Mac Baren Virginia Flake

(2.58)
Manufactured from choice, fully ripe and matured Virginia tobaccos - mainly American. An elegant flavor with a full and pleasant mild taste has been added.
Notes: Introduced in 1979.

Details

Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Mac Baren
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Straight Virginia
Contents Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, one pound box
Country Denmark
Production Currently available

Profile

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

Average Rating

2.58 / 4
17

50

27

19

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 113 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
wmf
Sep 18, 2014 Medium Mild to Medium Medium to Full Tolerable
Found this one and only tin at Southern Cigar and immediately searched on TRs. Seems either this flake is loved or hated. Soooo...it was on sale and MAN am I glad I bought this gloriously rich flake. By following some of the 3 and 4 star reviewer's recommendations here for packing and smoking, I formulated a plan for my Bjarne. Popped the tin and the wife approved. Dried figs and faint tobacco smell, but very fresh at the same time (Awww Yeah). Liberated a flake from the tin and let it sit for 15 to 20 mins. I folded lengthwise and Z-bent the flake and somewhat shoved and arranged it in the bowl. Any bits of flake that came off during preparation were placed atop the tobacco in the bowl and somewhat thumb pressed. Felt a little tingle on charring light, but that's as far as I let it get. Took it easy and it was an instant classic. Figgy, Virginiaey, tobaccoey. Just a touch of natural saltiness feintly shows hear and there as the other flavors richly swirl on the tongue. Mid bowl was just as delicious with more tobacco coming thru, yet the fig was still keeping things interestingly delicious. My first bowl of this was incredible til I tried smoking all the dottle. Leave a little dottle, and if the need for more is desired, grab another briar. Thank you kindly Mac Baren.
Pipe Used: Bjarne squat brandy/pear 1/16 bend
PurchasedFrom: Southern Cigar Newnan GA
Age When Smoked: fresh
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 13, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
A fairly natural tasting straight up light, bright Virginia flake, though I do notice a light sugar topping. There's a basic tart and tangy sugary citrus and honey sweetness from the tobacco conjoining with a grassy, bready taste - no hay - to provide a mild, gentle smoking experience. Has minor spice and floral notes. Has a lower acidity level than Mac Baren's Virginia #1. It’s rather mild in this production. Not a flavor bomb by any means, but it's a comfortable all day smoke that burns fairly slowly and cool with a very consistent flavor from top to bottom. The nic-hit is a step past the mild mark. The strength is a step past that level. The taste is in the center of mild to medium. Can burn a little warm if puffed fast, but won't bite or get harsh. It does sport a few small rough edges. Leaves little dampness in the bowl, and requires a few relights. Has a lightly lingering, very pleasant after taste and room note. Ages exceptionally well.

-JimInks
33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 11, 2009 Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant
I bought a pound of this on sale, as the sale price of a pound was about the same as the regular price of 3 50 gram tins. Smart shopper or village idiot? Well... neither, exactly. I'd classify this as a "good" but not great smoke. I'd grade it about 2.5 stars and rounded up due to the leaf quality.

This is a pleasant mild smoke that doesn't offend as long as it's smoked slowly. Whatever casing might be in there burns off at the match or in the drying process, much like MacB's Navy Flake. This tobacco is neither complex nor does it develop down the bowl. It's just a nice friendly smoke when you're not in the mood to try anything new and your taste buds don't want to be overwhelmed. Mildly and pleasantly sweet, but not as sweet as Virginia #1. I've smoked about 6 oz of this and I'm going to age the rest for a couple of years. I wonder if the mildness might give way to a bit more zest with some cellaring.
20 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 09, 2004 Very Mild Mild Mild Very Pleasant
This has been available on-and-off since I was a teenager (NOT yesterday) but I have the impression that the tin was somehow different. I remember first trying this at the same time as THE ORIGINAL SOBRANIE Flake ("Pure Virginia") in the green étui, and thinking this hotter and rather more syrupy.

