Stirling Flake is a full-bodied blend for the experienced smoker who enjoys the full power of an English Flake. Equal amounts of air-cured, flue-cured and dark fired tobacco give this powerhouse its specific flavour. Not for the [faint] of heart.

Blended ByKohlhase, Kopp und Co. KG
Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Kentucky, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
Product Image
Medium to Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full
Room Note
Pleasant to Tolerable

Favorite Of 6 Users

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DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (231)
Strong Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Some say this blend is what Irish Flake once was and what its creators intended it to be, but it stands on its own: a strong Virginia flake, backed by muscular Burley and smoke-cured Kentucky tobaccos. This mixture results in a solid but nuanced flavor with plenty of kick, but varies enough over the course of a bowl to make a pleasurable all-day smoke.

A flavoring of anise crests the waves of first dark-fired, then Virginia and finally a rich, nutty, coffee-like Burley. Caramelized tastes rise within that, sweetened by the anise. Compared to Irish Flake, this is stronger and more intense in its melding of Burley and Kentucky flavors; where Irish Flake tends toward the strong side of medium, this is on the soft side of strong. It will not put the average smoker on the floor like the 'Happy' Brown Bogie but it will make its presence known. Reality clarifies after a half-bowl of Stirling Flake.

These flakes are thicker than the Irish Flake, and unlike your average Virginia flake, tend toward the more assertive taste sensations within that tobacco, helping it to complement like the broad Burley and sharp dark-fired flavors like notes in a chord. The anise provides a high harmony, but when it evaporates, the remaining dense flavor rises and finishes out the bowl with strength.

Some tobaccos grab you over time, by revealing what they have to offer by showing how it can be appealing. To those who like martial tobaccos, Stirling Flake unveils its power immediately: this hard-hitting tobacco flavor and experience fulfills what we think of when we conjure up an image of a tobacco made for heavy duty use. It delivers consistently and leaves behind white-grey ash in soft snowflake-like particles.

While some may bemoan the 'downfall' of Irish Flake, I see these two as brothers: the medium-strength version provides hours of pleasure without becoming overbearing, but for the driven person on a day of intense concentration, only the warlike sensation of Stirling Flake will do. This blend became a potential favorite quickly, and then a daily smoke as its many idiosyncrasies and texture of flavors came to light.

16 people found this review helpful.

doc'spipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
doc'spipe (242)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant

Peterson's Irish Flake has been my number one tobacco for a good many years. Over the past several months it was noted on various pipe smoker's forums that Kohlhase-Kopp would no longer be producing Peterson's line of pipe tobaccos. Trying to find out who the new blenders of Peterson's flake tobaccos has met with little success. It was thought to be Mac Baren, but Per Jensen, himself, said no to their producing Peterson flakes. However, they seem to be producing all of their other tobaccos except for Hype Park (G&H produced).

Shortly thereafter it appeared Kohlhase-Kopp started to produce several flakes under the Rattray banner, Stirling Flake being one of them. It was said on the various pipe smoking forums that K-H are using he same leaf/recipe for Stirling Flake as they did for Irish Flake. I initially saw that Pipes and Cigars had it listed on their site, but was backordered (and still is as of this post) for quite some time now. Recently, I found it at Smoking Pipes and 4 Noggins. I went with 4 Noggins. Same price point, but better shipping rate for me.

As for the tobacco...same number of slices (12), same thickness of cut, same appearance, same tin note. The only difference I am noticing is a slightly more pronounced spiciness (at least as compared to my most recent smoke with IrF). All in all, very pleased with Stirling Flake and at this time I don't have any preference one over the other.

UPDATE 1-24-15: I've been smoking this and alternating with Irish Flake. I would have to conclude that I detect no difference whatsoever with regard to taste, flavor, etc. Verdict...SAME.

UPDATE 2-4-15: I feel this is worth mentioning here with regard to Irish Flake and posted under IrF as well:

Since my last update in Dec 2014, I stated that I detected no difference in Irish Flake. Now that may be about to change. I recently opened a tin in my line up (I date and number them as I receive them) and the first thing I noticed was the smell typical of Danish produced Virginia flakes - very fruity. The leathery/tarry smell so reminiscent of IrF was present but only minimally. The appearance and handling qualities of the flake appeared to be the same. The smoking experience was good, however, the fruitiness tasted throughout the bowl (I'm half way through the tin and this hasn't changed) and that Kentucky presence was not as noticeable. The overall strength is less as well. Still a good smoke, but if I want the "old Irish Flake" I'll got with K-H's Stirling Flake. I've tried that and it is identical to the Irish Flake I'm used to.

