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A pure Virginia specialty. Elegant and mellow smoke. A Danish type blend. With an unobtrusive aroma and a fine sweetness on the tongue.

BrandJohn Aylesbury
Blended ByPlanta
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
FlavoringOther / Misc
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
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Mild to Medium
Extremely Mild
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Favorite Of 1 Users

17 reviews
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Steverino Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Steverino (6)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I discovered this blend almost as if by accident and count myself fortunate. Of the many tinned Virginia tobaccos I've tried, this one stands out as one of the easiest to smoke and best tasting.

Upon opening the tin, one finds a long flake of tobacco, not unlike that in Reiner's Long Golden Flake, sort of wrapped up on itself in the tin. The tin aroma is much like the typical bright Virginia, a little hay-like or grass-like. There is also an added aroma, likely from the conservative topping, and this serves to set Sir John's Flake apart from similar blends.

Tin moisture seems ideal for pipe smoking, so I found it easy to crumble off a bit from the large flake and pack it in the pipe. Application of a match set it to burning easily and the only reason another light was needed was because I tamped it a bit.

The initial taste is, again, similar to other Virginias of this type. The casing or topping does, however, add another dimension. If pressed for a description, I'd say the topping is honey, or at least honey-like. It does have a sweet smell and, since the tin does say "Danish Classic", the topping appears to be of the Danish school. Whatever its origin, it is very good to this smoker.

I found this blend to be very consistent as the bowl is smoked. The same taste seems to follow the smoker to the end with little change. There is, to be sure, a slight darkening of the flavor down the bowl but it is not so much that one would think to be smoking a different tobacco, as happens with many blends.

Overall, I give this blend a high rating. I find it to be one of the most enjoyable blends I've smoked and would highly recommended it to anyone wishing to try a Virginia blend for the first time or to the experienced Virginia smoker looking for the proverbial "change of pace".

12 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2575)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

An uncomplicated straight mostly bright Virginia flake, the length of which reminds me of Orlik Golden Sliced and Gatsby Luxury Flake in more ways than that. This has a slightly less topping, but with many of the same tobacco aspects. There’s also a small amount of darker Virginia present as well. This product offers a bit of citrus with a mild tanginess, plenty of grass and hay, some earth and tangy dark fruit, along with a few drops of sugar, and a hint of tea. It also provides a minute touch of smokiness, and a few spice notes. The topping is sweet honey, and I suspect a little citrus as well. They don’t sublimate the tobaccos that much. The taste level is a step closer to medium than it is to mild. The nic-hit is mild. Won’t bite or get harsh, but has a couple rough edges if you puff fast. Burns clean, fairly cool and a little slow with a mostly consistent flavor. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a very pleasant after taste. Can easily be an all day smoke. Three and a half stars.


8 people found this review helpful.

Mr. Big Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mr. Big (321)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Sweet honey and the slight flavor of Orlik's golden Sliced on the initial light, good "N" with the sweet brightness of the Virginia, smooth. Quickly becomes tangy and very "McClelland like". After about a 1/4 bowl the taste changes to almost an Oriental/Perique forward flavor of sour Gingerbread ( I know, there are no Orientals/Perique , but no other way to describe it). The blend continues to grow darker as you go down the bowl ( almost turns bitter, more English VA. ) but still maintains some sour sweetness . The last 1/3 of the bowl turns sweet again but darker.Very interesting and ever changing, more Danish than English or McClelland like . Excellent on re-lights , stays sweet and doesn't turn ashy

FVF is darker and less sweet, McC 5100 is milder and more tangy, MacBarens Virginia No.1 is more hay flavor and bitey

I can't see any Virginia lover not liking this one.

Pipe Used: cob

Age When Smoked: 3 months

8 people found this review helpful.

BC Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BC (19)
Mild Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant

This really is an outstanding tobacco. The flakes are long and slightly wet, and light brown and tan in color. I usually rub them out and let dry for 30 minutes or so. Sir John Flake has a sort of sour wine smell in the tin. It burns very well, although you have to pack it lighter than usual. Sir John will burn to ash with minimal dottle. It has a delicate sweetness-honey I think, but it doesn't overpower a very nice Virginia taste. There is some citrus and hay, you get more of an earthy taste towards the bottom. The sweetness, though, stays throughout the smoke. It does not bite. The main attraction of this blend to me is that it tastes great and garnered a rare, and I mean rare compliment from my wife on the room note.

