Peterson Flake

Brown Virginia Pipe Tobacco. Pressed first and then delicately cut into fine slices.
Notes: Description from old Dunhill store catalogs: Flake (aka Light Flake): This ‘processed’ Virginia is a cut flake of medium strength, very cool, and has a pleasant, slightly sweet flavour and aroma (1959) [Lemon and Bronze Virginias, ideal for sportsmen - 1985]. Formerly known as Dunhill Flake, STG has changed the brand name from "Dunhill" to "Peterson".


Brand Peterson
Blended By Dunhill
Manufactured By Scandinavian Tobacco Group
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.55 / 4





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Displaying 41 - 50 of 231 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 14, 2022 Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
I discovered Dunhill flake late. I absolutely fell in love with it. Wow - I had found my desert island choice. Unfortunately, I bought the tin just before the transition from Dunhill to Peterson. It was very dissappointing when it dissapeard from the market, and I was equally relieved when it returned under the Peterson flagship.

It might be nostalgia, because I lived abroad when I enjoyed my only tin of Dunhill flake, and I fell in love with it while reading at cafés in Brussels and France. But in my mind I remember the Dunhill flake to be somewhat more complex and more perfect than its current reincarnation. Well, well...that's all in the past now.

Peterson Flake: This might not be the most intricate or flavour rich virginia out there. But it must be appreciated for its other characteristics. This might still be one of my favorites, because it is so reliable. A very nice everyday smoke. Perfectly cut flakes, not too thick, no excessive moisture, easy to dry out as you like it. Burns well without too many relights. Smokes very nice with enought flavour not to get boring, but also a mellow smoke that allows you to focus on other things. Very easy to fold and stuff, or rub out if you prefer. It never burns hot, and that alone is worth praise. I love it with coffee.

Most of us probably go through a phase when we love to search out and try new tobaccos in hunt for our favorite. But Peterson Flake is the tobacco that you will start to appreciate once you realize that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. In fact, this is a winner due to the fact that it is so reliable. And for that reason alone, it might end up being a favorite. If you have not tried it, be sure to respect it for its own virtues, and its everyday quality. Also, if you are new to smoking flake by fold and stuff-method and find it difficult, this one is a very easy flake to begin with.

Taste: This is not a light virginia, it is definitely on the darker side, but not tangy and free from bitterness. Bready and yeasty notes are in the foreground but subtle nevertheless (but perhaps a little flat in this regard, I remember the Dunhill version to be more complex), and with a rounded sweetness. There is a kind of tension between the more mellow and the robust side, and it also shifts depending on how you smoke it. Can be a bit spicy on the retrohale. If you sip on it the sweetness comes through more. However, I do think PF lacks that nice balance with brighter, grassy notes that was present in the Dunhill Flake. Oh, how I wish I would find an exact replacement for Dunhill Flake, but I don't think this is it.

My review is based on at least 2.5 years of aging in a jar, and I don't know how it compares to a fresh tin. But there are probably other virginias that would age into an even smoother smoke by that time, and I think PF would indeed become more interesting from maturing further in that direction.

UPDATE 25/11/2022:

I am prepared to alter my judgment above, because I now think PF ages very well. With just some further aging it has matured into a very sweet and well integrated smoke. After having smoked this a lot as my everyday tobacco, having dedicated my favorite pipes to it and also breaking in a new pipe with it, I have also reached a clearer impression regarding flavoring. I would be surprised if the sweetness is all natural virginia. Especially the finish of the bowl can be exceptionally sweet and truly magnificent; where many tobaccos will get foul at the finish, PF only gets tastier and allows for a dry smoke all the way down to a fine ash. To be honest I do not know how sweet natural virginia can get. Is it the magic transformation of aging? But I would not be surprised if there is a very (!) mild casing of sugar water that is there only to enhace the natural tobacco in a beautiful way (it could be that it is more detectable after some aging). Be it as it may, the sweet nature of this flake is nevertheless perfectly integrated with the bready body of the tobacco.

Another important note: I just opened up a new tin, and I was expecting the tobacco to feel fresh and a bit astringent. But I was actually surprised how good it is now fresh from the tin. So while cellaring some tins for the future, I will also enjoy PF fresh from the tin. I think it is better now than when Peterson Flake was still quite new on the market. It could be that Peterson now had the time to let this tobacco mature a bit more before tinning. It is a speculation, but it would probably make sense. I feel I could write a different review now, because what I get is a more integrated tobacco. The fresh tin of PF still can't compare to what you get with aging, but I think the tension described above is no longer there. And the same could be said of my initial nostalgia for the old Dunhill version. Peterson Flake has completely won me over. And after trying out so many tobaccos, my ability to appreciate PF just keeps building, it is always my favorite. Peterson Flake - this is why I smoke a pipe!
Age When Smoked: 2.5 years + 3 years + fresh 2022
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 07, 2021 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Presentation: Lovely, even stacked flakes with a nice paper wrapping. Golden yellow and brown with a slight tinge of orange. Nothing has changed apart from the Dunhill name.