Pipe Used: Stanwell SB Bulldog

Age When Smoked: Fresh from tin

Purchased From: 4Noggins.com

Similar Blends: To me, identical to Irish Flake..

16 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Rattray - Stirling Flake.

In the tin the flakes look appealing, mostly dark with sporadic yellow flecks throughout. There isn't much aroma coming from the tin, just really a basic tobacco smell with a slight raisin type note. This is pretty unique for a flake from the tin as the moisture is spot on, Sam Gawith take note please!!! As the flakes aren't too dense in construction it can be prepared simply, whether you fold 'n stuff or rub out it gives a good burn so either method suits; it's just a matter of personal preference!

The taste of the tobaccos are perfectly weighted with one another, they come over quite equal after ten or so minutes. With the initial smoke it's the Virginia that takes the forefront but after a short while the nuttiness of the Burley creeps through and then becomes the same weight. The nicotine isn't that strong it will make your head spin but it's above medium. I find the smoke's good in temperature, it isn't the coolest but it's not too warm either. Another decent point is tongue bite, not one episode of bite throughout! The burn's even all the way through, once it's lit then the only requisite is the odd tamp to maintain the it. I find the room note rather basic, not bad, just simple. To me Stirling Flake is the archetypal 'no nonsense' blend, very simple and very satisfying.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: GBD Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

15 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

It's been 1 year and 4 months since I reviewed Irish Flake. At the time I gave it 2 stars. I felt it was just ok, nothing special. Since then I have acquired a taste for DFK and I seem to like anything that has it as one of it's components. I have to say that I like this blend. The DFK is the most prominent flavor. Earthy, spicy, and very mildly smoky. The Virginias add a nice mild fruity tang to the background along with a mild nuttiness from the Burley. Combined it's a very nice smoke. It should be smoked slowly, as pushing it can cause it to acquire a harshness. Thankfully, I've finally learned some patience and can avoid that. While I can't give this 4 stars I can give it a very solid 3.

Body is medium to full. Flavor is medium. Burns best for me fully rubbed out. Doesn't really require any drying time, but I give it a half hour or so.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman, MM Mark Twain

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

10 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Supposedly this is Pete's Irish Flake sporting new outer attire. Since I had some IF on hand, I decided to do a comparison. First of all, the tin aroma is different. In this one there's a bit of a medicinal aroma that l found disquieting when I first opened the tin. It didn't impact the taste, however. The color of the flakes is close enough that I can't detect differences.

In the bowl, this one tasted sweeter than IF. I likened it closer to something like Mac Baren's Bold Kentucky. Since I prefer that one to IF, I enjoyed this one more as well. It was fairly strong and had enough nicotine to satisfy all but the most demanding customers. Excellent deep flavor but not too robust. I paint it with the same brush as BK, and that is it has all the flavor of something like G&H's Dark Flake but with the attack of that one toned down. Good tasting smoke! Not much in the complexity department but if you like the flavor at first light, you'll like it at the end, provided you don't overpuff. Doing so as an experiment brought on the burley bitters, although it didn't bite. I still have enough BK in my cellar, as well as other things like SG Dark Flake and MacB's lighter cousin to BK that I probably won't need to buy anymore of this but if I didn't, I would pick this and the SG over the Mac B's. Juicy, dark and beguiling, smoke this if you can't stand another Virginia after a tough week. Great outdoor smoke too!

8 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (220)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

Rattray’s Stirling Flake is dark and rich, from the moment the tin is popped. In the tin, two rows of well-formed flakes are wrapped in white paper, with the now familiar “tobacco leaf” seal. The flakes are quite dark, also moist, and they smell of dark chocolate covered cherries, currants, prunes, geraniums, and deep Dutch licorice over the deep, well-melded, fermented tobaccos, which are said to be a range of VAs, Burly, and KY. I like to cut a flake to twice chamber depth, then fold it and spindle it thoroughly between my thumbs and forefingers, then I load the resultant “plug” loosely into a pipe. It lights and burns fine like this, straight from the tin. During the smoke the deep, sweet VAs emerge in the lead, while the KY is well-tempered and not so smoky or spicy as to dominate. The “regular” Burly is rich, smooth, round, and nutty, and although the tannins build as SF is smoked down, it never gets bitter. For me it’s an easy, relaxing smoke that’s interesting rather than clever. Strength is more strong than medium. Tastes are more full than medium. Room note is tolerable. Aftertaste is a tasty, lingering trailing-off of the smoke.

