Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flake

A flake tobacco of select matured Virginia, mild cavendish and a touch of burley rounded off with an aromatic vanilla flavor. This combination gives an unusual blend with a pleasing sweetness and a special taste.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Aromatic
Contents Black Cavendish, Burley, Virginia
Flavoring Vanilla
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin weight
Country Denmark
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

2.77 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 11 of 134 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 24, 2021 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
I like all genres, but lean toward sweet Virginia’s and flavored Latakia blends/ aromatic English such as Northwoods, Shepherds Pie, Eastfarthing. I’m not a fan of most aromatic burley blends.

I’ve been on the hunt for a good aromatic Virginia, and have often been disappointed.

With this one, I actually found that the taste is better than the tin note. The flavor is a creamy light vanilla with quality Virginia, although the Virginia does seem young and has some rough edges. I imagine a year of age may smooth out the Virginias. Once lit, I find the vanilla comes and goes, interspersed with times where the Virginia dominates, which is a little less pleasant, but minutes later the vanilla comes back. I’m reminded of coffee with a bit of vanilla creamer. You taste mostly coffee but with a flavored sweetness. The vanilla in this flake is light and natural, not artificial tasting. I occasionally taste a hint of something like a faint raspberry or fruit flavor, but maybe that’s what real vanilla tastes like. The last third, the vanilla fades to the background and the rougher edges come out, but it’s not unpleasant. I fold and stuff, which works great with the thin pliable flakes. Fresh from the tin it’s a bit moist. I do have more than average relights, and end up dumping the last 1/5 or so to avoid fighting with relights. Maybe an hour of dry time would help. There is bit of moisture and I find I need to run a pipe cleaner at start of the last 1/3, but no gurgle. I get absolutely no bite, but being this is a Mac Baren, I sip slow. Everyone nearby will love the room note, which is warm and comforting. This could become my favorite social smoke, and it’s everything that I was hoping for when I was disappointed by Pease’s “The Virginia Cream.” I’m still not sure what an “all day smoke” is. Does it mean you could puff this all day and it won’t wreck your tongue or get boring? Or does it mean it’s good any time of day, for both morning coffee and after dinner? Whatever, this is definitely a smoke you could have a couple times throughout the day and find it enjoyable.
Age When Smoked: Fresh
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 06, 2015 Mild Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
A creamy vanilla smoke that burns a tad slow, and isn't so sweet that it overpowers the smoker. I get a little honey and very light fruit taste that adds a very mild balance to the mix. The brown sugary black cavendish is a little more than a condiment. The grassy, tart and tangy citrusy, sugary, bready, bright and gold Virginias are the base of the blend. They also provide light tangy darker fruit, earth, wood along with slight honey, floral, spice notes. The nutty, earthy, woody burleys are secondary players. It's a mild all day smoke with not much complexity as by intentional design. Has little nicotine. The strength is mild. The taste level almost reaches the center of mild to medium. Burns cool and clean with a very consistent flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little dampness at the finish. Requires a few more than an average number of relights. No chance of bite or harshness. Has a very pleasant room note, and lightly lingering after taste. Can be an all day smoke. People will like to be around you when you smoke it, so expect to be social when you're out and about in public.

35 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 18, 2013 Mild Medium to Strong Mild Very Pleasant
One of the few aromatics I enjoy. A beautifully presented flake with fantastic vanilla tin note. The rubbed out flake is moist, but burns well. Not goopy like so many commonly available aromatics. Actually tastes like a good quality tobacco, unlike so many aromatics. Room note is a crowd pleaser. Pleasant for a once-in-awhile aromatic smoke. Does not appear to leave a ghost as far as I can tell. Though if one were to smoke this regularly, it may benefit to dedicate a pipe.

