Butera Blended Flake

A blend of rich, red matured Virginias, hand selected Orientals, flue cured North Carolina whole leaf, and long cut St. James perique. Heavily pressed and aged in cakes.


Brand Butera
Series Royal Vintage
Blended By McClelland Tobacco Company
Manufactured By McClelland Tobacco Company
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Oriental/Turkish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin
Country United States
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.30 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 16 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 03, 2004 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
To me, the list of ingredients is irresistable: McClelland Virginias, Perique, and Orientals. One of the few non-Latakia Oriental blends on the market. This will please McClelland Virginia lovers due to its loyalty to full-range flavors and a zesty top-tier. It will also appeal to those folks who find McClellands too "thin" or biting, because the Oriental and the Perique cool the smoke and widen the flavor spectrum. The component tobaccos are well-integrated, and there is nice complexity that urges you to stop analyzing it and just enjoy it. Age makes this even better.

Addendum: The Red Virginias provide the dominant flavor here, while the other leaf is beautifully combined. The tin aroma is classic McClelland, while the initial room aroma could almost be described as floral (in a cherry blossom sense, not a Lakeland sense). There is some bite threat along the sides of the tongue (odd). The Perique picks up at 1/4 bowl, adding a nice winey tone and some oomph. The floral tone backs off and transitions into a fragrant toastiness. As the zestiness and heat danger subsides, the strength increases, though not overwhelmingly by any means.

After a one-hour DGT at 1/3 bowl, the floral tone re-asserts itself very pleasantly, as well as a hint of cigar-like richness. (Well complemented by an IPA). The top range has just enough zest to give a sparkle and a touch of green tea bitterness (nice). The mid-range is solid and sweet with Virginias, with the toasty/marshmallow flavors for which McClelland Virginias are famous; as well as hints of exotic spice, orange peel, undefined herbal tones, and a tone/smoothness of chocolate without the actual chocolate flavor. This blend LIVES in the mid-range.

The bass range holds the cigar-like tone, and a spicy/licorice aspect rare for natural tobacco bass ranges. Baking cake sweetness is also present. As the pipe approaches the 2/3 mark, the complexity, integration of flavors and sweetness continue to rise, with the interplay of these very nice component tobaccos doing wonderful things at a smoulder.

A two-day DGT (not intentional) doesn't hurt this blend. The mid-range picks up a very mild peachy tone, the top range sweetness more than hints at caramelized sugars. A slightly musty, but good, tone stretches from the lower mid-range to the mid-bass range, probably in part due to the Perique. The borders between the ranges fade completely.

Rich, complex, but not heavy. This tobacco is one of those blends that is unlike any other. A must-try for those who like non-Lat Oriental/VA blends. Not as complex as Cairo, but a bit more flavorful.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 09, 2004 Medium None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong
This is remarkable in every way.

Popping the tin makes my mouth water every time. There is a certain refined tanginess (not vinegar, but cooked fruit) and sweetness from the flue-cured leaf that compels a deep inhale.

The reward is subtle cocoa and spice fragrances, undertones from the Perique and Orientals. No Latakia here and it is not missed, even from one that is an English blend aficionado.

The tin reviewed here is eight years old according to the date on the tin itself from the McClelland folks.

The moisture level was perfect, drier than most of MCC's blends. The short, squat flakes are leathery and require some vigor to rub out. They defy being folded or lightly crumbled.

Once broken up, Blended Flake is easy to load, which is a bit firmer than I pack ribbons or even other flakes for that matter.

A thorough charring light, tamper and relight release clouds of incense to Heaven. With a little attention, this will smoke all the way down without relighting.

The burn is cool, dry, clean, and even to a whitish ash. Nary a bite for this sensitive tongue.

This is a true symphony. Each leaf brings distinct notes from the match. The score is complex ala Mozart; flavors migrating from the sweet, mature flue-cured to the ineffable Perique, and back to Turkish delight. This all just deepens as the bowl burns down.

