Rattray Marlin Flake

Marlin Flake combines dark Virginias, black cavendish as well as a pinch of perique.
Notes: A companion to Old Gowrie. A shade darker, different aroma, but otherwise a tobacco in the same tradition.


Brand Rattray
Series British Collection
Blended By Kohlhase & Kopp
Manufactured By Kohlhase & Kopp
Blend Type Virginia/Perique
Contents Black Cavendish, Perique, Virginia
Cut Flake
Packaging 50 grams tin, 100 grams tin
Country Germany
Production Currently available


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

Average Rating

3.31 / 4





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Displaying 1 - 10 of 37 Reviews
Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Apr 18, 2017 Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Pleasant
I wonder how this tobacco is considered to be without added flavours by so many people. It clearly has a strong casing and added flavours. It's by no means a bad or low quality blend, but obviously should not be called a straight Virginia/Perique.

1000 mg of Marlin Flake contain (amongst others):

Casing: Sugar (inverted) - 120,92 mg

Casing: Sugar cane brown - 14,57 mg

Casing: Sugar cane yellow - 9,71 mg

Casing: Licorice Comet Blok - 6 mg

Flavouring: Undefined - 28,44 mg

Source: German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture https://service.bmel.de/tabakerzeugnisse/index2.php?detail_id=104656
19 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
May 18, 2011 Mild to Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
For some time I smoked a great deal of Brown Clunee, another Rattray tobacco and considered it my daily blend. If any criticism could be dispensed on this blend I would mention a syrupy feel to the smoke. Needing a break of my daily tobacco I opened a tin of Hal O' The Wynd. Good luck befell me with HOTW. It had many of the components of Brown Clunee without that nagging syrupy nuance. Well, my bulk tobacco purchases changed to HOTW. In the meantime, I had opened a tin of Marlin Flake on a lark because I once found it vaguely interesting. The Cavendish in Marlin Flake reminds me of a Virginian black Cavendish akin to McClelland #2035. What I realized is that I don't care much for those very black Virginian syrupy Cavendish's. Ugh, they're such a burden to smoke and exude that syrupy note. And then I realized that is what I found boring in Brown Clunee, the amount of that Cavendish was now noticeable and annoying to me. Don't get me wrong, Marlin Flake is a fine tobacco, its construction meticulous, it's just not for me. What I'm driving at is this, if you like Marlin Flake you just might find Brown Clunee as intriguing, because it has some of the Cavendish of Marlin Flake, including other great Rattray foundation tobaccos . They are all Rattray blends. Whereas, I like Brown Clunee, but love Hal O' The Wynd, a Marlin Flake devotee may find favor in Brown Clunee.
14 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Dec 06, 2013 Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Hello there guys todays offering is marlin flake.
Well i had hopes for this tobacco but for me it is ok but nothing to shout to the rooftops about.
Out of the tin is one big flake rolled up.
Its almost american aromatic style sticky but rubs out fairly simply.
Aromas from the tin a pungent yeasty sourish smell with a hint of sweetness.
Packing is easy enough but i would recommend some drying.
It is a decent tobacco but i just dont seem to get along well with it the tins aronas transfer nicely through to smoking but every now and then i get this sour taste and a tingly tongue sensation that isnt very nice which means quite a bit of resting.
I suppose this could be down to my body chemistry as the tobacco it is made from is good qaulity.
When i dont get that overly sour tingly taste and sensation there is some nice raw tobacco flavours that i could see others enjoying.
If i didnt get that taste and sensation i would really enjoy this blend its said sensation and taste that take the edge off it for me and its a shame.
I will finish the tin as i dont bin tobacco unless it is truely attrocious but once the tin is finished i wont be pining for more.
All in all an ok tobacco but me personally nothing to write home about.
But try it for yourself as your oppinion may differ.
Thank you for reading
Pipe Used: bent falcon with plymouth bowl
Age When Smoked: 9 months
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 18, 2013 Medium Mild Medium Pleasant
Didn't care for the Cavendish. Gave it an odd flavor I couldn't get past.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 29, 2009 Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Tolerable
A rolled belt of long dark brown flake streaked, veined, and flecked with brown and tan. Exceedingly moist in the tin, this sliced belt offers a rich, sweet bouquet of brown sugar, wood, and fresh earth with a slightly piquant top note reminiscent of stewed figs.