Edit: Mother-in-law visiting. Sitting around after dinner. Perfect occasion for an aromatic. I light it up, tin about a year old so plenty of time to dry. And I'm reminded why this is one of the few aromatics I enjoy. Smoker happy, non- smokers happy. Win/win. I'm raising my review from three to four stars in light of the genre: for aromatics, it just doesn't get much better. Dry this one out and you will be pleased.

Another edit: months later. Decided to light this one up again. And I'm reminded that this is a unique blend - an aromatic for those who like tasting tobacco. True vanilla not just in the room and tin notes, but on the palette. Yet the Virginias are right there with the topping. What a great blend - royalty among aromatics.
32 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 18, 2006 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant
Fans of Vanilla aromatic pipe tobacco blends will find this to be quite pleasant. It has a smidgen of a tobacco taste, yet is loaded with enough vanilla to please the palate.

I have tried many "Vanilla" enhanced tobacco blends over the years and this may just be the best yet. It burns clean and mostly dry all the way to the bottom of the bowl. This is not a biter either.

When reviewing tobacco types, I try to judge each blend on its own merits and compare it against its own genre. Would I prefer this to a hard punching straight Virginia? No. Would I prefer this to most vanilla flavored blends? Absolutely. Therefore, I do recommend MacBaren's Vanilla Cream Flake to my friends who enjoy quality aromatics, particularly those laced with heady doses of Vanilla.
30 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 11, 2014 Mild to Medium Medium Medium Very Pleasant
I'm a long time aromatic smoker. Some years ago I smoked a tin of this and kind of liked it, but didn't really make a note of it. Several months ago I thought about it and purchased a couple of tins. Although I still like aromatics the best, I no longer favor the heavily cased burleys that I used to. For a man who is not fond of latakia and still likes vanilla this is a nice choice The appearance is a nice mottled yellow and black, pleasing to the eye. I'm not sure of the portions, but a generous amount of Virginia is used. The tin note is superb. If you youtube this tobacco for reviews you'll find a funny one of a guy opening the tin smelling the tobacco, and then popping it in his mouth and chewing it up appreciatively. Clearly he had cleverly subsituted a bit of beef jerky beforehand but it was funny and this tobacco really does smell good enough to eat. Whatever vanilla blend they use is top drawer. I prefer the the fold and stuff method for packing, but sometimes use the fill and tamp x3. Either way it is to me a little work getting it going, but once it ignites I can usually get about an hour to an hour and 10 minutes per flake, perfect for my one hour commute to work. As good as it smells you can almost be dissapointed that the flavor of the smoke is not as evident, muted. Almost. I find it to be a nice relaxing smoke. Enough vanilla flavor to satisfy my sweet tooth, but with plenty of good acrid actual tobacco flavor. No gurgle, no wet dottle. burns down good leaving the bottom of your pipe damp but not wet. Its like another reviewer said. You don't really give this much thought. It dosen't have the wow factor. Just a good smoke you dont pay any attention to Then one day you suddenly realize, you've been reaching for this tin almost every day at least once and you are horrifyingly out and you miss it while waiting for a new order to be delivered. It does not bite but it can be a little sharpish on the tongue if you are careless. Pretty high quality tobacco. I think this one was done just right. A good companion like a good dog. Not intrusive just a pleasing hour that lets you focus on other things other than the tobacco. Perfect
Pipe Used: Boswell, EJHeberling, Downie
Age When Smoked: 1 year
18 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 22, 2011 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant
This is a wonderful aromatic flake, perhaps the best vanilla tobacco that I have ever tried (this far, as always!). It comes in a nifty little tin with very neatly packed bright VA flakes nestled inside. The moisture content is pretty good right out of the tin, but the smoking quality improves with a little more drying outside of the tin. The tin aroma is fantastic, and smells of rich natural vanilla. The room note while smoking is the same, and equally pleasant.