IMO, Stirling Flake is terrific stuff, and I am surprised it is not more popular. Four stars from me, also room in my cellar for it, on account of substantial VA. Others have noted that SF is similar to Irish Flake, and I think so, too, except I have fewer problems with SF; it smokes better for me and I take to SF’s additives better than I do those in IF.

Pipe Used: various briars

Age When Smoked: fresh to several months

Purchased From: 4noggins.com

Similar Blends: compare/contrast to Peterson's Irish Flake.

7 people found this review helpful.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (50)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I've gotten to a point where I want to either (a) send in a few undercover operatives to get the inside scoop on various manufacturers or (b) go to a doctor to have my tastebuds (and related senses) analyzed. Point being that I smoke a new (to me) blend and say "God, that's good, but I'd swear it's the same as.....(of which I have 50 tins in the cellar). That said, great tobacco this is, but if I had MacBaren's HH Bold Kentucky or HH Old Dark Fired in the rotation I'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference. Well, maybe I could. ODF is less round and rich. Bold Kentucky is a twin, fraternal if not identical. The few reviews here mention Irish Flake. I don't see it. That toast, this is cake -- neither close to mild but Stirling is just rounder. In any event, they are ALL 4-star tobaccos. All right up my alley for "manliness" but all very approachable. I'd go to Stirling for that rich and smooth strength in the dark-fired, kentucky vabur world. No complaints -- nothing wrong with an extra ten tins of this genre ;))

Pipe Used: I'm a straight billiard or dublin guy

Age When Smoked: new and old (me, i'm old ;))

Purchased From: etailer

Similar Blends: see review.

6 people found this review helpful.

TallPuffO'Burley Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TallPuffO'Burley (633)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Tolerable

This is a great flake. A while back I seen a posting on a forum claiming that this was the exact same tobacco as Irish Flake. As Irish Flake is one of my favorite tobaccos, I was quite anxious to try it. I did not compare the two back to back, but from my memory of the last completed tin of Irish Flake, I don't think the two are identical.

I found SF to be both earthier and sweeter than IF, I may actually like this one more than IF. I also think it is not as strong from a nicotine standpoint as is IF. It has a little in common to my tastes to RDF from Germain. Maybe a little lighter on the topping, but a similar rich taste in the leaf.

I really liked it and will purchase more. I highly recommend this one as I do the other two mentioned. They are all fantastic tasting vaburs.

Similar Blends: Rich Dark Flake, Irish Flake.

6 people found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (318)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

As others have noted, either the same as Peterson Irish Flake has been, or very similar. To the, the underlying the tobaccos taste pretty much the same as far as I can tell -- a nice balance between the VAs and Kentucky, nice full flavor, easily worked flakes. The N struck me as a trifle less, but that's often the most subjective part of tobacco tasting. The casing also came across a bit more noticable (perhaps it was just a fresher tin?). If you like Irish Flake, try this and compare for yourself.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 1 month after purchase

Purchased From: Mars

Similar Blends: Peterson Irish Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

NobbyR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
NobbyR (79)
Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

Manufactured by Kohlhase & Kopp, this is supposed to be (more or less) the same blend as the old Peterson Irish Flake, when it was still made by them and not by Mac Baren.

The rather large and thick, mottled, dark brown flakes are neatly stacked into the rectangular tin, effusing a strong, earthy tobacco scent with an indistinct sweetness. The slices feel brittle and slightly moist.

You can easily use the fold and stuff method for filling your pipe. A single slice will usually suffice to give you at least an hour of smoking pleasure.

After the charring light, you need to tamp down and level out the ashes before applying the true light to get it burning steadily.

From the first puff on, you'll realize that this is stronger stuff, also on nicotine content! Beside an earthy tobacco taste from the Dark Fired Kentucky, there are sweetish fruity notes of dried figs, apricots or prunes. Smoking the Stirling Flake also requires some leisure in order to keep it burning coolly and slowly. That way, it gives you a satisfying smoke throughout the whole bowl and burns down evenly leaving some graying ash. To me it seems sweeter and milder than the new Irish Flake.

The room note is dominated by strong tobacco scents with some fruity sweetness in the background, which renders it a little more tolerable for the crowd.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Nr. 95 Silke Brun

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: www.cigarworld.de

Similar Blends: Peterson Irish Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

HabaneroHardy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
HabaneroHardy (403)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Unnoticeable

I got a large bowl sample of this from a friend of mine at our weekly pipe club meeting. I folded and stuffed some into my Preben Holm Ben Wade and smoked about 1/5 before realizing that this could last anywhere from 30-60 minutes. As I wanted to sample other stuff, I sat this aside and brought it home where it sat in the pipe for about a week until now. This does remind me of Peterson Irish Flake, maybe a tad sweeter. Tastes similar to any of the other dark fired tobacco blends out there. I do not smoke a pipe for the nicotine effect and actually never retro hale either but I did not get much of the Nicotine bomb that I recall from Irish Flake. It is smooth, meaty, and consistent throughout. Good but I will probably just stick to Mac Baren’s Bold Kentucky. Glad I got to try it though.

