount of flakes in the tin. The tin note has a lot of Virginia hay, breadiness and citrus. This is harder to light than the blue flake, and so stuffing about the same amount as I do the Blue, I like to leave this in the bowl overnight so that the top takes a light easier. Once lit it will need a few more than average relights so keep in mind this is a little fussy.

The tobacco is nice and sweet, similar at first to HH Pure Virginia. There is a lot of hay and grass, with some Virginia Bread in the background. The topping doesn't cover the tobaccos and I can barely detect it but there is a slight citrus on the retrohale. The burn is just as cool as the Capstan Blue. I'd also say that your room note is just as pleasant.

The taste is a touch milder than the Blue but not enough to drop it from medium. The strength is a happy medium, no bells and whistles but that's fine. This makes for a nice morning blend, if you refine the dry time this could be an all day smoke. This is a nice example of the more citrusy and sweet end of Virginias. I give this four stars as well. I would buy more given the chance.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 107

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

7 people found this review helpful.

renwardhoop Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
renwardhoop (177)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

The best all day tobacco I have found.

My son brings this home from Spain (oh it's so cheap over there) you can't buy it in the UK. And before you start, giving me places all over the country where you've seen it, I've been in tobacconists the length and breadth of the country and online and never seen it, ever.

Reminicent of the wonderful Golden Glow from Gawith's it sends out a gorgeous roasted tobacco scent that assails you from the tin. Straight from the tin, anyway you like, rubbed out or rolled it's a consistent treat. A sweet, tasty virginia flake.

It's a solid, reliable, no-nonsense blend that satisfies everytime. Never had a bad bowl.

If you see it, buy it, whether you cellar it or smoke it straightaway, just get it.

The only complaint is the tin's too small.

Pipe Used: All of them

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Spain

Similar Blends: Gawith's FVF or Golden Glow..

7 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2076)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Capstan - Gold Navy Cut.

The tin contains two very neatly presented rows of a medium brown flake. Moisture level is perfect. The smell that comes from it's Virginia with a good hint of citrusy fruits, it's quite invigorating!

The smoke tastes wonderful! The added flavour seems to be a citrus fruit variety with a touch of plum and this works wonders alongside the natural freshness of the Virginia. This addition seems to be of a perfect weight, it can be noticed as a great enhancement but it doesn't taste too false.

Gold Navy Cut burns superbly for the whole bowl. It is one of those blends that seldom needs a re-light, just a tamp will suffice.

It can give me a little bite when strained but as long as it's enjoyed without behaving furiously with the pipe it's a treat!

I get quite a light dose of nicotine, I have to have big puffs to notice much N. That doesn't bother me as I don't smoke for nicotine.

This is a blend that is more than deserving of four stars!

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Nording The White Mountain Sheep

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

7 people found this review helpful.

fr_tom Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
fr_tom (393)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a very pleasant and unexceptional Virginia flake. It is slightly sweet and has a citrus note that was constant for me through the bowl. It was an easy smoke for me - rubbed out easily, came at an appropriate level of moisture, took a match easily and was easy to keep lit. There is nothing complicated about it in the flavor profile either. It is good but not nuanced.

This is a very comfortable, reliable smoke for someone who likes a lighter Virginia. I could smoke this every day, but someone else would have to be buying. It works out to about $110 a pound, and that is too expensive for what you are getting.

7 people found this review helpful.

L'Italiano Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
L'Italiano (231)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Oh, great, this is the gods’ tobacco, the aristocratic courts’ smoke, the kings’ Virginia and even the Virginia King. Better than its most famous medium – bodied blue sibling, this is a perfect straight Virginia flake with a very mild flavoring, almost natural. The Virginia of the past. Fantastic! In my personal rating system (from 1 to 10) my score is above 9 and four stars.

6 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (201)
Mild Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

This flake has a reputation so i had to try it.when you crack the tinyou get grass and citrus with sweet toppings.rubs really easy and though the moist you detect it needs no drying because it becomes a bit flat in taste.lights with a bit effortand might need a few relights.burns cool to medium with proper moist and slowly.no chance of biting.the flavours are between citrus grass and earth.burns to complete ash and leaves very little moist.the after taste is really pleasant and the room note discreet.this blend is an all day though the nicotine level is low to medium.definitelly a must!

Age When Smoked: Rubed and left it dry for 1/2 hour.

Similar Blends: Samuel gawith's full virginia flake.

6 people found this review helpful.

dixcreek Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dixcreek (182)
Mild None Detected Mild Very Pleasant

Sweeter, fruitier and milder than capstan blue. I detect more bright leaf in this blend. This is a good all day smoke with a taste of raisins and a splash of citrus in the tin and in the taste. Another excellent Virginia flake. Without a doubt one of my top 10 favorite Va. flakes. Consistent throughout the bowl, another winner!

Pipe Used: Old Grabow Bulldog

Age When Smoked: New And well aged

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

6 people found this review helpful.

Pipedawg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipedawg (16)
Medium None Detected Very Mild Unnoticeable

Gold Navy Cut or "Yellow Capstan" is probably the most plain Virginia I've tasted. Nothing bad to say about it really, but nothing exciting either. It is totally in the middle of the road all the way around.

There's a good deal of natural sugar in these VA's, so puff with a little care. I usually rub it out totally, it's just the way I find these flakes to smoke the best. Upon opening the tin - perfect moisture level, rubbed out and then a fifteen minute drying time...ready to go! But the tin doesn't seal all that well, so unless you smoke this regularly it will dry out within a couple of months.

Medium nicotine, medium taste. Unnoticeable room note but a nice wheaty smell in the tin. No surprises throughout hence it gets a little boring in the long run.