Pipe Used: Large bent

Age When Smoked: Fresh

7 people found this review helpful.

Nathan Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Nathan (15)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant

After searching for a new flake to try, I happened upon the very few reviews on Sir John's Flake Virginia. After reading the reviews and since I was unfamiliar with a total Virginia flake tobacco, I decided to find out for myself. Upon opening the tin there was a light plumb aroma. After unwrapping the flake and taking in a deep breath through the nostrils I was hit with a deep fruity sparkling wine like scent. It smells amazing. Now the flake itself was not moist and certainly not over dry. It was basically perfect. I peeled the amount of tobacco I saw fit from the side of the flake instead of unfolding it. I used the fold and twist method and rubbed out the top portion a bit and gently packed into my Peterson Irish Sea 221 Smooth Fish Tail. After packing the pipe, the flake's aroma changed from that sparkling fruity aroma to a definite hay aroma which I understand is common with Virginia's. It smells great. I let it sit for about six hours before deciding to give it a go. Pre-light aroma is inviting with the slight aroma of warm toast. I tamped then lit the flake while taking a deep puff. WOW! The aroma is that of warm toast, almonds, and sweet cream. Not strong like an aromatic but distinct and definitive. There is a slight sweetness and bread like taste as well with the definite tobacco taste, none overpowering the other. The aroma and flavor stayed consistent and true through the entire bowl. The company I was with were not offended by my smoking and complimented the tobacco for its pleasant aroma and for it not having a strong smokiness to it. You might receive some bite if puff greedily. Long story short, this is an excellent flake tobacco. It is a must try in my opinion.


I have aged this for over two years now and all I can say is that this is one of my favorite tobaccos. This is an excellent Virginia!

7 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Very Pleasant

I believe that Planta must have changed the presentation of the cut of Sir John's Flake. When I popped the top of my tin the flakes were broken up already, and in fact, looked almost like a thick ribbon cut. No long strips in here.

In any event, the color of the leaf was both bright and dark, and the tin aroma was heavenly; sweet over ripe plumbs comes to mind. At the match there wasn't much to brag about, but after the first layer had been consumed I detected more depth and the nicotine hit came through a little stronger than what I expect from Virginia Bright. The depth of the Virginia flavor got a little better once I reached the halfway point but never blossomed fully. I suspect this one will age well as the sugar content was halfway up the ladder. I was impressed by the overall presentation after the first couple of bowls I smoked, and think this is a very fine mid-range Virginia for those who prefer sweeter leaf and some of that good old Vitamin N. No worries if you have a sensitive waggler either. This one does not bite which tells me the leaf is of good quality.


Pipe Used: Ryan Alden Dublin Sandblast

Age When Smoked: About a year old

Purchased From: Gifted to me for review

5 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (1947)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

John Aylesbury - Sir John's Flake Virginia.

Another from my friend Gentleman Zombie, thanks Franck! He sent me this in a zip-lock bag so I can't comment on the moisture from a sealed tin, but I can comment on the construction: a long coil.

The smoke has a high quality, slightly citrus, Virginia, making up the natural side of things, and the only added, or possibly added, taste I recognise is an extremely subtle honey-type one. This is a good companion to the naturally sweet Virginia. The flavour's quite unfluctuating, it maybe gets a little sweeter, but there's not really anything remarkable in the difference from start to finish. It doesn't bite any, and the temperature of the smoke's cool.

The nicotine's fairly mild, and I like the note.

Franck, this is a beauty, full marks:

Highly recommended.

Pipe Used: Cob

Age When Smoked: ???

Purchased From: Traded with Gentleman Zombie

5 people found this review helpful.

nkulk8r Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
nkulk8r (86)
Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I’ve been like Pooh and the honey pot since this stuff arrived: I just can’t keep my fingers out of the jar . . .

Fruity, tangy, bright, beautiful flake, easily rubbed (it almost crumbles), smokes easily, burns cleanly. Terrific. 4-stars.

UPDATE: JUNE 3, 2019

Since I picked up the pipe in 2013, I have collected 26 briar pipes that I've been smoking the vast majority of my tobaccos from. I've got some cobs that I used to try some straight VAs in (and to try some aros). I've had a couple of meers (meh).