How a blend can be this rich, aromatic, fullish flavored and tolerable to the constitution all at once is magical to me.

When this tobacco is burning, it reminds me of Carolina barbeque that is being smoked and basted with that tangy, smooth and non-cloying sauce I crave. Blended Flake belongs to the realm of the delicious and addictive category of tastes and aromas.

I am not aware of another blend that fits within this category. It has a place on my "top shelf" and ample space in the aging room.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 23, 2002 Medium None Detected Medium Very Pleasant
This one is nice. The Virginias are lemony and tangy. Maybe a little over the top for my personal tastes for an all day smoke and there's a little bite if smoked at a fast pace. I'm sure that vanishes with age as this one has all the makings of a delightful aged blend.

If you are a fan of stoved Vrginia blends, you will like this one.
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 20, 2014 Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
I'd been meaning to try Blended Flake for a while, so when I came across an 11-year-old tin, I knew I had to buy it. Popping the top, I was greeted not with the usual McClelland vinegar smell, but the rich aroma of fermented fruit, cinnamon, and allspice. Reminded me a little of spiced rum. The tobacco is covered with glittery little sugar crystals. Really wonderful.

I picked out a couple of the largest flakes, and folded and stuffed them into an old favorite Stanwell. In my zeal to try it, I neglected to dry the tobacco and got straight to smoking it. While the taste was heavenly, my aggressive puffing and constant relights led to me roasting my tongue and having to take a day off from pipe smoking to recover.

Subsequent bowls have been more enjoyable. Most of the flakes have fallen apart in my tin. I don't know if that's how it always is, or if age has caused them to disintegrate some. In any case, I try to keep the pieces as intact as I can, drying them for a little while before packing.

This is an extremely enjoyable, creamy, slightly spicy smoke with the Virginias providing a sweet foundation. The perique has mellowed and melded with the other tobaccos to the point where I can't detect it separately except for a little pepperiness on lighting and when exhaling through the nose. I'm sure the perique contributes to the overall flavor, but to me Blended Flake smokes more like a Virginia-Oriental, at least at this age. So if perique isn't your thing, don't let that deter you from trying this gorgeous smoke.

When dried, it smokes easy and cool, burning completely to the bottom of the bowl with a dry, gray ash. I'm enjoying this tobacco immensely. It's really something special in my opinion.
Age When Smoked: 11 years (2003 tin code)
2 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 30, 2014 Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable
Creamy, flavorful, and tangy. Has that slight McVinegar when first lit. Virginias play the major role, but they are supported by a good amount of Perique and fine orientals. The blend is sweet but on the dark side and full bodied. Reminds me very much of "Tudor Castle" or maybe one of the McC Cajun series blends , Dark? I believe the processing is similar with that, "Pressed Stewed Perique" process. The overall blend is smooth , without bite and the flavor lasts the entire bowl without bitterness. Probably better than any of the for mentioned blends. I do agree with those that say to let this breath and dry before smoking. I'd be a buyer again.
Pipe Used: Osark Cherry wood
Age When Smoked: 2 years
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 16, 2017 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
Wow...this is fantastic, the tin I am smoking has 14 years of age on it, so this may not apply to fresher vintages, but this one is spectacular. The tin smells like the tobacco was stored in a port wine cask, with a deep dark fruit and earthy aroma. The taste in the pipe is sublime, I taste the Red Virginias mostly, the Orientals and the Perique are unnoticeable, but I do believe that would miss them if they were not there, as the years have muted their distinct flavors and they have become a spice for the Red Virginia. There is a rich tobacco flavor is up front, make no mistake, but the addition of the Perique and the Orientals has caused the blend to become greater than the sum of its parts. I would give this five stars if i could.
Pipe Used: many briars
PurchasedFrom: local B&M
Age When Smoked: 2003-14 years old at review
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 24, 2015 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable
This smells like McClelland in the tin. I don't like that Ketchup note, so that's a minus if that matters at all. When smoked however it's awesome. Different types of tobaccos are clearly distinctive. Flavors are not "married" and mixed together, but here it's a good thing. You can feel the sweetness of the Virginia on the tongue, and at the same time the spicy pepperyness of the Perique in your nose. This is as if you have picked three totally different types of tobacco, put them in your pipe immediately, without giving them a chance to blend together and mellow each other out. And all that in a good way. I like tobaccos where Perique is wild and unbalanced, there's a lot of joy in it. Very few Vapers achieve that. There is however a hint of the McClelland "emptyness" if I may say so. McClelland Virginias often lack body to a certain point due to the way they ferment it. Here is noticeable also. Perique and other leaf compensate it and give more dimensions, almost like latakia usually does. It has freshness, and can be smoked in the summer, but also as a winter smoke. An everyday treat with slightly cigarettish note barely detectable, and not disturbing.
Pipe Used: Cobs
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 1 year
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 04, 2001 Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant
This was maybe the third or fourth tinned blend I ever tried and I guess soemtimes you just have to get lucky. I went into a shop looking for some more Blackwoods Flake and was told by the clerk that they were out. He suggested that I'd like this just as well. Well, obviously they didn't move much of this stuff as it the tins were about seven years old. Darn, just my luck.