As always very high quality tobacco from Orlik Ltd. So if you are a Virgina lover, I guess you oughtta check this classic tobacco out. It's been around for decades and decades, so I guess it has something going for it.

PS. The tin itself is amazing as it fits right in the shirt pocket, or even in the back pocket of your jeans. Well any pocket for that matter. The shape and size is just very handy, so I actually use an old yellow tin for my fave tobacco's on the go.

6 people found this review helpful.

the_german Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
the_german (309)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

As can be gathered from my reviews of other VA flakes, I tend to like 'em. A lot.

Therefore, this tobacco, for me, has a bit of an unfortunate history; I bought a tin to replace my beloved Richmond Navy Cut after local tobacconists can no longer be bothered to supply it. Next thing I know, my tobacconist introduced Poul Ilsted's Own Golden Flake. It would be unsporting of me to compare against that blend, so I took a little time off before doing my write-up on the Gold Navy Cut.

Opening the tin, VA freshness dominates, and there is something fruity-sweet in there, probably the "subtle flavour" mentioned in the description. The flakes are of highly compressed leaf, so rubbing out is a must. That, however, is easily done; the tobacco is not too moist out of the tin.

Lighting the rubbed-out leaf is a single-char affair; the tobacco burns down quietly and slowly, giving typical VA taste and aroma. The flavour mentioned by the advertising eludes me; I cannot really make it out when smoking, though I can detect it in the tin aroma.

Nothing but ashes remain in the bowl, and all in all, this is rather good tobacco I can recommend to VA smokers. I'd probably smoke it more often if there weren't that other tin right next to it at my tobacconist's...

Pipe Used: Various

Purchased From: DanPipe

Similar Blends: Poul Ilsted's Own Golden Flake, Dunhill Flake, Kriswill Medium Flake.

6 people found this review helpful.

Doctor Max Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Doctor Max (29)
Very Mild None Detected Very Mild Pleasant

This is a very different tobacco from the original navy cut; quite pedestrian actually. Tin note is a marked ketchup/malt vinegar scent that seems to have been popular in certain older British tobaccos. The flakes are beautiful blonde high quality neatly cut slices, packed in two stacks, and are easy to fold/stuff/twist. Lights easier than the Blue. Taste is a very mild Virginia, relatively dry - too dry - with a ketchup-like sweetness developing. Overall quite uninteresting. The flavours are very controlled, on the verge of bland, only developing into something enjoyable right towards the heel. The ashy tendency of Virginia takes the upper hand rather. To not sound overly negative, I'll add that at least it's very consistent: flavour and tin aroma, and throughout the bowl. Room note is also very pleasant, probably the high point of this tobacco, elegantly lightly woody with hints of sweet and sour. I would recommend the Original (Blue) any day, however, unless you're really into very mild tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Corn cob, meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 0-6 months after opening

Purchased From: Tobacconist in Spain

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Three Nuns, Mac Baren - Virginia Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

Jorge Soler Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Jorge Soler (202)
Medium Medium to Strong Medium Pleasant

I am not quite sure why, but I cannot help myself relating Capstan Gold Navy Cut with Erinmore Flake. In true honesty, they have nothing to do with each other, but there is something to it that relates them in the back of my head. This tobacco is supposed to be cased, but in contrast to the latter, I cannot detect any flavouring apart from the gorgeous Virginia. And there is nothing special about the tin note (it just smells like Virginia tobacco) that would indicate it was cased. The tobacco has a clear and distinctive sweetness to it and I cannot detect any tongue bite at all. As this is a straight Virginia and no Perique was added, I cannot detect any piquant/peppery characteristics either. This tobacco will evolve quite nicely in your bowl as you progress with your smoke, but, like any other Virginia, it is to be smoked at a very low pace so as to not break it. As I opened the tin, the moist content was just a little bit on the wet side, so I let my tobacco dry up a bit outside of the tin for a more satisfying smoking experience. The flakes will crumble easily in your hand and will pack nicely in your bowl. I particularly like the gold leaf appearance of the flakes and the way they have been pressed into finely cut slices. I don't think this is a high nicotine content tobacco, but it is very satisfying anyway. As I was progressing with my smoke, I found myself relighting every now and then, but I am OK with this as I usually like resting my pipe for a while. It does not smoke hot in your bowl and I'd say the taste is medium to full as you past halfway through your bowl. I find it particularly hard to say anything about the room note as I usually cannot smell it while I smoke it. Having said that, I'd say it is rather pleasant and not overwhelmingly present.

Pipe Used: Moretti

Age When Smoked: 1

Purchased From: A tobacconist in Spain

5 people found this review helpful.

WillBrown Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WillBrown (137)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

This IS, one good flake. Three flakes wowed me this last year, this beauty is one of them. Light golden color, nicotine on the low side, wonderfully light taste—a zest of lemon grass for me. I smoked it folded and rubbed out, both methods were good. It lit well, and when folded it lasted a good long time in my pipe (I liked that). I would recommend this blend to someone who is relatively new to smoking a pipe and wishes to try a flake (you can't go wrong with this one).

If you like lighter tobacco's in flake form, this is a winner! I wish there were more tobaccos out there like this one. Highly recommended!

Pipe Used: Nording freehand

Age When Smoked: ?

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars

5 people found this review helpful.