I recently bought an antique, 17th-century, 1/4 pint, French pewter tankard, and I filled said tankard with several brand new clay pipes (the way you would find clay pipes displayed in any 17th century pub). I initially got these as a quaint, throw-back novelty, to display next to my more modern briars. Today I loaded one of these clays with some Sir John's Flake -- and what a life-changing experience it was!

I've been smoking my Virginia's all wrong . . .

1) This was THE coolest, driest smoke I have ever had. NO moisture at all -- ZERO.

2) All I could taste was this splendidly delicious Virginia tobacco, and in very fine detail. In fact, this VA flake is the best I have ever smoked, and the clay pipe has to be the reason -- it was like I had never smoked a straight VA before. (Like when they finally put the new lenses on the Hubble telescope, and no more fuzzy images -- everything became stunningly crystal clear -- yeah, that's a perfect analogy)!

3) When all was said and done, I ran a single cotton pipe cleaner through the stem, and it came out exactly the same way it went in -- clean and white (no brown, no tar, no moisture).

I am going to have to go back and re-evaluate every Virginia I have using these clays -- and I am SO looking forward to that! If you have never smoked VA out of a clay, you are missing out!

THIS is how Virginia's are to be enjoyed. I'm not stupid (even though I feel stupid), but I was utterly ignorant: How could I possibly know what I did not know?

I'm going to be purchasing more of these clays, and I can't imagine putting another VA into a briar . . .

Pipe Used: Old Dominion Williamsburg CLAY

4 people found this review helpful.

Greekpipesmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Greekpipesmoker (201)
Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable

All these positive reviews and my preference for virginia flakes added this blend in my wishlish.once the tin opens a nice smell of citruses accompanied from a sweet topping comes out.the long cut flakes are mostly consisted of bright virginias with some spots of darker virginias.the moisture is perfect and once it's rubbed or broked it is ready for lighting with a few relights needed through the process.while smoking you instantly realize that this flake stands in equal quality standards and taste with the best virginia flakes like Orlik Golden sliced,Reiner golden flake and some other.the flavours are very natural and pleasing.citruses,grass,hay and some sour notes combine perfect with the light applied sugar topping wich adds some additional flavour without sublimating the tobacco.rarelly some spices and dark fruits come out completing the experience.burnns slow and medium hot to perfect ash with a lot moisture left at the end of the filter.nicotine level is almost medium and the aftertaste is note is bareable with no tongue bite present even though some harsh spots might appear if pushed all day blend.generally i am quite pleased from this blend and i totally recommend it.

Age When Smoked: Fresh

4 people found this review helpful.

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

Honey sweet hay and a touch of citrus. Starts with mostly high and mid notes, but some lows creep in as the bowl progresses, mostly in the form of earthiness. It's not terribly complex, but it is very tasty and it holds my interest very well. A lovely, relaxing smoke. Closer to 4 stars than 3, so 4 it is.

Mild to medium in body. Probably does have a touch of honey at very mild. Overall taste is medium. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From:

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (28806)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

The initial aroma upon opening the tin was that of...English breakfast tea (which made me wonder...should I crack open a tea bag and give the contents a trial puff ?). Common sense prevailed, however.

A bit more dry to the touch than expected, but burn was a pleasant surprise and just right.

The smoke struck me as mild and relaxing in a Stanwell acorn churchwarden.

A keeper.

Update: best "sipped", allowing some sweetness to come through from time to time. Very even burn, but a tad hot on the tongue and a surprise gurgle toward the end of the bowl. Moisture of tobacco seemed just right based on burn (charring / first lights only for entirety of bowl), so smoke patiently.

Wife enjoyed the aroma - always a plus, solidifying the fourth star for what is a very straightforward, simple smoke.

I had smoked some MacBaren Seven Seas "gold" earlier in the day and found it milder by comparison, with no hint of bite at all, but less interesting.

4 people found this review helpful.

NEWMAN Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NEWMAN (293)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

Thanks to Steverino for his accurate review that I agree with. Although the light topping doesn't spoil the taste for me and the flake preparation is ~ to Reiner's Long Golden, that one is still my favorite in taste. If you enjoy Va flakes, this will give you a smooth, cool smoke without relights or condensation. This was my 1st experience with an Aylesbury blend and it was a good one.

4 people found this review helpful.

Voyaging Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Voyaging (65)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Presented in a long, folded flake that is mottled yellow and brown tones. Smells sweet and tangy.