Pipe Used: Ben Wade

4 people found this review helpful.

Sybariten Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Sybariten (61)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable to Strong

Note - this is essentially the same review as the one for Peterson Irish Flake, except for a new passage in the taste section. Thus there are now two taste paragraphs; the one titled "new taste" is the part added on behalf of this smoke. Otherwise everything I stated regarding I.F. is valid here as well.

Conclusion: Nothing spectacular, but a good smoke. One dimensional and semi-strong it is something I most likely won't reorder.

New Taste: The scent of the tobacco in the tin surprised me, rather fruity and light. I ventured in to this having tried Peterson's Irish Flake and knowing that these two are basically the same recipe, but where Irish flake smelled of anis there is now something almost tropical. Strange start. But! Put to the flame there is none of that.

Taste: Mostly it is plain bread and nuts provided by the burley. Otherwise it is mainly pepper. A plain smoke that offers no complexity. It is also a bit dry to smoke and makes me want to drink something while smoking. Pairs well with coffee.

Mechanics: Burns clean, needs some drying and some relights may be necessary but it is really nothing untypical of flakes. Strength is at medium to strong, body medium. A dry smoke that doesn't bite if the tobacco is properly dried, it comes a bit moist in the tin. And the flake looks beautiful.

Pipe Used: Various briars and cobs

Similar Blends: Peterson Irish Flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Very Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Very similar to Petersons Irish Flake but not quite as good as the Irish Flak, for it lacks the sweetness though it is a worthy substitute. The Sterling is much darker than the aforementioned and on opening smells slightly different, though that said not far off. The smoke is very strong in the nicotine hit, the room note is also strong. I know a few on here have said that it's identical to the Irish flake but in my smoking opinion it is not. But what it is, is a very satisfying cool smoke that burns slowly and leaves one very contented, though I still prefer the Irish slices. Buy some, because if you like strong cool smoking tobaccos this delivers both in equal measure, you'll like this. Me, I like it, but I prefer the Irish Slices. Though to my personal smoking tastes, it's another tobacco that is more satisfying than any of the Lakelands. With that said if you like Reevor Plug and can't do the hassle of cutting up the plug, this is a good first reserve.

Pipe Used: Peterson Explorer

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Blakemar Briars

Similar Blends: Irish Slices, Reevor Plug.

3 people found this review helpful.

Dethmutt Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Dethmutt (5)
Strong Strong Full Strong

Woof! This stuff is great!!!

This one will take you to bed, Vitamin N and flavor! .

A stronger brother to Wallace flake (Which is awesome) without the Plum

Pipe Used: Savinelli 320

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Tobaccopipes.com

Similar Blends: Peterson irish Flake. kinda.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30171)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Superb tobacco: it starts quite strong, with nutty and cocoa taste, thanks to Virginia and high-quality Burley; then, it turns to something smoky and leather-like (in my opinion, well dry - sometimes, I drink half glass of cold water to taste better the smoky flavour); finally, it gains a full body, very deep, pleasantly bitter. It's a very refined choice.

Pipe Used: Many briars

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Local tabacconist

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Golden Blend.

3 people found this review helpful.

Warwick Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Warwick (37)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Promising small dark slabs of flake, with tin notes of fig and barbecue. On the moist side, it needs a fair bit of drying.

In the pipe it burns well, mostly dark smokiness (not a Latakia smokiness), wisps of meaty notes, and tinges of the steamed oiliness of Black Twist/Black XX. The smoke hangs about, a lingering ambience of cooked meat/barbecue. As it burns down, the final third of the bowl becomes flat and a tad ashy.

Overall, good quality but misses the mark for me. I'll take SG Lakeland Dark instead.

Pipe Used: Bjarne freehand

Age When Smoked: 5mo

Similar Blends: Samuel Gawith - Lakeland Dark.

3 people found this review helpful.

KingDuncan83 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
KingDuncan83 (25)
Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong

As much as i enjoy Irish Flake, this is the better version. Listen IF & SF look exactly the same in every way. I have smoked both in back to back bowls so i can say that taste almost identical. So why say SF is better? Its the depth of the flavor that SF has that i find lacking in the STG made version. To me this is the better version. To each their own in this subjective world of pipe tobacco.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: tobacco pipes

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Flake.

2 people found this review helpful.