Ocelot79 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ocelot79 (32)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Good stuff! Not the strongest plain VA flake out there, but a solid and very reliable mild/medium smoke. It always seems to behave very well, without bite or the need for many relights, and is the sort of thing you might want to smoke while driving or out for a walk - or when reading something complicated which requires your full attention. Also good early in the day when you don't want too much nicotine, but still want a bit of flavour. This sort of reliable flake is what I would recommend to the new pipe smoker; it's easy to use and has nothing about it which the beginner will dislike or which may cause problems - such as artificial added flavourings or more highly processed 'condiment' tobaccos such as Perique and Cavendish, which are often 'love it or hate it' affairs. Fold one flake (or two for a big pipe) so that it's half as long, roll it between your palms a little, just to separate the strands a bit (not fully) twist it gently into the bowl with the strands upright, and off you go. I regularly get 90 to 100 minutes from one flake, and sometimes even longer. This baccy does give you some of that basic smoking 'satisfaction', and has none of the common faults of overly complex blends. I can't fault it.

Pipe Used: Good English briars

Age When Smoked: Less than a year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes USA

4 people found this review helpful.

gahdzila Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
gahdzila (61)
Extremely Mild Extremely Mild Mild Tolerable

Not much to say here. A very mild, one dimensional golden virginia flake. Not bad, nothing wrong with it at all. But there are better, this isn't my favorite genre, and I've already got a fav in rotation that's better than this.

4 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (213)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

Needed a little dry time . Slightly moist from tin . Flakes are easy to work with . Burns a little warm and quick for a flake even folded and stuffed . I taste mostly lemon with some bread hay and grass. High notes mostly . Has a tart tanginess . Good quality and no bite . 2 1/2 stars .

3 people found this review helpful.

Erwandy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Erwandy (6)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Pleasant

Much has been said of this Gold Navy Cut, and I just have to place my 4 stars rating for it being such a pleasant smoke early in the morning.

Yes, this is my morning tobacco now right after breakfast. I am an English Blend smoker by large and will have my fix of English 4-5 bowls a day before retiring to bed with a bowl of either FVF or Mac Baren Navy Flake. Initially I couldn't quite pin where this Gold Navy Cut would fit in, as I failed to find enjoyment like I did smoking the stronger FVF. But then just today, I was pleasantly rewarded with a very soothing and relaxing smoke, 30 minutes of bliss smoked using my Freehand Missouri Meerschaum Cob. And that sealed the deal for me. This Gold Navy Cut is a firm morning tabac for me.

To get the best out of it, I had mine already rubbed thoroughly (half content of the tin) and have them air dried for a few hours. Then I placed the unrubbed flakes into a storage container and kept the rubbed ones back into the original tin. And so, the ready to smoke pieces awaits me every morning now to deliver that consistent soothing and sweet smoking experience

PS: I prefer this over the Blue :)

Pipe Used: Missouri Meerschaum Freehand Calabash

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Gulamsa Pertama

3 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (217)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Capstan Gold Navy Cut, AKA “Golden Snork”: This one is much like its older sibling, Capstan Original Navy Cut, meaning a range of VAs that are cold pressed and well fermented before being cut into flakes and tinned. CGNC has more lemon leaf, and little or no stoved leaf (red), and both blends include sweet, earthy, air cured browns. CGNC’s tin note is slightly less vegetal, more hay, grasses and orange, along with some dates and red currants over tobacco that’s centered on a higher frequency than CONC’s. I prefer to break, fold and loosely stuff a flake for a long, gratifying smoke. In a group 5 pipe it lasts for an hour. It makes tons of smoke, and light sniffing is where it’s at with this one. The smoke parallels the tin notes and it burns fine at a low enough temperature, at least it will do, once it’s sorted out. CGNC also “develops” down the bowl, becoming stronger (relatively speaking) and tastier and smelling more complex to the end, as long as it’s not overcooked. Although CGNC is, indeed, “lighter” than CONC, yet I find it a little more intense, generally, with lemon leaf predominating, but still there’s plenty coming from brown and maybe orange leaf that adds depth and further interest to the lemon. Strength is close to medium if you smoke as much at a time as I do. Likewise, tastes develop to medium. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is the best of the smoke, only sweeter, as long as the ash is handled properly.

Despite CGNC is touted as “light” tobacco - and it is - it does have some oomph, and I can see where someone looking for a thoroughly dumb and easy blonde might be disappointed. OTOH, this ought to please most VA lovers, and I like it a lot; hence, 4 stars.

Pipe Used: VA briars

Age When Smoked: from tin and jarred 1 mo. +

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

3 people found this review helpful.

Pipesmoking101 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipesmoking101 (63)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

Upon opening the tin, the aroma of this tobacco is a strong bright Virginia scent, with hints of a citrus topping. Very pleasant, it smells gorgeous.

The appearance of the flakes is very uniform, they are somewhat thick-cut & long rectangles. The colour of the flakes is mid-brown to blonde tobaccos mixed fairly evenly.

The tobacco really needs to be roughly-rubbed. I tried it folded & stuffed a couple of times, but it was somewhat difficult to keep burning, due - I think - to the thickness of the flakes.

Once lit, the taste is exactly what one would expect from the tin-note. Bright & light, with a sweet lingering mild aftertaste of toffee caramel. The citrus note is somewhat more muted that perhaps anticipated. Once fairly rubbed, it burns well, the moisture content from the tin is pretty much perfect.

The room-note is also light & bright, with the citrus featuring a bit more heavily that the actual smoke itself.

Nicotine is mild/medium & the tobacco pairs well with light Pale Ales. The tobacco is of good quality, and some times it is just the thing when one wants to have a nice smoke without too much of a nicotine hit. I'll give it a 3, which I think is a fair rating, this won't knock your socks off, but neither will it disappoint. It can bite a bit if puffed too hard, and gentle regular sips are the way to go to keep it cool & flavoursome.

Pipe Used: Stonehaven, Old England Zulu.

Age When Smoked: New

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Full Virginia Flake (but not as good).

3 people found this review helpful.

