Savinelli Brunello Flake

(3.24)
An impeccably structured blend. Featuring a foundation of sweet, tangy Virginias and cool burning burleys, a dash of Macedonian leaf is added to round out the mixture and add a hint of the exotic. The different leafs are then aged as one, in order to marry and harmonize flavor, prior to being pressed into a tantalizing flake.

Details

Brand Savinelli
Blended By  
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia Based
Contents Burley, Oriental/Turkish, Virginia
Flavoring
Cut Flake
Packaging 100 grams tin weight
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

3.24 / 4
13

17

3

1

Reviews

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Displaying 1 - 11 of 34 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 02, 2016 Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Very Pleasant
I think this is superb. Took a few bowls to "get it", now I got it.

Closest kin is probably Mac Baren Navy Flake. This is more virginia-forward, and I find an odd almost sour note (macedonian?) against the sweet zesty virginias and whatever gentle sweet casing there is. I don't smell fruit outright at all. So where Navy Flake moves in the spicy dark direction with the "patented cavendish" this moves more in a sweet/sour sort of way.

In the bowl, it's soft smoking and pleasant, nothing earth-shattering. Room note is nice. To me this is any-time all-purpose tobacco. I expect it to age wonderfully, and am started to cellar this.

Not a ton of nicotine here - a typically Mac B virginia offering in that way too.
Pipe Used: all sorts
Age When Smoked: new
26 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 13, 2014 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The flake is a little moist and very easy to rub out or fold and stuff. The tin aroma is sweet honey, a touch of tart lemon and lots of tart and tangy, fruity citrus. The light Virginia offers tart and tangy citrus, and a light bread note with a little grass, earth and honey, along with a few hints of spice, and some creaminess. The darker Virginia provides a light tangy dark fruit, earth and wood. They are the lead component. The burleys are supporting players offering a slight nuttiness with some wood and earth. A touch of dry, earthy, woody, herbal, mildly sweet and lightly sour Macedonian leaf provides a very slight floral essence as a condiment. The top note of honey kind of reminds me of graham crackers. The strength is in the center of mild to medium, and the taste level is almost medium. The nic-hit is a just past the mild mark. Won't bite or get harsh even when pushed. Burns at a slow to moderate pace, cool and clean, with a very sweet, smooth consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires an average number of relights. Has a lightly lingering sweet after taste and room note. An easy going all day smoke.

-JimInks
54 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 04, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
There is a little sweetness, but this is more sour than sweet. The fairly strong citrus notes from the Virginias (I think some of it is topping as well) combine with the sour note of the Orientals to create a lemon-like flavor. It literally makes my mouth water. The Burley, in the first half, provides a nutty earthiness in the background. In the second half the sour citrus fades a little allowing the Burley notes to catch up and this is when it gets downright heavenly. Burns cool and burns very well. This isn't the type of smoke I usually go for, but this one is a bit unique and very tasty.

Mild to medium in body. Medium in taste. Flavoring is mild.
Pipe Used: MM Marcus, Country Gentleman, Mark Twain
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: fresh
15 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 05, 2018 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Tolerable
This one grew on me. I picked up a tin of this upon some forum recommendations. I had high expectations that were not at first met. I was expecting something nuttier than what I got. I found both the Virginia and burley to be more silent than anticipated.

As I got to know it, the Virginia really did emerge while I found the burley to still be kind of in the back seat. The Macedonian leaf is what may have turned me off at first by probably masking those flavors I expected. I think I just started to embrace the taste of that condiment and the blend just started opening up for me.

The flake is presented in nice orderly flakes stacked perfectly in two piles to comprise the 100g tin that I purchased. I put half in a jar for later and left the other half in the tin. As this was a rectangular tin, it did slowly dry to a crisp. I threw in one of those button things to moisten it up and it did the job.

I usually like flakes dry and krispy, but this one in particular, is much better moist than dry. I am leaving three stars on this for now because of mixed results, but I may push it to four stars when I finish the jarred half of this tin sometime in the future.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2014 Medium Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable
I took to this right off, possibly due to its resemblance to Orlik Golden Sliced in the red can- another tin that I've been working on that I've grown quite fond of. Unlike Orlik though, it needs some drying time.

Another thing which may or may not be particular to this tobacco, although it brought me here- rub it out. A reliable old Italian pipe of mine didn't show this toback to good advantage when I folded and stuffed. While not dirty, I cleaned it with alcohol and a week or so later re-tried the Brunello- this time fully rubbed out. Voila- magnifique!

There is a citrus thing happening here which I didn't catch in the Orlik, or didn't think I did. Maybe I did though, and hence my attraction for Brunello. Again I'm not detecting perique either, but then again there's none advertized; also an Orlik trait of great dispute. But the nicotine is present- at least as much in Orlik.