RonR Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
RonR (85)
Very Mild Very Mild Extremely Mild (Flat) Pleasant


Just finished a tin and it took me 6 months. Based on research this was supposed to be very similar to Irish Flake so I was expecting a somewhat similar flake. Not at all alike in my pipes. Strength was not even close to Irish Flake, nor was the great nutty taste. This was supposed to be Irish Flake with some small changes and unfortunately they did not gain anything IMO. I ended up using it as a mixer.

Irish Flake is cheaper and much better IMO.

Pipe Used: Cobs and briars.

Age When Smoked: 6 months

2 people found this review helpful.

Pdsure Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pdsure (1)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

I started this 'hobby' aged 60 having never smoked. I started because my partner smokes cigarettes and I decided that I would try to put her off by smoking her out! I found the whole business of pipe smoking so pleasant i have continued! I have smoked several tobaccos since, mostly from recommendations from this brilliant site. I have just started smoking flake and on recommendation from here i ordered some SF and it arrived today. I have folded and lit up and I have had a great experience with this. I lovd the burn and the flavour and I like the reasonable hit of nicotine.

It it a lovely steady burner and remains its solid comforting smoke all the way down. It has no bite and it is quite a grown up smoke. It is creamy and leaves a great after taste that is slightly sweet and a little bit fruity.

I love early morning and nightcap but this is very different in a reassuring way. It takes a while to finish a bowl and I have tried not to rush as the hit is real and needs a bit of respect.

Thank you to all who review as it helps to guide the process of discovering new tobaccos.

Pipe Used: Falcon

Age When Smoked: Old enough to be daring

Purchased From: My smoking shop

Similar Blends: Nothing i have tried thus far that i have tried..

2 people found this review helpful.

SmokeQuest Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SmokeQuest (20)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I purchased a can of this to see how it compared to Peterson Irish flake. This tobacco is more pleasant, sweeter, smoother, and not quite as strong. Perfect for a late evening smoke.

Pipe Used: Ascorti

Age When Smoked: New

2 people found this review helpful.

Falliver Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Falliver (42)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Considering the amount of positive reviews on this tobacco, I might have had a bad batch. It arrived too dry for my liking, and even after some slight moisturising, the overall flavour did not change. Though full of flavour of “real tobacco”, mine also had a musty and almost mouldy taste.

It had, however, acquired a good mouthfeel and a full body, given a lucky lighting.

Pipe Used: Norrøna Lillehammer 1212

Purchased From: Sol Cigar Oslo

2 people found this review helpful.

AJS2323 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
AJS2323 (32)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Having read the reviews on this website and from a few sellers I was expecting something that would be overpowering. I was pleasantly surprised that this flake has very subtle flavours that you pick out at different stages of the bowl. There is a malty sweet full tobacco taste throughout but then the subtle smokey flavours come through. Very nice smoke. I would recommmend to the latter stage of beginning the hobby as a starting point where you are just starting to experiment and use flake and plug tobaccos. That is the level that I am at and it was nice.

There are certain tobaccos like black bogie twist that is a little too overwhelming and hard to manage at my stage but this certainly isn’t one of them.

Pipe Used: Erik Nording Valhalla 106

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: My smoking shop

Similar Blends: Peterson - Peterson's Perfect Plug, Gawith, Hoggarth & Co. - Revor Plug - smokiness flavour .

2 people found this review helpful.

Little Steven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Little Steven (76)
Mild to Medium Medium Medium Unnoticeable

Irish Flake is a copy of the original Irish Flake.

Stirling Flake is a copy of Irish Flake.

So it's a copy of a copy. And Stirling is in Scotland.

You make up your own mind.

Pipe Used: Stanwell billard.

Age When Smoked: Fresh from the shop.

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop (nice chaps).

Similar Blends: Rattrays other Eurotobak Flake..

2 people found this review helpful.

smokethefox Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
smokethefox (14)
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

Phew! What a heavy hitter. Just opening the tin and taking a sniff gives you a nic hit! Its floral, woody and somky. The flakes are cut beautifully. The fold and stuff method works really good with this one. Lighting the baccy is easy, also keeping it lit thanks to the good moisture. Burns slow a cool. Now, the smoke is like the tin aroma. Floral, woody and smoky Kentucky dominates and the Virginias support mr. K with grassyness and sweetness. The nic hits like a train. I love it. Highly recommenden!

Pipe Used: Corn cob

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Cigarworld.de

1 person found this review helpful.

Ryan N. Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ryan N. (1)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

First of all, I should say that this stuff is definitely a great tobacco, if it wasn’t already made obvious by the 4-star rating. Definitely one I’d highly recommend to anyone to at least try and especially to people who enjoy the heavier stuff.

