Mac Baren Modern Virginia Flake

The tobacco is pressed into blocks and stored for minimum 30 days before they are cut into flakes. Finally the flakes are hand packed to protect the tobacco from breaking up. This flake is made of Virginias out of 2 continents. A bright yellow and a darker Virginia have been used in combination with a modern cavendish. A touch of burley ensures a soft and smooth smoke. This flake gives you a natural sweet taste of tobacco and just a detectable topping of sweet, ripe fruit.


Brand Mac Baren
Blended By Per Jensen
Manufactured By Mac Baren
Blend Type Virginia/Burley
Contents Burley, Cavendish, Virginia
Flavoring Apricot, Pineapple
Cut Flake
Packaging 1.75 ounce tin weight
Country Denmark
Production No longer in production


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

Average Rating

3.05 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 14, 2014 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
The first thing you notice when you open the tin is the sweet fruity topping and Virginias. The yellow and dark Virginias offer some citrus with a few grassy notes and a little earth, and comprises the majority of the tobacco (70%). The dark cavendish is Virginia based, and adds a citrus note with a touch of honey, and bare hit of spice. There’s a little burley (10%) that is nutty with a slight sweetness. The tobaccos are pressed for thirty days and the flake is very easy to break apart for folding and stuffing in your bowl, or rubbing out as you please. The topping is apricot and a hint of pineapple, and is noticeable in every puff, though it’s not strong enough to overwhelm the inherent properties of the tobaccos. I also get a mild fig taste. The topping slightly diminishes after the half way point, and the tobacco flavor is just a little more obvious from then on. The flake is a touch fuller in the Virginia component than the loose cut. It’s a mild to medium very smooth and rather creamy smoke that burns at a moderate pace with few relights, no harsh or dull spots, no bite and no dottle. The nic-hit is mild. Has a pleasant after taste and room note. An all day smoke.

33 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 16, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
The idea with this blend was to create a blend with a pleasing room note that has a taste of a nice Virginia flake. Personally I think Mac Baren hit a home run with this one.

As soon as the seal is broken you're greeted with a wonderful aroma of raisins, apricots, and hay.

The flakes are cut wonderfully thin in the size of a stick of bubblegum. They're very easily folded and lightly rubbed out to load. They are a bit in the moist side, so it's a good idea to pack the bowl and let it sit for 10-20 minutes.

After a bit of drying time it takes a light really well. A char and true, a tamp, and you're ready to go. It burns evenly and cool to a nice white ash. You can easily fit one and a half flakes into an average sized bowl. As long as you sip it this one doesn't bite.

The apricot flavoring is noticed on the initial light up, but for me it faded away quickly. The majority of the flavor throughout the smoke is a pleasant sweet straight Virginia for me.

The fruity apricot casing is more noticed in the room note. It's a nice light fruity tone that's pleasant to those around you.

Overall it's a wonderful blend.

If you're an aromatic smoker looking to get your feet wet with Virginia blends this would be a good one to check out. If you're a Virginia smoker looking for a blend that has a more popular room note give this one a try.
13 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 24, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Very Pleasant
PGT - Pretty Good Tobacco. OK, if you don't like fruity toppings, don't bother. You ain't gonna like this and there's no point knocking the rating down. MVF is what it is and it does its job very well, indeed. And it's flake, which don't hurt nothin', either.

The apricot and pineapple are pronounced in the tin note and in the aroma, which is PDG (you know what it means). It is wife-approved. I am not a real aromatic hound, but I really like this one. Actually, I got an ounce of this as a gift and ordered more. (You will, too) Who would have thought I would like apricot or pineapple flavoring, much less together? This blend is mad tasty, though, and the flavoring was done really well. Lights well, smokes well, is good to the bottom and gets a bit more complex as you smoke it, no bite, no dottle. Kudos to the evil genius who devised MVF.

MVF would make a great addition to the rotation, iff'n you like the fruities. I rated MVF a 3 (it's not a 4), but actually rate it 3.2-3.4.