While I'm aware that I'm reviewing Brunello- NOT Orlik, the comparisons are hard to avoid due to the proximity of both in my useage. Orlik fans looking for a great variation may well find something new with Brunello, The tin is better eye candy than the image of a Brit judge on a scarlet background, which is about as welcome as a toadstool, but perhaps more traditional than the green floral (grape leaf?) design the Brunello tin is graced with. Stacked rectangular flakes are easy to measure size-wise for any flake afficianado.

Try the Brunello- it holds its own.

Pipe Used: antique Royalton Silver Crown, cobs
PurchasedFrom: Pipes & Cigars
Age When Smoked: birthed June 2014- so about 5 months
9 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 07, 2019 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Mostly light brown mottled thin flakes that crumble easily, and I rubbed this one out gently for smoking. Tin note of honey and a vague light lemon-citrus. Not overblown in the lemon. I got the best results when I gave each bowl about a 2 hour dry time, although differences in moisture content were subtle.

In the bowl, the Virginias provided a lightly sweet and tangy flavor with an almost buttery cavendish-type note from the honey, and with some grass and hay. References to Mac Baren Navy Flake are certainly justified, although this one is much less cased. The burley was neither nutty nor earthy, but provided a sort of “grounding” to the flavor so that it wasn’t devoid of body and presence. I’m not sure if the sour flavor comes from the oriental strain or what, but it was quite prominent in the early goings. It mellowed out about halfway down the bowl. Indeed, the first half of the bowl was punchy but also had a bit of teeth - just a bit - and no amount of cadence altering could completely tame it. The second half of the bowl is where the tobaccos melded together and the blend was pleasant, good tasting and a bit unmemorable. If the punchiness of the first part was retained into the last part of the bowl, this would be a four star blend. I think I’m going to pick up some more tins and experiment with adding some red virginia or perhaps a spot of Izmir, or even a pinch of perique. This one has the potential to be a killer blend on its own with some age, so I’m going to cellar some. Even with my reservations, this is a fine blend and is definitely worth a sampling for anyone interested in blends of this type.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 04, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Savinelli’s Brunello Flake is a premium crossover. Everything about it is TOP, including the leaf, the blend, preparation, presentation, handling, smoking, aroma, taste (and the price). It's also amply cased, and it’s topped enough to make it important to this blend; but IMO it is not an aromatic.

In a newly opened tin one sees two perfect stacks of well-formed, medium sized flakes. The lot appears at first to be golden but one soon notices the gamut of shades reflecting not only flue cured but also air cured, and even some stoved leaf. The tin aroma is an enhanced, souped-up version of the best of the actual fermented tobacco smells, along with some citrus (orange), honey, vanilla, apricot, currants, cardamom, and a few more I have not nailed down yet. But trust me, it smells good, all right. I started by folding, twisting the hell out of it, and stuffing a moist flake into one of my VA pipes, and I still fold and seriously spindle it, though I found I much prefer it dried some before stuffing and smoking it. When it’s too moist, it’s got a little of the usual-for-aromatics oily and acrid tastes. When it’s just right, everything harmonizes into a delicious, tobacco rich treat. The predominant VAs are very sweet, like sweet grasses and honeysuckle, and they are mild without being the usual corollary to “mild”, which is to say [it’s not], hot. There is also some taste and aroma from a smattering of rich, red VA that adds depth and complexity, including some "earth". The Burleys used are nutty but not tannic, and they lend some “volume” and “roundness” to the smell and the taste, alike, along with a little cocoa (or is this the topping?). The Macedonian leaf is excellent, loamy, with very faint, Middle Eastern lamb kabobs, and the lot remains sweet and “exotic” without being cloying. I recommend loose to medium packing, also try to keep it slow while avoiding re-lights. It burns to a very fine ash, so watch the stoking or stirring. Strength is mild to medium, and I doubt it will satisfy anyone looking for a buzz. Room note is truly, actually pleasant. I don’t smoke BF for the aftertaste, since it seems to go flat for me as soon as I stop smoking it, or, if I’m careless, I can make it turn out slightly ashy and acrid. In any case, it fades away pretty fast.

Savinelli’s Brunello Flake is the best crossover I’ve smoked since Fribourg and Treyer’s Cut Virginia Plug. In fact, I like BF better, and the two blends are definitely comparable in terms of quality. I give BF 3 stars on my Absolute scale; 4 stars on my Crossover scale.