Taste: tangy fruit, like nectarines, some citrus notes, and as you progress down the bowl you get bread notes, and things caramelize. It's a nice flavor. There may be a mild flavor topping of honey, or that could be natural. I'm not sure and it's hard to tell. That's the skill of blending.

My only issue with this blend is the lack of availability. It goes out of stock quickly and doesn't seem to be produced often.

I would recommend it for anyone who likes Virginias. For me, it's a joy to prepare Virginia flakes and smoke them.

Nicotine is mild. Strength is maybe medium.

Pipe Used: Canadian

Age When Smoked: A few months

Similar Blends: Orlik Tobacco Company A/S - Golden Sliced (Red Tin).

3 people found this review helpful.

Kilmarnock Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Kilmarnock Piper (233)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

I'm thinking Steverino pretty much nailed this fine blend, though it was actually another online friend that recommended it to me. I went through my tin very fast in late June/early July, and must have highly enjoyed it, going by the few short notes I wrote about it, and the fact that as far as I can tell, smoked it pretty much exclusively for a few days.

Unfortunately, since then I have gone through a time in which I had so many other things going on in my life, that I never got around to writing a review at the best possible time in this case; that is to say, when I was in the middle of the last bowl from my one and only tin! Therefore, though I may not at this point remember the specifics that made it such an enjoyable Virginia Flake for me, I think four stars are in order, just to give it the benefit of the doubt!

I am mainly a Virginia man, and insofar as I can remember, this had all of the elements that make up a good, pure, unadulterated Virginia Flake. I simply cannot go into much detail now and remain honest as a reviewer, since it has been five months since I had a bowl of it.

I do know, however, that although this is the holiday season and I find myself needing to watch my spending in the next month, I can say for sure that come the Spring (i.e. tax refund time), I will probably find myself willing and able to pick up a few more tins, and maybe even a new pipe. (Really need a new Savinelli: love their light rusticated billiards, and had the misfortune recently of cracking my only remaining one!)

My admittedly imperfect memories from five months ago of this flake are good ones, however, and I can say with certainty that a couple tins of this, one to smoke and one to save a while, will be at the top of my list for a time when I feel that I can do another tobacco order without too much guilt, and I just have the feeling that a bit more experience with this blend could have perhaps even the effect of making it a true favorite.

3 people found this review helpful.

Connoisseur Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Connoisseur (47)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Pleasant

I picked up a tin of Sir John's a while back when visiting Germany. Upon opening the tin, I was presented with "soft", medium brown flake cut tobacco with a wonderful light chocolatety-caramel smell. This tobacco rubbed out easily and burned well with a smooth and creamy virginia flavour, making it ideal as an afternoon smoke. Recommended.

3 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (247)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Unnoticeable

I bought this about a month ago at my local pipe club meeting. I tried it and passed it around. It was good but did not get to appreciate it as I had smoked a variety of other blends and it did not mesh. It has a pleasant sweet tin note and the really long flakes were folded in a triangle in a round tin. Guess square tins are going the way of the Dodo. It was pretty moist also. It has dried out quite a bit in the tin that has been sitting on the shelf since then and I had already forgotten about it. Right now, I am a recovering pipe tobacco buyer and am going through some of the blends I have bought in the past few months. After a few puffs of this fantastic blend I had already made up my mind on the rating. It smokes cool and sweet with a touch of honey it seems to it. This burns really slow as I walked away from my pipe for at the most five minutes and returned and was still able to keep the fire going. It did not hurt that I was using my Savinelli Goliath pipe, one of my first pipes I owned. This to me is a 4 star but I have way too much right now to buy more though I would like to.

Pipe Used: Savinelli Goliath

Age When Smoked: New

2 people found this review helpful.

Planet Scott Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Planet Scott (65)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant

I bought this based on all the stellar reviews. I love me a good straight Virginia.

This one is strange. The tin aroma has fruity aroma with the rest of the Virginia tobacco nuances. Different and interesting. When first lit, and about half way through the bowl, I get a soapy taste as well as a light Virgina grassy hay flavor. As the bowl smokes down, the soapy/fruity taste subsides and is replace with a slightly rich Virginia favor that I crave. From there, I really enjoy this one.

This experience is true for every bowl I have smoked, which is why I have not smoked a lot. Trying to make it to the sweet spot takes patience, and I am not good at that.

3.311379458 stars.

1 person found this review helpful.