This has the look of a VA flake that could just destroy your mouth. Thankfully, in this case looks are deceiving, and it is in fact a cool, comfortable smoke when dealt appropriately, meaning no freight train puffing. It rubs out nicely, lights readily, and burns evenly down to the bottom of the bowl. The flavor is rich VA and cavendish with a hint of vanilla. The VA's in this flake seem different than the typical Mac Baren VA, which can lend itself to tongue bite when smoked improperly due to the retained sugars. In the same vein, while this flake smells sweet and wonderful in the tin, it does not taste overly sweet when smoked. This enhances the ability to enjoy the natural vanilla flavor. Some reviewers have noted a "chemical" flavor, and some have gone so far as state that natural vanilla is not used. Numerous retail sources, however, identify the vanilla used as a natural flavoring. While there is nothing wrong with stating what you subjectively taste (I for one taste nothing remotely resembling a chemical flavor, but taste is subjective) it is not correct to state that a blend has or does not have something when you are factually wrong, or simply do not know what you are talking about (how many silly comments have been made about tonquin by reviewers who did not know that such a thing even existed?). love it or hate it, all sources point to the use (and explicitly state) of natural vanilla.

I for one love it and think everything really comes together with this flake. This is a must have for everyone. I think you could even put a pinch of latakia in there, if you are one of those types who cannot live without that flavor, and it would taste delicious. I am going to go smoke a bowl right now!
Pipe Used: Savinelli Spigot
Age When Smoked: 3 yrs
12 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 02, 2017 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant
Mac Baren - Vanilla Cream Flake/Classic Flake.

I absolutely adore this, it's been a regular addition to my rotation for years. I reviewed this quite some time back but wanted to re-do it as I didn't like the way it read.

If, like me, you smoke your flake rubbed you won't find a flake that's any easier to prepare than this. The moisture's good and the aroma from it's delectable...... I could just sniff it all day!

The smoke: if you like vanilla aromatics but haven't tried this you're doing yourself a massive injustice. The moment VCF's ignited I'm in utopia! There's no arguing that the vanilla's the main flavouring, yet there's also a slight sweetness behind it. The black Cavendish doesn't clog up the smoke and cause it to be sticky, the Virginia helps prevent this. Personally I think the tobaccos collaborate to form a kind of mild doughy flavour, without the Virginia running away with sharpness/freshness. Every bowl I've had of VCF has burned impeccably, at a cool temperature, without a bite to be had from the smoke.

Nicotine: mild. Room-note: great.

If there's any fault with this I can't find it! Highly recommended:

Four stars.
Pipe Used: Wallenstein Freehand
PurchasedFrom: Black Swan Tobbacconist U.K.
Age When Smoked: Various. New for this review
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 19, 2013 Mild Mild to Medium Mild Very Pleasant
The things we'll do for love.

I bought some of this hoping to have a mild flake tobacco that I could enjoy in the presence of my significant other. The charring light showed signs of promise and the room note was very pipey. Honestly one of the loveliest room notes that I have experienced from a Danish style aromatic. Unfortunately, that's where all positives came to a screeching and emphatic halt.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the flavor of Vanilla Cream Flake ghastly, but quite frankly it comes close. Overall, the creamy sweetness so abundant in the side stream aroma was to my surprise utterly undetectable in the actual taste. I did not experience any bite, but the dirty-ashtray flavor left on my palate was a whole different form of punishment. To add insult to injury, upon entering the house from my smoking lounge (the garage), my lovely wife simply stated, "You smell Horrible!"

So much for best laid plans.... Did I mention how beautiful the flakes look?
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 24, 2009 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
Beautiful looking flake that becomes almost a crumble cake. I could not get this to fold for loading without breaking. No problem there, really. I just found it interesting.