JaWiBr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JaWiBr (452)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

Tin note of stewed ripe figs, tart plums, and sugary Rasins. The yellowish-brown tobacco flakes easily rub out. Tobacco is moist, but no drying needed. Burns slow with a few relights. The strength is mild to medium and nic is mild to medium. Though listed with Fruit / Citrus flavoring, I couldn't discern it. Taste is mild to medium and consistent, with complex notes of sweet hay, earth, tangy orange peel, mildly spicy, tart lemon grass, floral, wood, a mildly sweet spiced bread background note, and a moderately peppery retro. Room note is pleasant, and aftertaste is great.

Pipe Used: Wally Frank Limited White Bar Sandblast 128

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

2 people found this review helpful.

DrHoo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrHoo (17)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

I don't have much to add to the positive reviews this tobacco has received. I'm probably one of the few who prefers the yellow label to its blue brother. The flavour is very similar, as others have noted. The slightly lighter blend suits my somewhat tender palate and casual smoking style just a bit more. I wish I liked the exact same tobacco as JRR Tolkien but this is close enough.

Pipe Used: Various old briars

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Peterson Flake, Hamborger Veermaster.

2 people found this review helpful.

mhaque Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
mhaque (13)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A sweet, citrusy, tangy bright colored Virginia flake. Tin note offers loads of citrus, fresh tomato almost like ketchup, grass and hay notes. Flakes are thin and wide. Excellent presentation inside the tin. Very easy to rub and load into the pipe. Can easily be folded and stuffed into pipe too. Flakes come a little moist. I would give at least 45 minutes of drying time before I smoke. Excellent burning characteristics for a flake. Requires average number of relights. Once pipe is lit, the tobacco offers lots of citrus notes with just a little spice that you get from Virginias. Fresh tomato flavor doesn't come a lot while smoking. No tongue bite or harsh spots. The blend is mild for me in all these categories: nicotine, strength, and flavor. Very easy going all day summer blend for me. I took 1 star away for rating because of price point. Other than price, I have nothing bad to say about this blend. A nice change of pace for me from other Virginia blends. 3 stars out of 4.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 404

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes

2 people found this review helpful.

Leon Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leon (82)
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

To get the comparison between the Gold and Blue Capstans out of the way: I get a different flavor profile than most others. For me, the Gold version is a bit harsher, a bit stronger, and far less sweet. That despite the fact that it's made 100% from bright leaf while the blue version has more matured Virginias. However, it's not necessarily a negative comparison. For me it's a slightly bolder blend that has its time and place.

The tin note gets some of that fruity Capstan essence, although much fainter and doesn't not overall carry on to the smoke.

Smoking notes: Dry fruit, salt, a bit of sour and a bit of stout. Wood, black pepper. The overarching sweet essence of Capstan blue is felt only slightly here. Unlike others, I get far less sweet from this blend, in general and compared with its blue brother. I'm not convinced that there's an actual topping. The fruity essence can very well be the natural Virginia aroma and flavor.

Not the easiest flake to rub out, but still fairly easy. Same goes for packing. Comes in a bit moist. If I leave the flakes in the tin after opening, as I tend to do with both Capstan blends, they get to their perfect moisture level after about three days.

Flavor remains fairly consistent throughout the smoke, although I did get more sweet fruity notes towards the half point.

Medium in body, mild-medium in strength. There's a little complexity between the stout and peppery flavors and the sweetness roles. However, the balance between the two edges is very well done. Smokes at medium-pace, cool smoke. Can be an all-day smoke.

To sum up, this is a great blend and as with its blue brother, my main problem is that I finish the tin too fast for its high price. If I rate it on its own, it gets four stars. If I had to rate it in relation to the Blue version, it'd get three or three and a half, as I absolutely love Capstan Blue.

Pipe Used: Medium-large billiards and Canadians

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

2 people found this review helpful.

Antonius Blok Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Antonius Blok (190)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant to Tolerable

I only have one flake left in the tin, which will be the last to smoke this tobacco in a long time because I can't find any flavor in it. It's not that is bad. The problem is that having so many good tobaccoes, it doesn't make sense for me to go to one that is bland. Sailors warning: I recommend that you keep reading other reviews anyway, as this one you're reading now contradicts the vast majority, so it must be a problem of mine with Capstan yellow. I liked the comment of a user who appreciates the practical size of the tin (which fits in a back pocket), to transport with it "other tobaccoes". I would also add that its price is very cheap. However, it might be advisable to mix or make "sandwiches" with perique or latakia.

2 people found this review helpful.

Beer Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Beer (345)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

I had tried the "blue" in the past when it wasn't made by MacBaren yet, and I remember it was juicier and more flavorful.

This is a nice slow burning flake, but a bit too gentle for my taste, quite monochromatic and unexciting. Delicate Virginias with just a hint of sweetness, grassiness, and citrusy twang. It's good, but I simply find it less rich and tasty than I was hoping.

2 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (317)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

A pleasant, slightly complex plain VA, with a touch of extra sweet citrus complimenting the citrus & hay of the VAs. Folded, the flakes burn well and moderately paced. The flakes are easy to fold or work. A pleasant, every day or even all day smoke. I was surprised when I bought this 2 months ago to get a nearly 6 year-old tin, so I'm sure the age helped mellow it. Worth cellaring.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 6 years

Purchased From: Mars

2 people found this review helpful.

Rustedrailsmokes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Rustedrailsmokes (293)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Tolerable

A solid virginia which never disappoints.

In the tin, I get the citrus notes which make me agree that there is a citrus topping.

I break up the flakes and find them easy to light and burns without any problems.

The taste is straight forward Virginia with the sweetness you'd expect. Not overly complex but the same flavor through the bowl. Can burn hot if you over do it, but sipping gives a strong straightforward smoke.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: fresh to one year

2 people found this review helpful.