Now, on to the substance of it:

I’d say this stuff is a near-perfect mixture of the three different types of tobacco. It definitely isn’t overwhelmed by the DFK taste and smell in the way that something like newer Irish Flake or HH Bold Kentucky is, it’s a much more balanced and even-keeled blend in that sense.

While it’s definitely solidly in the strong category in both flavor and nicotine content, I never found it overwhelming, it’s not too in-your-face. Simply a good strong blend that really compliments a morning coffee if you like a decent dose of nicotine to start your day, as I do. Typically I have a half flake of HH Bold Kentucky (from the larger flakes found in the one pound box, not the smaller ones in the tins) with coffee in the morning and Rattray’s Stirling Flake could easily and deliciously fill that role. It did today and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s much less sweet than the molasses and bbq sauce notes you get with Bold Kentucky, the Stirling is much more of a dry and roasty-toasty classic tobacco taste and aroma. Which is often preferable to me actually, I’m generally not a fan of sweet tobacco.

At no point does it get harsh and it certainly won’t cause tongue bite, which I’m quite susceptible to. Even when really ripped vigorously. From sipping to ripping, any way you want to smoke it, it’s a pleasant experience.

For classic tobacco taste and aroma, along with a solid nicotine hit, you’ll have a hard time finding anything that’s better than this stuff. I’ll be ordering more for sure.

Pipe Used: Tekin Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: Fresh 2022 Tin

Purchased From: SmokingPipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Stah Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Stah (153)
Strong Very Mild Medium Tolerable

Today's trial: the Irish Flake of 2009 in a square tin and the Stirling Flake of 2022.

Appearance: some differences can be seen immediately. Irish Flake had been sliced into long, narrow flake strips the length of a tin, each of the flakes weighing about three grams. The Stirling Flake strips are the “standard” rectangular size, wider, stacked in two stacks. Each flake weighs about four grams, with its small volume provoking you to stuff more than one, which I wouldn't recommend for a beginner. Irish Flake is a little lighter in shade, less dense. Stirling Flake clearly has more glycerin and propylene glycol treatment. Despite all of the above, both tobaccos are similar, mostly dark with occasional yellow flecks. The flake have a great consistency, easily broken if desired or twisted into a tube for "envelope" stuffing. However, knowing the strength of the mixture, I did not risk smoking it this way.

Flavor: There is also a definite difference here. In Stirling Flake the anise topping is brighter, bitter chocolate and Kentucky smoky note prevail over the rest, Virginia tones of field hay, wheat bread and tangerine are in the background, and burley gives it all a woody and nutty support. Inhaling this flavor, after a couple of minutes, I felt a faint note of leather. And in Irish Flake, the aniseed topping note over the years has gone deep into the overall flavor, giving room for woody, nutty burley notes framed by smoky and chocolate Kentucky with a slight coffee tone. Virginia's light notes of dried field hay, wheat bread and tangerine, along with the lightest touch of leather, give this bouquet a subtle sweetness in the scent, being somewhat off-putting. Overall, aging has clearly benefited the tobacco - the flavor is more whole, though less bright.

The taste of both tobaccos left no doubt that they were practically the same. A beautiful bouquet, with smoky, chocolatey, woody and barely noticeable citrus tones melded together, lightly supported by very light sweets of Virginia. The Stirling Flake is a bit brighter towards smoke and chocolate, but I attribute that to its youth. The blend has no harshness from the start, is tolerant of overheating, and the flavor is extremely mild. There is nothing superfluous about it, it tastes like an expensive vintage pipe tobacco. It smokes very slowly, cool and extremely dry, burning to almost white ash and leaving absolutely no moisture in the pipe. The strength of both tobaccos is clearly much above average. Three grams of one Irish Flake was just enough for me to feel quite a tangible relaxing nicotine kick. In the case of Stirling Flake, the effect was a little stronger, but do not forget that the plate of this tobacco is a few grams heavier. The aftertaste is smoky and woody, unsweetened, mild, but persistent.

The smoke from tobacco is dense and persistent in flavor, has the aroma of smoldering resinous pine with the lightest phenolic flavoring.

Bottom line: the place is never empty. Irish Flake is dead? Long live Stirling Flake! This is an absolutely luxurious strong, but very mild tobacco. It goes great with peaty Irish or Scotch whiskey, being a strong afternoon or evening tobacco. I can recall that I had the same pleasure with Mac Baren HH Old Dark Fired (by the way, both tobaccos are similar in composition and strength, though slightly different in flavor and taste). As for the older version of Irish Flake, if you have it in your collection, don't worry about running out. Stirling Flake is an equal replacement.