Palette: Citrusy, light, bright and a tad bready. A touch of hay. Tin note is gorgeous. Not a typical light virginia smell that I get with others. I generally find most bright virginias very haylike and young, but this flake has gone through a 3.5 year aging process and it's wonderful.

Performance. Breaks apart easily, stays lit well. Mild nicotine. I didn't really feel anything. Hardly any moisture in the heel of the bowl.

Conclusion: This was one of the first blends I tried almost 3 years ago and this is my second tin. I wish I smoked this more because it reminds me of when I started and fond memories. My tin had just over 3 years of age on it and it was superb. A classic for pipe smokers and a must try for Virginia leaf lovers. I have about 6-7 tins already in the cellar aging.
Pipe Used: Peterson Summertime 2017 X105
Age When Smoked: 3.5years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 13, 2019 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This revered Straight Virginia is deemed by many to be the benchmark for it's genre, and for good reason. It is well presented in very neatly cut Danish style flakes at perfect moisture level for enjoying straight from the tin. It is very well behaved and packs and lights incredibly easily. The tin note is at the bakery end of the Virginia spectrum with some dried fruit and spice. Cinnamon and star anise are evident and perhaps a hint of baked apple. Upon lighting, the flavour is light and bready and develops into something deeper and rounded as the bowl progresses, with fruit and citrus notes becoming more pronounced. It burns even and cool and doesn't bite if smoked with a normal relaxed cadence. The room note is a very pleasant typical unadulterated Virginia and it has a great aftertaste and beard/moustache note. It compares well with Capstan Blue and Charatan Flake and also Gawith Best Brown in that it has a fuller taste than many straight Virginias and a certain tang that keeps your interest. My sample was very fresh (9th september 2019) being the new production under the Peterson name. It can only improve with age and has a good reputation for cellaring. All in all I am very pleased with Peterson Flake and will be adding it to my list of regular smokes in my rotation. It's reputation is well deserved and it is an easy 4 stars for me. Highly reccomended.

Update 6/2/2020:-

This is now my go to smoke and even in the short time since my review, it has improved and smoothed with age. It is the most consistently good and flavoursome Virginia flake that I have tried, and has all the qualities I look for, and none of the vices. It is very like Capstan Blue and Sam Gawith Best Brown, but it is better than either of those hallowed blends. Praise indeed !
Pipe Used: Falcon
PurchasedFrom: GQ Tobaccos
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 29, 2018 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Tolerable
Dunhill Flake (No longer in production)

As of December, 2018, I would say that this review is irrelevant due to the fact that Dunhill Flake is no longer being produced, except for the fact that Dunhill Flake is still being sold and traded online.

When I first picked up the pipe five years ago, I initially shied away from Virginias (straight Virginias, VaPers and so on). I gravitated towards English and Balkan blends. As my palate matured, I tried to better understand and be au fait with the straight Virgnias everyone was raving about -- Virginias that were all such a key component in the English and Balkan blends I was so besotted with. In order to really understand and better appreciate those English and Balkan blends, I needed to better understand the flavor profiles and characteristics of all those Virginias in all of their assorted varieties.

Upon learning of Dunhill’s corporate, shareholder-driven designs to shutter its pipe tobacco operations, I purchased ten additional tins of Dunhill Flake (along with some Nightcap, a [relatively] long-time favorite of mine, as well as some Navy Rolls, another eventual Dunhill favorite of mine).

Dunhill Flake perfectly illustrates the challenge I still encounter with various Virginias. After carefully reading all of the reviews on this tobacco (before even smoking it), I am reminded how subjective this subject of reviewing a pipe tobacco (offering one’s personal opinion) actually is.

On the tin note for instance, some of the comments were: “Milk chocolate with raspberry fruitiness”, and “hay” and “sweet feed”. I didn’t get any of that in the tin note. One reviewer commented “dried plums, figs and raisins” – and I definitely did get that – along with some earth (I don’t know what “sweet feed” smells like – I’ll have to ask my horse owning niece for a sample some time). The product description reads: “Lemon and bronze Virginias – ideal for sportsmen” . . . (?) If there were “subtle chocolate sweetness” and “citrus notes buried deeper in the background,” then they were a tad too subtle and perhaps buried a bit too deeply for my olfactory lobes to detect.

Upon ignition: I guess I kind of got the hint of lemon and citrus, and I got the “dark earth” part of Dunhill Flake. The high point of this tobacco for me was when I immediately and very definitely picked up on the ginger bread hit, and that was at the very beginning (on the char, in fact) and not towards the end (as was noted by one reviewer).

The 4-star ratings for Dunhill Flake outnumber the 3-star ratings by 2-1 (116-58), and on the 4-star ratings, some of the reviewers’ comments were: “This is my favorite pipe tobacco of all time”; “This is an incredible tasting tobacco”; “the quintessential straight Virginia” and “The one from which all others should be measured” (which is ironic, because this is exactly the same thing I said about McClelland’s 40th Anniversary Straight Virginia Flake in my 4-star review of that tobacco).