Pryhosm Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pryhosm (248)
Mild Very Mild Mild Tolerable

Nice clean citrusy sweet Virginia Flake. Tin note is subtle, not a very strong VA aroma, but it is sweet and lemony. I think there is a citrus top note on this flake. The top note or casing does not really come through in the flavor.

Typical clean, beatiful flakes like sticks of tobacco gum. I cannot tell the difference between this and Capstan blue, but I probably don’t smoke enough of either with the frequency to be able to pick up on the subtleties between the two. The tobacco develops to a sweet and slightly citrusy smoke with toasted and nutty notes on the finish. One of the best aftertaste’s I have experienced and I think that is from the topping. The bottom 3rd of the bowl routinely delivers a dark fruit, nutty flavor and I swear I detect honey, but only towards the end of the smoke.

I may smoke a bit too aggressive for Virginias and Mac Baren blends tend to bite me in general and the VA’s especially. This is no exception if I smoke this in most briar pipes. For anyone who wants to give it a shot I find that Meerschaum pipes are the best way to smoke VA’s/ They absorb a ton of moisture an give a pure tobacco smoking experience. I find that all VA’s are best in a meer. However Briar’s do add a nutty or woody dimension so I need to have that option open and I find Savinelli pipes with the balsa filter in are the best way to enjoy Virginias in a briar. And cobs are also a great choice for VA’s. I rellly like to fold and stuff flakes into a cob, makes me feel like I am really going back in time and enjoying a natural product in a Natural way.

Enough about my VA smoking preferences. Both Capstan’s are nice flake tobaccos and are a one dimensional, pure tobacco smoking experience. Capstan Yellow, some iced tea and a book on a hot summer day is a great way to take a break

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: 1 year

2 people found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (66)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

A basic Virginia with a light fruit topping. I do like it as the Virginas shine and are not overwhelmed by the topping. Burns cool. There is a slight toastiness as well. This could be a great gateway to straight Virginas.

3.5 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild None Detected Medium Very Pleasant

Idont like mac baren because this companys is not good.most of this companys tobacco have an unormal taste .but this time this company made a good tobacco. capstan originally belong to .wdho company . A good virginia is like fvf.a mild sweet and my favorate tobacco. mild sweet and i field smoke natural virginia tobacco.i want age this tobacco and smoke it...

Pipe Used: Trio stanwell

Age When Smoked: New

Similar Blends: Fvf.

2 people found this review helpful.

kumo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
kumo (4)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Ah... that no-frills Capstan Gold! Unprententious thin flakes, neatly tucked in an unpretentious yellow tin. There are obviously finer VA flakes, there are many that are less cased, there are richer ones, stronger ones, deeper ones, thicker ones, craftier ones.

But as much as I love good VA flakes, you'll never find me without a tin of the good old Capstan Gold. It's so good because it's not trying too hard. That's the point with Capstan. Everybody and their dog smokes it for a reason. You'll make no enemies among fellow pipe smokers pulling the tin from your pocket. Some will say that the Original blue one is manlier. Is it really? Room-note is neutral, so you'll make no enemies among non-smokers either.

The frank fruity top-note reminds me of Germain's Medium Flake. Now look how I sound all self-important comparing the blue-collar Capstan Gold to that rather hard-to-get Germain. Medium Flake is slightly less syrupy for sure, but well, who cares? If you're into pure, straight, complex and unadulterated VA flakes, you won't like either of them.

Fine VA's here, but nothing to write home (or a longer review) about. Simple, can be smoked without much ado, turns into fine ash down to the bottom of the bowl with few to no relights. Oh, and I also tend to use it as a mixing base. I'm not really into aromatics, but some fine room note sometimes helps with the surrounding crowd. Add a pinch of any goopy vanilla cavendish in your Capstan Gold and you'll smoke real tobacco with the added bonus of not being hated by the community.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: local store

Similar Blends: J. F. Germain & Son - Germain's Medium Flake, Mac Baren - Capstan Original Navy Cut.

2 people found this review helpful.

Valentino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Valentino (8)
Extremely Mild None Detected Extremely Mild (Flat) Unnoticeable

Capstan Yellow... to me a useless smoke, quite expensive too, considering that in Italy it costs 16euro aprox...

In my short and humble experience, the Virginia flavour for pipe smokers is one of the dangerous unicorns, the factor that makes you spend more for less, just for snobbism and marketing.

Tobaccos blends that are popular for their Virginias (i've to try the red virginias before including them), usually they don't taste of anything. We all agree that water is amazing because of its Nature but it tastes of nothing: well, Virginia tobacco is exactly the same. Super useful to balance a blend, useless by itself.

I've a fresh and young mouth, not burned with cigars, cigarettes or hours of pipe smoking. The Capstain Yello taste of neutral vapour with some far feedback of "hay". Stop. the ones that feel honey, citrus of whatever and other things have a huge imagination.

Capstain (the old classic recipe, not the MacBaren one) built its reputation on being one of the favourite blends of Tolkien, the Lord of Ring creator. Chapeau. Stop.

The modern pipe smokers that need to impress others trying to look sophisticated and with some "Third eye sensitivity" on tobaccos use tobaccoes as Capstain as filter against the ones that dodge it because it taste nothing and costs quite a lot. Navy cut in slices?! "oh my gosh that's so cool". Vogue, stop.

Capstain and BlueNote until now are my biggest and most expensive delusions and, guess what?! They are "famous" for their virginias ... Some of you can tell me I don't know how to smoke them or whatever, that Virginias improve getting a little drier ... sorry, that's a joke.

Blends as Capstain and BlueNote are chic but not tasty, stop.

Pipe Used: Billiard

Age When Smoked: 1

Purchased From: Spain

Similar Blends: Neutral vapour.