P.S. For this trial I did not take the current version of Irish Flake by STG because I absolutely know that its form has undergone serious changes. The old version of the blend had equal proportions of air-cured, flue cured, and dark fired tobaccos - that is, it had equal amounts of Virginia, Burley, and Kentucky. The current version clearly has more of bright Virginia and less Kentucky, which you can see even with the naked eye. In addition, instead of the old anise topping, a mixed fruit and berry syrup has been preferred now by STG, somewhat similar to the current University Flake version. Together with the rich flavors of bright sweet Virginia and burley with a faint support of Kentucky, the result is a strange, somewhat watery sweet berry-woody-coffee flavor. That is to say, completely different. The current version of Irish Flake by STG will be considered fallen in the unequal struggle with globalism and the cruel market.

Pipe Used: Peterson 14B, 69, 80s, 106, 150, 999

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: Smuggled through the Europe

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Flake (up to 2010, produced by K&K).

1 person found this review helpful.

UncleAl Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
UncleAl (19)
Strong Very Mild Full Tolerable

Rattray’s Stirling Flake is the sort of tobacco your grandfather could have smoked. It’s forthright, no-nonsense strength demands respect and a gentle pace. Taken with consideration, Stirling Flake relights well and is for long, slow contemplation.

I tend to cut into 2-3milimetre pieces, rub out and gravity feed. I try to loose pack because this forces a slow cadence. Sip don’t puff and you’ll get the fullness of this masterful blend. There’s a mild, lasting yet gentle sweetness. One of the world’s great tobaccos! Highly recommended for connoisseurs of dedicated experience.

Pipe Used: Tsunge Topper, Peterson Baker Street & ors.

Age When Smoked: From the tin

Purchased From: 4Noggins

Similar Blends: Peterson Irish Flake, but with more class..

1 person found this review helpful.

hrhf Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
hrhf (38)
Medium to Strong Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Although I’ve been smoking pipes since around 2009, I’m not the most seasoned pipe smoker. There have been a few long layoffs over the years.

So I’m a newcomer to the world of Rattray’s. I acquired today’s blend, Stirling Flake, last month when I took the plunge on several of Rattray’s more popular blends when they dropped on Smokingpipes.com for the first time this year, I believe.

Based on the other two blends I’ve had thus far, Stirling is a bit of an outlier among the Rattray’s family of blends. I’ve read that its birth is essentially the result of Irish Flake’s production being moved to another facility. So it’s basically supposed to be “Irish Flake Classic,” closer to the old Irish Flake than current production Peterson’s Irish Flake.

I’ll have to take “their” word for it, as I’ve not had the pleasure of the Dunhill version’s company.

Just like Irish, it’s marketed as “for experienced smokers” and a “heavyweight.”

They ain’t lyin’.

Current production Irish may actually be a little more civilized. If memory serves, it starts out a little smoother than Stirling.

Stirling lets you know right out of the gate you’re dealing with a heavy hitter, with leathery and espresso-like notes. It’s bold and powerful, but I wouldn’t call it harsh.

As we reach the midway point, the espresso taste takes center stage, along with a hint of spice. Some dark chocolate notes step forward, only semi sweet.

This baby is primarily bass notes.

The second half of the bowl, I start getting a little more of the leather again. The notes it offers over the course of a bowl (or a flake, if you will) are all in the same ballpark: leather, espresso, dark chocolate... they’re all neighbors on the palate, and that’s where Stirling Flake resides, throughout the smoke.

It’s a one trick pony, but it does it well.

This impressive offering burns cool, isn’t inclined to bite and requires a slightly higher number of relights than normal for me.

There’s also a little burley presence throughout the smoke, the nuttiness in the background, the dryness on the palate.

I can definitely see myself buying more of this in the future, although their are other heavyweights I prefer, namely Gawith Hoggarth Brown Irish X.

For this reason, I give Stirling 3 stars. It’s a very good, worthy contender. But it’s not the heavyweight champ.

Pipe Used: Various, most recently an old GBD zulu

Age When Smoked: New stock

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Peterson - Irish Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

LiterarySmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
LiterarySmoker (143)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium Tolerable

I originally bought this tin because I was experimenting with more Dark Fired blends. As it turns out there is a lot of people who think that this blend is the uncased, original version of my favorite Irish Flake. And I have to admit they are almost identical to the eye. So besides smoking the tin for a review, I've been smoking it alongside Irish Flake. It's pretty darn close, of course I know the IF has an anise topping but they have some interesting similarities to say the least.