I honestly don't know how this stuff is newly blended but with some age on it it's fantastic. The various orientals and the perique play a great game of dueling flavors all the way through the smoke. The Virginias lay a great base with their delicate flavors underpinning the stronger topnotes of the varietals. The Carolinas contribute just an extra something. If Mike Butera's label wasn't also the one that brought us Kingfisher I'd say the man is a full blown genius.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 29, 2001 Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Even if I didn't know who blended this tobacco, the tin aroma would have told me. It has the McClelland fermented smell that you either love or hate. I guess it might be an acquired taste, as it put me off at first, but now is quite welcome. In addition to the sour aroma, there is also a spiciness present which is intriguing. The color is mostly red, with some lighter and darker elements present. The tobacco is cut in small, slightly thick flakes which rub out easily to any roughness desired. I favor a medium rub of small "chunks" and some strands for easy lighting. The blend lights well, and burns slowly, requiring an occasional relight but just about right for a flake. The initial flavor is fantastic, the Va. richness enhanced by the spicy turkish and the peppery perique. This is a combination I truly love, but had never before found in flake form. The flavor develops even richer toward the middle of the bowl and continues to the end without getting noticeably harsher. I do like to let it dry a bit before smoking, but this is typical for me. Others may like it just the way it comes from the can. I would recommend it highly to anyone except aromatic smokers and Latakia junkies.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 29, 2019 Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
Comes in heavily pressed broken flakes as per tin description. They need a lot of rubbing out in order to light and smoke properly as there are a lot of very compressed chunks which, if not broken thoroughly do not take well to light. Tin note is tell-tale McClelland: an enticing vinegary fruitiness!

Now to taste. Blended Flake is dominated by the sweet and nutty Red Virginia taste (with a McClelland sauce I guess) which is very reminiscent of 5100 but thicker. The Orientals are also prominent – true and unadulterated they add a strong dry and sour note and their incomparable aroma. Perique is measured. It is spicy and I can feel it mostly after the middle of the bowl. It adds backbone and a nice rough edge to the blend.

Strength is at least medium, as is nicotine. Room note is very tobaccoey and strong – I like it – but smoking Blended Flake is not recommended among the company of non smokers.

Not an all-day tobacco for me (even if I wanted now it’s too late…), rather one to savour and contemplate upon. In any case it’s a great Va/Or/Per blend showcasing one of the best Oriental leafs I have ever smoked. Much truer to the Oriental taste than any of the tobaccos in the Grand Oriental series. Needs preparation before smoking. Even when well rubbed it smokes quite slow.
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