1 person found this review helpful.

Sergio Petillo Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sergio Petillo (4)
Very Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Tabacco molto piacevole, un po’ più amarognolo rispetto al ONCF, molto simile al HH PURE VIRGINIA. Mi sta dando più soddisfazione nella dritta che nelle curve, forse per la minor formazione di condensa. Lo fumo strofinato e sfilacciato (ancora non ho appreso il metodo premi e schiaccia). Si sentono i sapori classici dei VA, ovvero fieno fresco naturale.Come al solito va fumato lentamente con un filo di fumo, la troppa foga da il morso alla lingua. Nel complesso un Virginia di qualità che tutti devono provare e, nel caso piacesse, procurarsene una scorta.

Pipe Used: Savinelli 614 - 606 KS - Calais Briar Apple

Age When Smoked: 1 settimana

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - HH Pure Virginia.

1 person found this review helpful.

tobaksrøg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tobaksrøg (53)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

The perfect pipe tobacco. If you were looking for it, you've just found it. Perfect mechanics (rubbing and burn), stunning, fresh tin note, top taste, top marks.

Age When Smoked: New

1 person found this review helpful.

musicman Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
musicman (131)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I cannot really explain it. It makes no sense to me, but for some reason, I am not a fan of this blend.

I bought both the Capstan Original Navy Cut (blue tin) and a tin of this, the Capstan Gold Navy Cut. Based on tin description, and reading reviews here, I expected to like the gold better than the blue. I tend to lean more toward the light and the bright when it comes to my Virginias. The exact opposite happened. I immediately fell head over heels for the Blue tin, I mean like, sort of obsessed at this point, it is going to cost me some money I like it so much.

But the gold..... Once again the presentation is beautiful and the quality of the product is superb. Mac Baren always does beautiful flakes, and these live up to that standard. There is a tin note that suggest some sweet topping to me. Do not let that throw you off, it is in a reserved manner, and in the smoke, the tobacco is absolutely the main driver. The tin note is not as complex as that of its older brother blue, and this one has a bit of that "Ketchupy" smell, that for me usually means good things to come.

I tried this tobacco every which way. Moist, dried, rubbed out, folded and stuffed. I tried it in cobs, briars of various bowl sizes and shapes, and even a meer, and I always got the same result....a resounding "so what?"

It just is pretty ho hum for me. Nothing bad, but not much for me to like. I would like to stress that I do not believe this is a "bad" blend. Based on the multitude of reviews here on this site by pipers way more knowledgable and experienced than I, it must be good stuff. I believe this is one of those blends that just doesn't jive with me personally. Based on deductive reasoning it should be right up my alley, but every time I smoke it, it is a little bit of a yawn.

At the end of the day this is what makes this hobby exciting, the personal quest for that just right tobacco. If we all had the same tastes, there would only need to be one or two pipe blends made. The good news for me though, is that if I don't have to spend money loading my cellar with this stuff......More money available for that manna from heaven in the blue tin.

Age When Smoked: 2022 Tin

1 person found this review helpful.

1/2 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
1/2 (17)
Mild None Detected Mild Pleasant

This blend has a good flavour from start to finish. It is in my opinion quite similar to Capstan original blend, however milder. The aroma is pleasant and the flavor Nice. A good blend to enjoy with a cup of coffee in the morning watching the sun rise

Pipe Used: Talamona Reverse Calabash, Dagner

Age When Smoked: New from store

Purchased From: M Sørensen Tobbakk Bergen

1 person found this review helpful.

canvas Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
canvas (337)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Years ago I tried blue Capstan, and at the time I was not a fan of straight Virginia. Fast forward to now, having more experience with other Virginia blends, I thought I'd give this version a whirl. Besides it is listed as milder, and with fruit (landing in camp Aromatic I often play in).

The smoke is indeed milder, without deviating too much from the more popular blue tin product. Inside are 14 laser cut flakes that give off a sweet wheat germ scent with, yup, a tinge of fruitiness. The flakes are a bit moist and I'd let them catch some air before folding them up. Once lit, it performs much like a quality unfiltered cigarette, that I found myself wanting to inhale.

Don't be turned off by the idea of the fruit flavoring, it is mostly undetectable and helps to smooth out the tobacco taste, which was medium in strength and nicotine. As with other flakes or kakes, the product is quite dense and I tend to get less bowls per ounce than the same amount of ribbon cut. In this case I got roughly 12 bowls. Luckily the product tends to burn a little slower, so you get some mileage.

As an Aromatic fan, I will likely never rate a Virginia above 2 stars, but this was one of the best attempts they threw my way. An easy 3+ rating for non-Aromatic pipers.

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Thorbacco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Thorbacco (6)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild Tolerable

Opening tin: The smell is sugary and fruity, some citrus and hay. Otherwise tobacco smell is dominant.

Lighting up is a delight, the same smells from opening the tin is converted to taste, except for citrus which i do not detect. I get some dried grass with strong hay notes, and some fresh soil mixed in there. Similiar to what one would smell if one rolled around in a patch of dried grass.

A perfect, light mixture that reminds me of the summertimes. Burns well, no bite, zero to few relights, fine ash after finish. Flavour becomes more powerful towards the last 1/2 of the bowl. Almost bitter towards the end.

Age When Smoked: days, weeks, months after opening

Purchased From: Nettobak

1 person found this review helpful.

ElMog Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
ElMog (36)
Mild Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant

Tolkien liked this. I like Tolkien. Ergo, i should like Capstan.

Sadly, i cannot say i did. I'm probably not experienced enough to fully appreciate those full virginia blends, but, i struggled to taste anything with this one. Only about mid-bowl did some flavour finally show up, only to disappear minutes later... I must be doing something wrong.