Update, 11-22-2017: I recently smoked some BF that's been jarred since before my original review. The toppings have faded significantly, and the varietals are melded and softened. IMO it is still a "4", but I am surprised to realize I actually prefer it fresher, with more of the toppings in play, smoked as a crossover! Looking back, I also feel this way about F&T's Cut VA Plug; in fact I had to down rate that blend when it "mellowed out" with age.
Pipe Used: various briars; dedication is rewarded
PurchasedFrom: Liberty Tobacco
Age When Smoked: 9 mos.
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 21, 2022 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Everything about the presentation of Brunello Flake says quality. The perfect flakes are piled neatly in the center of the tin in a little gold paper box, reminiscent of the way Old Dark Fired is packaged. The tin note is lovely too. It smells of honey, citrus, and various spices. I generally rub out flakes, and Brunello breaks up perfectly. Some blends take more effort to rub into the right size... not Brunello. It almost seems to fall apart into the exact perfect consistency. It's a tiny tad moist, so I dried it out for around 10 minutes in the dry winter air. First few puffs... so nice. Very fresh flavors. The Virginias are prominent, and are a sweet grassy, slightly lemony flavor. Less fruity and more vegetal/earthy with a bit of bready-ness. The Macedonian leaf's lightly sour and floral flavors compliment those Virginias perfectly. The Burleys are there, but really only slightly. They seem to just firm up the smoke with a touch of nuttiness. The mildly sweet topping is there throughout adding a nice spiced honey and (fermented?) dark fruit flavor. It's really not flavored enough to call this an aromatic. Brunello Flake behaves really well too... as I said, it rubs out perfectly, plus there's no bite, and I hardly needed any relights. Plus it burns fairly slow.

Bottom line: Brunello Flake is excellent. It's just a high quality blend all around. It has a crisp, herbaceous quality that is refreshing... and original. I can't think of any blends to compare it to. Easily 4 stars.
Pipe Used: Savinelli Punto Oro Corallo 622ks
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant
Rather expensive flake, but one that I happily repurchase. Sweet, sour, somewhat complex, lightly citrus, and all around well behaved. A wonderful smoke I reach for often.

In the tin, it smells sweet, fermented, and citrus. Others have suggested strawberry and I'm inclined to agree. There's a faintly familiar smell of the orientals under what you'd expect for a Virginia flake. The burley doesn't offer much aroma of it's own. There has to be some level of topping, milder than many aromatics but present. Color is generally light brown with a few tan strands here and there. Made by MacBaren, the flakes are perfectly consistent in shape, size and thickness.

I like this best rubbed out completely; folded and stuffed it seems to require a lot of relights even when fairly dried out. It loses a little bit of it's flavor charm as it dries too, making rubbed out the better option for my tastes. Flavor is generally sweet, occasional sour, with citrus notes present throughout. Slight spice, very minimal. The Virginia tastes well aged. The burley is faintly noticeable really, but does play backup. The oriental leaf is a little above condimental levels, it is noticeable enough to pick up on. Mixed with the sweet toppings (slight honey / strawberry), this flake has enough going to keep me interested all the way through the bowl. Nicotine is just above mild, enough to get the job done without being overbearing.

Burns well once lit (rubbed out at least), and leaves little moisture behind. Certainly no "goop".

I saw somebody compared this to MB Navy Flake, and agree they are 2nd cousins. Navy Flake has a different topping, the burley is more forward, and doesn't have the oriental leaf, but I enjoy them both and find them similar enough in the smoke to agree with the comparison. This doesn't have the rum splash of Navy Flake. I smoke this more often, as I find it to be the superior of the two.

In the end, I feel the quality of Brunello Flake offsets the price premium enough to justify keeping it in the rotation. I consider it a treat every time.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Sep 02, 2021 Mild Medium Medium Tolerable
Summary: a nice Virginia flake fortified by Burleys with a tang from Orientals and toppings.

Most reviews focus on this blend as a Burley flake, but it makes more sense to explore it as being something like "Erinmore Flake": a Virginia flake with a lot of Burley and possibly Cavendish to soften it and make it burn less hot. The volume of smoke on first light suggests Burley, at which point the main flavors are the roasted almond of white Burley in the background with a gentle tang from the Orientals that melds into the topping like a chord, bringing out the floral, fruit, and berry flavors which mostly burn off after the first quarter of the bowl but remain as a sort of "spin" to the Oriental sweet-sour zest. Once the bowl gets going, the Burley makes more of its presence known, suggesting some fermented dark Burley as well, but then the sugars in the Virginia caramelize and that flavor dominates. At this point, the Burley warms up the citrus-honey-brioche taste of the Virginias while the slightly herbal ginger-like flavor of the Orientals guides the taste as a whole. Although pressed as a European-style hard flake, the Orientals (and possibly Cavendish) are drier than the Virginias, so these flakes open up easily and light without much effort. Like the MacBaren "Navy Flake" or "Erinmore Flake," the bowl burns like an OTC and stays flavorful to the last bits, burning to a fine dusty ash.
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jan 19, 2017 Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Here's a hybrid for ya. Reading the list of tobaccos in the blend and then finding out that it's flavored would make one wonder if this blend is worth trying. Open the tin and smell the strawberry topping. At least it smells like strawberry to me and another reviewer.The flavoring is used with a very light hand and it actually gives the blend a nice semi-sweet sour note as it plays along with the Macedonia leaf. I know it sounds crazy but this tobacco is balanced and tastes more like a sour-ish sweet Virginia. Burns well with very few re-lights. I tried my best to get this tobacco to bite and it never did. A very different experience that I really like and would buy this again.
Pipe Used: Ashton
PurchasedFrom: smokingpipes.com
Age When Smoked: 3 years.
5 people found this review helpful.
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