Ratings Note: Although it may seem as if I hand out 3- and 4-star reviews pretty slapdash, there is a method to my madness. First, I only order tobaccos that are highly rated or recommended and preferably both. [But if you give it to me I'll smoke anything.] And I like most tobaccos I try. I want to like them all.

If I hate a tobacco (eg, Middleton's Cherry Blend), I usually don't review it. I cannot imagine giving a perfectly serviceable tobacco a 1-star rating just because I didn't like it. Heck, was there NOTHING to like about a blend given a 1-star, especially when lots of guys like it just fine? And why do guys who, for example, hate aromatics review something like Middleton's Cherry that they know up front they won't like and then give it 1 star? Not my bag...

I stalk the perfect blend, smoke it right and give a fair review. Is it my fault I pick really good baccys?

Love, JB
Age When Smoked: New
10 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jun 22, 2015 Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
Mac Baren - Modern Virginia Flake.

This has surprised me! I wasn't too sure what to expect, will it taste like a fruity aromatic or a lightly embellished blend? I am pleased to have found the latter to be applicable.

From the tin the moisture is superb. The fruit is a lot stronger in the tin note, the smoke is prominently Virginia. It's not as heavily cased with pineapple as I found Rattray's Malcolm Flake to be. The apricot offers a sweetness that reminds me of fruit jam, it's not gooey or gloopy but subtle and tasty. I don't get much nicotine from this, mind you, I don't smoke for N so that suits me! The other two tobaccos are very light in the taste, I find it quite tricky to acknowledge their flavours. I can't identify much fruit in the room note, like the taste it seems Virginia rules the roost. When I smoke a bowl of this it can be enjoyed without the constant need to keep re-lighting, it only wants the odd tamp.

I wasn't too sure how to rate this when I had my first bowl, three or four stars but after a few bowls it has me hooked, highly recommended.
Pipe Used: Meerschaum
PurchasedFrom: The Danish Pipe Shop
Age When Smoked: New
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 18, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
A delicious VA-Burley blend with fruit topping. This reminds me a great deal of Erinmore Flake. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if MVF was designed to compete with the Erinmore blend. They have basically the same ingredients and fruit flavor topping. They are VERY similar.

Modern Virgina Flake is a wonderful tobacco in both blending harmony and presentation. But if fruit flavored bacca is not your thing I would pass on this one. The fruit flavor stays but doesn't overpower and also provides a great room note. You will get the natural and mild flavors of the tobacco as well.

TASTE: The Va's flavor profile also reminds me of Mac Baren's Scottish Mixture (A blend I'm very famliar with as its a fav) but with a bright fruit topping. Maybe that't why they call it "Modern Flake." It's a blend of various VA 's like Scottish Mixture with a hint of Burley, topped with fruit.

There... that's Modern Virginia Flake.
Pipe Used: Peterson XL305, Peterson 4s DeLuxe
PurchasedFrom: Smoking Pipes
Age When Smoked: Sept 2014 Tin
7 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 25, 2015 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I smoked this blend three different times (as I do with all my reviews before writing). First, I love how this flake is sectioned off into three small flakes. This makes it great if you want to have a quick smoke or a larger smoke. Its definitely drier than most flakes, but this only makes it easier to light and smoke. There is no bite at all. The flavor is that of the natural sweetness of Virginias mixed with the right amount of spices and some noticeable honey notes. This blend is a fantastic flake and would be a great start for someone who is just venturing into the flake tobacco world as well as for the veteran flake smoker.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Feb 17, 2017 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
I've avoided Mac Baren Virginia blends for years because of many reviewers who report how badly they bite, but decided to give this one a try at the recommendation of a pipe-smoking colleague. I'm glad I did!

It's a bit of a crossover blend, a touch aromatic ... and it is delicious, fruity and pleasant, with a mild pineapple/apricot topping that is interesting, lightly applied, and never competes with the core Virginias. The burley adds some body and the cavendish rounds everything out nicely.

It smells great. And it's easy on the tongue, with no bitterness or bite, even if you increase your cadence, which you will because the flavor doesn't get tiring. Smokes dry and smooth and leaves no dottle or goop. I've smoked it in a variety of pipes of varying sizes, and the results are consistent.