It is socially inappropriate to speak ill of the dead. (JimInks, unquestionably the most ambassadorial of commentators on this site, is ever so diplomatic and gentlemanly in the wording of his reviews, even whilst eviscerating some poor example of a tobacco with his single star). It is not my intention to demean Dunhill Flake in any way, but there are other reviewer comments that better reflect my own views of this tobacco, which were: “A straight, no-nonsense Virginia”; “Not a bad straight Va flake, just not my favorite”; “Not for every Virginia lover”; “Perfectly middle of the road”; “generic Virginia” and “boring” (the word “boring” appeared twice, and that is what I found this Virginia to be – quite boring). Personally, Dunhill Flake is not a Virginia I will bemoan the loss of the way I do the McClelland Anniversary editions and Christmas Cheer. A two-star tobacco for me.

I will revisit Dunhill Flake some time in the future, and if it improves with age (or my palate improves with age) I will edit this review.

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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 01, 2018 Medium to Strong Very Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable
The most deeply fermented virginia tin note I have ever come across. How this is discontinued yet again, will result in people having questions, and enquiries for centuries.

The virginia is the richest flake I have tried for a virginia. Great tanginess. Plently of nicotine, and a golden room note, for anyone who smoked at least. What is not to like? Sadly no longer available. This was the standard virginia in my book.

A lot of the fribourg and teyer flakes are close but do not quite reach this level of perfection in my book. I liked this flake even more than solani's virginia flake 633, which is saying a lot.
Pipe Used: My best briars.
PurchasedFrom: All over.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 26, 2018 Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Dunhill Flake is a consistent & loyal & very well behaved flake, composed of light and dark Virginia.

Visually I would compare it to a Capstan Original (previously Medium). Flavourwise, the one coming closer seems SG’s Best Brown Flake. Close to the medium strenght, mild-to-medium in body. I don’t detect any flavouring, just the hay/citrus/bread thing. Good indeed. Burns exceptionally well, no hot smoke, no bite, no harsh spots. No high spots too… unfortunately.

I could see myself smoking this all day. Easily three stars. This tin was received as a gift, one and probably the last I will see… PS: And, yes: I smoked the old Light Flake in the late eighties. That was stronger than this.
Pipe Used: Castello's
PurchasedFrom: received as a gift
Age When Smoked: a couple of years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 10, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Not what it used to be. Unfortunately Dunhill switched to a round tin and the once elegant rectangular flakes are now jammed into the tin; squeezed together in a wet glob at one end and then spread out ... they cannot be separated and must be rubbed out as a package and dried. The tobacco is still very good in the end, but sadly not as good as it was.

Orlik figured out how to package their flakes nicely in a rectangular paper package and then put the package in a round tin. Perhaps Dunhill is planning to exit the tobacco business and is just doing the cheapest thing to exploit the brand until the end??
Pipe Used: Various
Age When Smoked: New tin
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 28, 2016 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A tasty, smooth, all-day smoke. Fairly mild, but inoffensive. Smells, looks, and smokes beautiful from the tin. I'd recommend this for virginia fans, I'm not sure the price is justified here....
Pipe Used: Corncob, clay, briar
Age When Smoked: Fresh
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 11, 2016 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
It's not that I hate Dunhill Flake - Murray's version of Light Flake was the first pipe tobacco I smoked and a good part of the reason why I stopped smoking as many cigars and moved almost exclusively to the pipe. It's just that Flake - Orlik or Murray's production - is Virginia flake pipe tobacco with training wheels on.

The mechanics are super solid, the cut is precise, the moisture is perfect, it rubs out the same every time, it tastes the same every time, it tastes the same from start to finish. It's almost the perfect starter flake. If someone said they wanted to try straight Virginia pipe tobacco, I'd point them to Dunhill Flake without reservation.

But after a while I want the training wheels to come off. It has gotten to the point where it is a chore for me to finish a tin of Flake, because I know there's something out there with more nuanced and varied flavor, with more depth, something more interesting.

Two stars out of four, it would be three out of five in a more intuitive rating system. Perfectly middle-of-the-road.
Pipe Used: basket pipe
Age When Smoked: freshies
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 16, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant
If I can compare this to anything, it would be EMP. The Virginia in EMP tastes exactly the same as Dunhill flake obviously without any oriental. Very pure light Virginia flavor that is slightly sweet. I don't get any hay or baked bread like flavored, just I slight blink of an eye citrus flavor. The tin note is different. Obviously it's a Virginia tin note but I also get a slight black pepper note to it. No bite to it at all. Burns clean and cool. Unfortunately there is no nicotine to it. At least for me.

I bought a tin of this a couple of years ago but I couldn't remember much about it until I bought a tin a couple of days ago. Overall a pure and simple Virginia flake that you don't have to think about. Rubbed out or folded, it smokes the same. Very enjoyable and recommended. Prefer this over Orlik golden sliced.
Pipe Used: Eriksen pot style pipe
PurchasedFrom: Ye Ole Pipe Shoppe
Age When Smoked: New
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