But taken in its own terms, this is a quality product, as all of Baren's offerings, beautifully put together. The flavour is lightest Virginia, lightly sweetened. I like it better than ORLIK's Golden Sliced, because this has no burley. The burley there is meant to aleviate BITE. It also makes the taste duller. If you wish to avoid pernicious heat with M. BAREN's Virginia Flake, don't rub it out at all: just stuff it into the pipe whole; it will burn slower. This tobacco is a perfect tutorial on slow puffing and restrained smoldering; smoked that way, it is among the better light flakes.

If you want to taste this without the sweetener, or see what the sweetener adds to a blend of this sort, try FRIBOURG & TREYER's Cut Blended Plug.
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 25, 2009 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
A very classically styled bright and red Virginia flake (although, knowing Mac Baren, I might suspect that there also is a slight touch of burley). It smells and tastes like an English flake with just a hint of sweet flavoring (honey, sugar...) to betray its Danish origin. Very "reference" virginia flake, IMHO.

It is predictable from start to finish: no surprises, neither of the unpleasant kind (it burns slow, cool, with no bitterness, sourness or tonguebite, very smooth) nor of the pleasant one (it is good, but without peaks of excellence). A mild tasting flake with a medium body, sweet, only slightly grassy and hayish. Similar to Capstan (but without its sour fruitiness) or Marlin Flake (but not as deliciously sweet), or Full Virginia Flake (but not as fragrant and complex). The problem, IMHO, lies in the fact that it's also rather undistinguished: it doesn't excel in any department, while undoubtedly providing a solid good smoke. With so many virginia flake alternatives, one has to go looking for nuances to tell the winners from the simply OK stuff. And IMHO the three tobaccos I compared it to above shine with more personality, more "juice", more complexity, more satisfaction. The difference is not huge, but it's there. Somewhat it can be comparable to some similar Fribourg & Treyer flakes: good, but not the best of its kind.

Anyway, far from being bad: if you stumble upon some tins at a good price, cellar them away because it is enjoyable and without specific faults other than not being the best of its class.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2003 Very Mild Mild Very Mild Very Pleasant
As I continue to work my way (slowly) through the extensive Mac Baren's line, I held off on this one for as long as possible because I knew it was a flavored Virginia Flake and I was hesitant to try it. It is a very light tasting Virginia with a sweet and unusual top dressing that I liked. It was beautifully presented in a handsome tin, and the flake itself was marvelously put together. It stayed lit well (all Mac Baren's tobaccos seem to burn with no problem,) and burned cleanly with a superb aroma. If light and sweet is your go-to type of blend, I think you will really enjoy this.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 19, 2010 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Beautifully prepared flakes stacked neatly in two rows. The tin aroma was of honey and a hint of vanilla with a perfect moisture content for removing and folding the flake for smoking. After lighting, a mildly sweet Virginia awaits you. In spite of the mildness, I was able to taste a flavored Virginia and what tasted like lemon and vanilla - a casing applied with a light touch, but this sweetness soon gives way to a very nice, albeit mild, Virginia. I experienced no bite and would say it burned very well - never hot, and with a spiciness that was very appealing. No real grassiness to this one either - a subdued brightness that I happen to favor in a Virginia. I could only just barely make out the Burley, but by mid bowl the nicotene presence will let you know it's there. There was no moisture and the flake burned to a nice light gray ash. Unless smoked too fast, it never was cigarette-like or ashy. A while after the tin is opened, the top note lessens considerably, but still adds a subtle balance to the overall flavor. For its genre, similar to Orlik's Golden Slice without the higher citrus tones of OGS. I like it much better than OGS.

As comparisons to Mac's Virginia No. 1 are inevitable, both are different enough to enjoy them as separate entities. Whereas No. 1 is honey forward, Virginia Flake is more vanilla forward (subtle, smoother and not as cloying vanilla as found in their Vanilla Cream). Mac Baren rates their flake stronger than their No. 1, and after consuming many bowls of each, I would have to agree, but not by much. One huge plus with the flake is a perfectly-sized tin for carrying in one's pocket, and I like the yellow-colored scheme of the tin as well. If you favor a Virginia in a flake form, Virginia Flake provides a satisfying experience. A bit more aromatic than No. 1. Like a good "B" movie that you don't mind watching more than once. Abbott and Costello made B movies. They happen to be my favorite comedy team with a 5 star rating, just like Virginia Flake!
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 14, 2016 Mild Mild Mild Tolerable
This was the first flake tobacco I ever bought back in 2009 as a new pipe smoker, so you could say I have something of a sentimental attachment to it. Two or three tins of this and I was quite well hooked to the amazing world of pipe smoking. The tin design, the arrangement of the flakes, the tin note and the subtlety sweet VA notes in the smoke... there was enough there to capture my newbie imagination.