Modern indeed!

Age When Smoked: Fresh Tin
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 27, 2014 Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant
- I'm going against the crowd, sorry. Upon opening a fresh tin, ( 3 months of age), the tin note was of Pineapple and an "ammonia Snuff" scent ( my fellow reviewers say it's "Apricot"). The tobacco was damp, so I removed the flakes and spread them out for 5 hours, this only partially reduced the "snuff/ Apricot" scent. Upon lighting a bowl the flavor was predominantly of a Sour Pineapple. I should explain, I'm usually not an aromatic smoker, but this was well done , not an artificial or cloying Pineapple and it did not impart a bite. The flavor remained through a couple of relights and until the second 1/2 of the bowl where it dissipated and the smoke turned "Muddy" and "ashy" . I never really experienced the tobacco flavor, so I can't say if I liked it , the smoke went from "Sour Pineapple to Mud".

There seemed to be very little NATURAL sweetness or flavor from the Virginia's. Taking a closer look at the blends ingredients , it seems that the addition of Burley and "MODERN' Cavendish ( ???) may have tamed what Virginia flavor there was. If I was forced to say what tobacco this was similar to, I would have a hard time, but my guess is a milder Peterson's University Flake with a Pineapple topping.

I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had just smoked some MacBaren's Virginia No. 1 accompanied with some "Dole's Pineapple" juice !

UPDATE: 1/5/2017- ( two years later)- Saw this tin sitting in the "Misfit Tobacco Pile" and I gave it another go. It was dry as a bone and I didn't rehydrate it. The taste was rather improved; a much lighter Pineapple flavor, actually enjoyable and you could taste the tobacco. Won't increase the rating but after two years it is now 3 stars.
Pipe Used: cob
Age When Smoked: 3 month/2 weeks open
4 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 13, 2015 Medium Very Mild Medium Tolerable
I'm primarily a Virginian smoker, and feel better qualified to comment on this end of the tobacco spectrum. Saying that, I was eager to try this blend and was sorely disappointed. It burned hot and bland, and I found little of the fruity tin smell carried through. MacBaren--while having some of the prettiest tins in the business--needs to improve the quality of their tobacco leaves. The quality of their leaves fall far short of Dunhill or McClelland.
Pipe Used: Bertram
Age When Smoked: Spankin' brand new.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 09, 2015 Mild Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Very Pleasant
Upon opening the tin you are greeted with a sweet fruity note. I can't quite put my finger on it but maybe a mango type of flavor? The flakes are perfect in shape and cut. You can grab a couple flakes and do a fold n stuff method or you can rub out the flakes to get a really nice pile of Pile of ready to pack shreds of tobacco. Upon light you are hit with a sweet note which quickly takes a back seat to the smooth modern cavendish with a hay like scent from the Virginias. The blend says a touch of burley which I feel is pretty accurate as there is a slight background of nuttiness. I have to slow myself down when smoking this stuff because is really enjoy the room note and flavor at the beginning. Mid pipe everything comes together nicely as you start getting more of the natural tobacco flavored coming through which to me seem to be the high quality leaf used in this MacBaren blend. If smoked too fast you will get some goop on the bottom of the bowl. If smoked patiently this is not so much the case. I have experienced some minor bite which is likely due to me puffing like a steam engine freight train (I do not blame this on the blend) overall I enjoy this stuff and the more I smoke it the better it gets. I would recommend some dry time before loading up the pipe which I have found helps with the goo on the bottom of the bowl. I personally take mine out of the tin and place it in a canning jar and let it sit for a few weeks before smoking it. I just prefer to give my flake tobacco some time to rest in the jar before smoking. I will buy more of this stuff. It is in my current rotation of 4 tobaccos I have settled on for now. This would be a great start for the new piper to get into some flake tobacco and still get a little of that aromatic flavor that drew you in to pipe smoking in the first place. That is of course if you started with aro's.
Pipe Used: Stanwell 118 , Bent Dr. Grabow, no name billiard
Age When Smoked: Fresh out of tin (dated from 09/15) to 1 month
3 people found this review helpful.
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