I also seem to have low tolerance to Virginia. NightCap, which has a reputation for being strong in the Nicotine department, sometimes makes me feel woozy, but never sick. Same for some dark flakes. But Virginia blends, and also VaPers, they just dont go well with my body chemistry... the sugar ?

Pipe Used: Clay and Sandblasted Canadian by Orlik

Purchased From: Tabagie Giguère

1 person found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The rather large slices of flake tobacco are neatly stacked into the rectangular tin. The tin note delivers the typical grassy, haylike, natural scents of a straight Virginia blend. Moisture is perfect.

To fill your pipe you can either rub out the flakes or use the fold and stuff method. I prefer the later alternative, because it gives you a cooler, more complex smoke, and crumble some broken bits on top. Either way, you need to take care not to pack your bowl too tightly, because the tobacco tends to expand upon lighting.

After the charring light I level out the ashes, before setting the true light. After that, it usually burns evenly.

Like any pure Virginia blend, the Capstan Gold Navy Cut needs to be smoked deliberately gently and coolly in order to develop its full flavor. If it burns too hot, it'll loose its complexity and might even sting your tongue. The mellow taste has a distinct tangy sweetness that rather comes from the natural aromas of the Virginias than a casing, which I can't detect. The tobacco burns down evenly and slowly leaving some dark grey ash and more moisture than expected.

The room note is unobtrusive and has a slight sweetness to it.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Nr. 95 Silke Brun

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Esterval's Pipe House

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith Full Virginia Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

nesta Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nesta (7)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Very Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

In search of a great VA, I recently sought recommendations. I got them. As a result, I ended up buying a tin of Capstan Gold Navy Cut nine days ago. Currently, the very last of it is burning in a reasonably large bent billiard/brandy BST. The tin code suggests this was tinned in 2013.

Simply put, this is a fantastic blend. It is everything I thought I was looking for in a VA: mild-medium body, super sweet, high quality leaf, easy to work with, easy burning, and delicious. It delivers all of these and more, and I can't overstate the sweetness. I taste little to no added aromatic quality to this blend, but this has to be the single sweetest non-aromatic blend I have ever smoked. Full stop.

The flakes arrived at the perfect moisture level to smoke with little or no drying. They look clean, crisp, immaculate. They are insanely easy to rub out, and work just great for folding-and-stuffing. I can get about an hour of smoke from a rubbed up half flake generally, or a much longer smoke by folding the whole thing up and stuffing it in a pipe. My longest smoke with this stuff was a whole flake at around two hours. And the flavor, sweetness, everything only got better as the bowl went on.

This isn't the mildest tobacco I've ever smoked, but it certainly has a crisp, light, bright flavor. It is closer to a medium strength tobacco in terms of nicotine than the very mild flavor would suggest, but it certainly isn't a full-on medium; it's just a touch stronger than one might initially suspect based on appearance and flavor.

The room note is pleasant as these things go, but again it's not an aromatic.

I was so smitten by the stuff right off the bat that I initially thought I might want to smoke nothing else until I was done with the tin. It turns out that while this is a fantastic blend, I couldn't maintain the discipline to do that. The sweetness is lovely with this blend, but it also is a limiting factor in determining how much of the stuff I can actually smoke. That said, in order to get a really good feel for this blend, I did smoke at least one bowl of this every day until I ran out - usually more. If smoked too much, though, the sweetness tends to start to fatigue me, and I start getting a touch of bite. I could see myself being content to smoke only this blend if I only smoked once every day or two, but as it stands I am not. Early in the morning, or after a long evening of too much tobacco, this blend isn't always actually what I want. That said, it is probably the best example of the kind of tobacco I was seeking. It's got really clear, light VA taste with sugar galore, and when I'm in the mood this is simply a breathtaking, stunning blend. But I am simply not always in the mood, and sometimes I need something less sweet or with more weight to it in terms of flavor if not in terms of nicotine.

This isn't a cheap tobacco, but neither is it prohibitively expensive. I could definitely see buying some tins of this to age, or to just keep on hand for when I want a special, sweet, plain Virginia. The only drawback to this tobacco, if it's fair to call this a drawback, is that I couldn't smoke this all day. It's just too rich in sweetness. Which is also it's great strength in terms of being a more occasional, special-treat smoke.

I plan on trying the Capstan Original next, having heard it has just a touch more body and a touch less sweetness, but I'm extremely glad to have tried this blend, and I imagine this won't be the last tin I ever buy of this.

This tin was smoked over the course of nine days from a variety of pipes, including a few different briar pipes, a brand new Falcon (which I have broken in with this), and a Barling meerschaum. I didn't find drying to be especially advantageous, but it did help with avoiding dottle in larger pipes.

For me, this isn't an all-day every-day blend, but I have to give it full marks on every front except price. It could be less pricey, but this is one case in which I think the quality can justify an extra two or three dollars per tin. Extremely highly recommended.

1 person found this review helpful.

pipedrum22 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pipedrum22 (15)
Very Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I smoked this flake side by side with it's more stronger brother, the original Capstan. This blend has a bit more sweetness to it and less nicotine than the original Capstan. I would best describe it as a very light Virginia flake with noticeable honey, fig, and natural Viriginia notes found throughout the smoke. Like its brother, I suggest letting it sit for 5 minutes before smoking it so it can dry a bit. This is definitely an easy-going and all day smoke. Highly recommend it.

1 person found this review helpful.