Sentimentality aside, however, now that I've sampled maybe twenty or so different Virginia flakes, this is objectively speaking not a very good example of its genre. There is a pleasant grassy taste in the first third of the bowl with some citrus notes, but it is too eager to bite and needs extremely slow sipping to burn down gently and not produce a harsh, cigarette-like taste after mid-bowl. Some reviewers have mentioned sweetness in the blend, something which I can't really find here any more.

I will always come back to this blend once every couple of years for nostalgia's sake, but there are several VA flakes I'd recommend before this one.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 22, 2007 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Received a sample with a recent SmokingPipes order, probably wouldn't have noticed the blend otherwise.

Nice naturally high-dextrose Virginia, enhanced slightly with what appears to be a small amount of honey casing. Wonderful smell when you open the pouch but you immediately recognize it's not an artificial (aromatic) smell; rather, just a great Virginia tobacco smell. The casing adds virtually nothing to the sensory experience.

The moisture level was just right in my sample...not too dry and not too wet. The light-brown flakes (3/4" x 3 3/4") fall apart easily and really don't require rubbing out...just fold and stuff and you'll have a perfectly packed bowl with the correct draw. An absolute novice can look like an expert with this blend.

One charring light, tamp lightly, light again and that's the last match required until the bowl is 3/4 finished. Extremely easy to smoke this blend.

However, it'll quickly vette your smoking technique. Puff too aggressively, it'll bite and you'll have a hot pipe to boot. But smoked slowly, your pipe will remain cool and you'll fully enjoy all this mild Virginia has to offer.

I know conventional wisdom dictates using a smaller pipe for flake but this blend is perfect in a Dunhill Group 5 when I take my dogs out for an hour plus walk and want a long smoke. It stays lit and requires virtually no additional fiddling until almost finished.

I like this blend so much that I'm going to buy one of the 1lb boxes SmokingPipes has on their web site. And a second box to age for awhile. Guess that's why they sent me a sample, huh?

Highly recommended if you enjoy Virginias.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2005 Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant
In what I believe is becoming my reconciliation with Mac Baren's blends, I gave a try to Virginia Flake. As with Golden Ambrosia and Virginia No. 1 I was rather surprised to taste a very gentle, mild, yet flavoursome tobacco. Certainly sweet, Virginia Flake is not at all cloying or syrupy. I find it a mild sweetness, almost natural, with a slight honey undertone that does not interfere with the tobacco taste.

Golden Virginias neatly pressed together to form beautiful, pliable flakes this tobacco represents a prime example of the Danish tobacco manufacture tradition (a la par with Stokkebye and Larsen's flakes). Of course, if you are used to Gawith, Dunhill or Mc Quaid's flakes, you may find Mac Barn's far too mild and flavourless. But if you take the time to puff in slowly and calmly you will be gratified by a very elegant and gentle tobacco. This is perhaps a mid morning or early afternoon smoke, that goes down well with tea or sherry. It has a very inviting aroma, with a nice aftertaste.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 27, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This is a pretty decent blend. Mild yet flavorful, Virginia Flake is ideal as a simple, any time of day tobacco. A semi-citrus, semi-grassy Virginia flavor comes through strong from beginning to end, melding smoothly with a slightly honey-esque sweetness. Smoked as a flake, the flavors are darker, with a slightly more musty taste. Rubbed out, this flake really shines. Fresh out of a tin, it may have the tendency to bite. But taken slowly, this tobacco is one of the hidden treasures of the tobacco world...
5 people found this review helpful.
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