Let's admit it. No one is going to buy a tin of Rattray's based on tin art. But once you open the tin you find 12 identical, almost black flakes that smell wonderful. The tin note is leather, spice and nuts from the Dark Fired. Don't think I've fallen out of my chair, but it reminds me, in a fond way, of the smell of a bonfire in autumn. There is some Virginia hay and sweetness coming in the back.

They come a little too moist for my liking so I like to let them sit out for 30 minutes or so, or I like to cube cut and let my pipe sit full overnight. Lighting is fine with a cube cut but needs a little more care when using the fold and stuff method. Burns slow and cool. I really have to puff fast to get this to heat up.

Once lit, you get gorgeous plumes of white smoke from the naturally high oil content in the Kentucky. There's a lot of barbecue spice coming from the Dark Fired along with wood leather, earth and nuts. It's very rich in a good way. The Burley adds nuts, earth and rounds off some of the spiciness of the Dark Fired. The Virginias are in the background adding a slight sweetness, citrus and hay. I don't normally mention drink pairings, but I think this goes well with coffee or Rye Whiskey.

The taste is a medium edging towards medium-full. It definitely coats your mouth in a way that leaves you satisfied. The strength is a medium-strong, I typically smoke this in the morning after a light breakfast, but if I don't I can feel the nicotine in the back of my throat. I could buy this in bulk and I consider it up there with Irish Flake and Old Dark Fired. This is a blend I could see myself smoking daily. I give this a solid four stars.

Pipe Used: Peterson Aran 107

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

1 person found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (218)
Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Rattray's Stirling Flake is simply a fabulous blend. The tin note upon opening was pure tobacco. It is smokey, leathery, and a little tarry. I think the burleys have the lead here. They are slightly nutty, earthy, and a little sharp. The KY keeps pace with them and occasionally take the lead. This must be where the leather and smokiness comes from they also have notes of dusty earth, woodsy, and maybe just a note or two of floral in them as well. They are not quite as spicy as some blends but that KY spice is there running alongside the rest of the flavor profile. The VA's may also have an earthy, woody note as well but it is hard to tell with everything else going on in this big full blend. They definitely have some dark fruit notes that suggests that red VA has been used. About the 1/2 mark I begin to pick up on some grassy, mildly tart and tangy citrus that also suggests that maybe a small amount of bright VA has been used as well. This will fade in and out and stays way in the background. The VA's add some sweetness to the blend that counters and plays off of the smokey, woodsy, spice of everything else. There seems to be light topping that reminds me of licorice root extract but it is very mild and does not intrude on the tobaccos but may help tone down the burleys and KY. Also, at about the 1/2 way mark I get some cigarish notes too. These will stay until the bottom. Simply a brilliant flake that I like better than the current version of Peterson's Irish Flake but there are similarities to it. My money will be spent here, however. Well worth a try if you like big blends. The nic hit is strong and satisfying. Enough that I do not need a second bowl right away. The finish is med to long but does not linger for so long as to affect other bowls from other blends. The room note is pure tobacco, which I love but others find it strong so be aware of it if you are smoking around others who may object. I have already ordered more to cellar.

Age When Smoked: about 2 months

1 person found this review helpful.

jonoz Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
jonoz (14)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Not particularly tasty or sweet but not harsh or bitter, but the insane amount of nic hit negates it for me. I'll stick to Marlin Flake

Pipe Used: Briars,meechaum

1 person found this review helpful.

Mosessupposes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Mosessupposes (11)
Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable

I hadn't smoked Irish Flake in several years, so can't comment on recent production. Relying on memory I believe this version is a bit lighter while retaining most of the originals qualities. Quite smooth, no bite at all, and a very enjoyable blend.

Pipe Used: Briar

Age When Smoked: Recently purchased

Purchased From: Smokingpipes

Similar Blends: Peterson Irish Flake.

1 person found this review helpful.

brusaerba Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
brusaerba (8)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

I have to say my opinion changed a lot after the first opening. It is a flake cut, smelled oily, earthy, and woody with a somewhat pungent leather aroma. Overall quite pleasant to me. When I first tried it it had a "spicy" taste too. This was not tongue bite as it did not burn fast or anything like that. The smoke is slow and dense. After a couple of months (kept it in its original tin can) it lost the spike and became muuch better. Overall a round taste, not too woody, not grassy, not too earthy/nutty. The right balance of all these. If you are a fun of burleys and woody/earthy aromas this tobacco is perfect for you. It raised to my top 3 over the course of a few months and I certainly will buy it again.

Pipe Used: mostly straight billiards

Age When Smoked: fresh and aged few months

Purchased From: online store - Germany

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