Kyrob Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kyrob (41)
Mild Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Opening a 1 year old tin I was greeted with thin, wide pressed flakes in gold and brown colors. There was a fermented tangy odor as the tin was opened. A deeper sniff showcased grassy notes and a sweet lemon-like citrus smell. The moisture level was just about perfect for me, and an unlit sip brought a light sweetness through the stem. The initial light tasted of hay and a darker sweetness than before. Overall there were light citrus notes with a dark sweetness in each puff. Every so often I would get a grassy note or a hint of hay, a pretty straightforward Virginia I think. The aftertaste lasted a little while, and the room was left smelling pleasant and toasty. I enjoyed this blend and think it showcases everything I enjoy about certain Virginia blends. I’d recommend this blend to anyone who likes a straightforward and light Virginia flake.

Age When Smoked: 1 Year

1 person found this review helpful.

JustinCarcerated Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JustinCarcerated (99)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Unnoticeable

Wow!....a straight Va. that smokes with sweetness and spiceness, I am pleasantly suprised.

Tin presentation is impeccable, more bright colored leaf than OGS, well pressed and uniform in cut.

Smell is hayish, but sweet- cant identify any casing myself, like say University Flake or Erinmore.

If respected my patience pays off with sweet sugary sips early to mid bowl. I do get peppeey spice toward.the end-not unlike I taste with perique in a blend.Of course it can burn and bite but I rub it out well and pack it firm. Highly recommended from someone not hyper-fond of straight anything in the baccy realm.

Pipe Used: Sav Bent

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Pipes&Cigars.com

1 person found this review helpful.

SmokeKing David Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeKing David (134)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a mild, golden Virginia flake with notes of natural sweetness and hay. Has more going for it than MacB's VA Flake, but not quite as sweet and satisfying as MacB's Virginia No 1. Still, it's hard to criticize a blend that has so much light colored VAs that doesn't bite.

I like it, but the Cap Blue has a little more going for it.

Govern Yourself Accordingly

Pipe Used: Radice Twin Bore Dublin

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: JR Cigars, Southfield, MI

Similar Blends: MacBaren Virginia Flake, Dunhill Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

Joeray Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Joeray (61)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

With a slow smoking I really enjoy my smoking experience with this blend. When I pack it into my Stanwell 163 sand, it is really easy to pack, burn slowly and with consistent taste and flavour. I really enjoy this blend from 1st light until I finish the whole bowl.

1 person found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (305)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

My tin was marked as made in Denmark by MacBaren in 3/13 and this is one of their more enjoyable flakes even though it hadn't aged much. As usual, the flakes are nicely prepared and ~ 3" long. The moisture content is ideal and makes the flakes pliable for my fold and pack method. It burns cool and dry and the sweet VAs come thru. If you like VA flakes, give it a try.

1 person found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (218)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Upon opening the tin, I get the classic smell for a Danish flake, figs and honey. The tobacco burns slowly and to a white ash from the tin. The taste is sweet with fig tones. A perfect all day flake that delivers a consistent flavor that might be boring for some but not for me. This is exactly what I want in a Danish style Virginia flake.

Update: the new Mac Baren version is not as tasty and the topping is applied differently for my taste buds. It's still a good Virginia flake, just not as good.

Virginia Lover

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Amazing tin. Very beautiful and perfectly allocated flakes inside the tin. Visually winsomeness. I tried it in various ways (ground, whole flake, brocken flake, etc.). At first it struck me, probably influenced by its "historical" name. It is quite heavy, with a honey-like, stable flavor throughout the bowl. I wouldn't agree with the “subtle flavor” indicated by the manufacturer. It was hard to light in every way that I smoked it. It also needs to be left open to dry. Maybe in its earlier years this Virginia tasted better. Neutral flavor in the room and it causes no cough. I have another tin and I most certainly do not feel ashamed, anymore, of the reason that after 20 years of pipe smoking I had not tried it.

1 person found this review helpful.

SergentPepper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SergentPepper (5)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

1-I agree with many reviewers: this tobacco is not spectacular. But... For that very reason, it's a great tobacco if you need something very simple sometimes: pure Virgina. 2-Another way I use it: I mix this tobacco (2/3) with "Pure Latakia" by Robert McConnell (1/3). For me, its' a wonderful balance as I love Latakia being present in a mixture. Give it a try :-)

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The high quality leaf shows itself with its wonderfull smell in the tin. The flakes have a medium moisture degree. So you may dry them at your own choice. This will change the smoke in a nice way.

I smoke this tobacco without rubbing the flakes. In this way it offers a long lasting smoke. If you are looking for a strong Virginia flake this may not satisfy your needs. The mild to medium nicotine dosage and cool, fresh smoking makes this tobacco ideal for summer days.

The flavor is a true tobacco, sweety taste. Highly recommended..

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

One of the few baccas i can get locally, altso one of my summertime favourites. A quite straight virginia, but not boring or bland. I rub it out for smoking but great as is.Tastes amazing, but does not tip over to extraordinary so only 3 stars.

Recommended for everyone.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I perfectly agree with Sgt Pepper.

This is a very mild, pleasant and soft golden virginia in perfectly made flakes. The flavoring is mild, just as it should.

Go for 1-2 hours of pleasure (depending on the bowl) with a pleasant room note.

Not especially an evening tobacco, but a very pleasant one indeed.

Different, but can be compared to Orlik Golden Slice, although I prefer the real flake here.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

In my opinion this one is even better than original navy cut.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Fresh opened tin, I did not like it. A little bit harsh and boring. The tin size however being very practical I used it for some flakes I got in a pouch.

Coming back to this flake in it's zipperbag after a year I was pleasantly surprised.

Verdict: quite nice!

Update may 2011 It's growing on me... 2nd tin, smoked quite well straight away without drying, just fold and stuff a flake in my Upshall churchwarden, or half a flake rubbed a bit and rolled into a ball. Still not a favourite, but a nice diversion in this months rotation of MVF, Negrohead and Onyx.

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