Tin aroma was of a chemically-altered light vanilla rather than a natural extract. This transfered to the taste, unfortunately. I tried this in various states of moisture and in all cases I got an extremely bland mouthful of hot air with almost no flavor. The most taste was on the pipestem. Very boring smoke. The tobacco appears to be of high quality but no tobacco taste comes through. I puffed madly on one pipeful in an attempt to get ANY type of flavor to exhibit itself but it was not to be. So far, Mac Baren blends tend to follow a pattern of "all aroma, no flavor" and this one is no exception (although Burley London is a wonderful deviation, and Virginia #1 is ok at times). I've got Navy Flake and HH Matured Virginia left to try and then I'll probably say farewell to the House of Mac Baren.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 25, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
The Flake and Tin Aroma: Very Dark with strips of bright tobacco in it. The aroma is very strong when you open the tin and retains it even after the tin is open and used for smoking. The moisture content is high in the fresh tin but goes down low after a few days. The rubbing out process even after drying the flake for 10-15 minutes is sticky due to the sugar content.

Preparation: Ive smoked the flake fully rubbed, folded and stuffed, 1/3rd rubbed and the remaining folded in the pipe but the best results as far as I am concerned has been when the flake was fully rubbed and aired for 10 minutes.

The smoking experience: Lights up like a charm. Experienced smokers wont need to relight it after the charlight as it keeps going on after the light tamping. New smokers would need to relight it a bit to keep it going. The room-note definitely delivers a strong vanilla aroma to your nose, but it fails to deliver the same vanilla dose to your tongue. A word of caution, try not to overburn the tobacco as it will result in hot acrid bitter smoke.

The tobacco smokes like a charm, sip it slow or it will turn your bowl into a furnace, if you have properly aired the tobacco it wont go out. Patience is the key when you smoke Mac Baren blends or any tobacco. The taste is pretty straightforward the cavendish gives a mild taste and the VA come out once in a while with the vanilla. You cant go wrong with this tobacco blend.

It certainly is a crowd pleaser and will only get your praises for its room note.

The tobacco degrades gracefully reducing itself to an elegant dark grey ash. Despite being an aromatic, the flake definitely has a strong tobacco presence, its strong and definitely gets you giving you a nice nicotine dose unlike lots of aromatics.

I highly recommend this tobacco to anyone wanting to smoke a high quality aromatics without the hassle of tongue bite, goop or dottle. It's not perfect but it does what it was created to do. It doesn't have the wow factor but not everything created in this world can be epic.

Smoking Companions: Hot sweet green tea with fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of honey.
Pipe Used: Billiard (9mm), Danish Freehand, Peterson Zulu
Age When Smoked: 4 months
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 17, 2017 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
In my search for an "out and about" blend that people enjoy the smell of, this has basically won the crown. Not only is it pleasant to everybody around you, it's also very enjoyable to the smoker, a double win many aromatic blends struggle with.

In the tin of both flake and loose cut, there's a slight smell of fermented tobaccos on top of the basic cream / fruit / vanilla smell that's not present in the bulk variety. This adds slightly more depth and intrigue to the smoke, and as such I slightly prefer tin to bulk. The difference between flake and loose cut is essentially in form only. Smoked as a stuffed and folded flake seems to encourage a cooler / slower burn, but the flavor / aroma is identical. Due to the similarity of this in flake form and loose cut tin, and the price premium for the flake, I lean towards the loose cut tin as the better buy.

The aroma is nothing but agreeable. Smells excellent, the slight fruit essence being a little more noticeable than any vanilla. I'm not quite sure where the "cream" comes from, but it's fantastic and makes for a smooth mellow smoke. And despite being topped, I definitely taste tobacco as the prime ingredient. The tobacco flavor is mostly Virginia and burley, although the Black Cavendish does add it's expected note. I don't detect the spice of the natural brown Cavendish that MacBaren uses, but the sweetness and toasted marshmallow effect in some of the Roll Cake blends is mildly present.

I have yet to get bitten by this despite plenty of sugar content, but I bet a novice could over-pack and over-draw it into biting. Burns and behaves mostly like a straight Virginia flake, some moisture but not syrupy goop.

All in all, this is the benchmark by which I measure aromatics, the best aromatic experience I've had to date.
6 people found this review helpful.
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