Pressed and stoved, according to its present manufacturer, Kohlhase & Kopp, Marlin flake is a ?dark flake comprised of dark Virginia, jet black Cavendish, and a whisper of Perique? (= dunkle Flake setzt sich zusammen aus Dark Virginia, tiefschwarzem Cavendish und einem Hauch Perique). In terms of presentation, the overall effect is that of a somewhat oily, dark stoved and pressed Virginia flake cut into a supple belt which requires both careful preparation and substantial drying time. In this, Marlin Flake stands out only as a typical representative of the genre.

Properly prepared, Marlin Flake packs and burns well, offering a range of sweet and earthly flavors and appears to possess enough complexity to maintain ones attention as the bowl progresses. While quite subdued, the Perique is noticeable now and again as is the slightly creamy body lent to the smoke by the Cavendish. As to be expected, however, it is the sugar-sauced and stoved Virginias which take center stage. Medium to heavy bodied with a sweet, rich, and occasionally bright finish, this is a flake which takes itself seriously. Quick to reward gentle puffing, it can bite if abused.

Despite the obviously heavy hand with the humectants and, unconfirmed but likely use of the preservative cocktails typical among the big European blending houses (e.g., potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, etc.), it should age well.

Overall, like many Kohlhase & Kopp offerings Marlin Flake is what it is. While devotees of the genre might find it worthy of some attention, to this reviewer ? who prefers his VAPERS, flake or otherwise, and their ilk unstoved and less processed ? the whole effect is rather uninspiring. On top of this, given the size of the tin, in this case a 100g. tumbler, the presentation is bit disconcerting ? why waste all that space just for the sake of uniform packaging in the line to which this particular preparation belongs? 100 grams of such a densely pressed flake does not take up much space at all. I suspect the 50g. tin presents a similar conundrum, although like the rest of K&K?s Rattray?s ?British Line? Marlin Flake is, however, readily available in bulk. I for one, however, will not be cellaring quantities anytime soon.
8 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Nov 30, 2009 Mild to Medium Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
In the family of MF, Hal O The Wynd, Old Gowrie and Brown Clunee, I found the taste of this to be much like Brown Clunee and hardly at all like HOTW and OG. In both this and BC, I got a mild soapy flavor that stayed with me for the first 2/3 of the bowl. It wasn't as objectionable in this as it was in BC, but it was enough to let me know that I would not be buying this again. But is it ever a beautiful looking tobacco with its rolling swirls of dark flake!

Interestingly, smoking from a 16 year old tin of Marlin Flake accentuated the soapy flavor rather than subduing it. I found that exceedingly odd. This is one tobacco that does not mellow with age, or at least it did not in my case.

Hal O' The Wynd is in my steady rotation and I smoke a bit of Old Gowrie from time to time. Marlin Flake and Brown Clunee are cut from a different cloth, to my taste, and I found the dryer sheet taste offputting enough that I'll pass on further exploration of those two. YMMV.
6 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Aug 07, 2015 Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
This blend is a classic example how VA/Per shouldn't taste like. Peter Stokebye Bulls Eye Flake is another one, but unlike this, Bulls Eye is bearable. Black Cavendish just ruins everything good in a Virginia/Perique blend. Ok, this is if we review it in VA/Per context, and all the bad things that can be said, are true. Now, let's look at it not in the VA/Per context. Actually it's pretty enjoyable. If we compare it to other Rattray blends, it's in the solid top 3. Good quality smoke, especially for the summer. I've been smoking only this for about a month and I almost got used to it. I have another 100 grams of this Marlin crap, and I'll give it a go until it disappears completely. Maybe when I'm done with it I'll get to like it. I don't know for sure, but I'm half way there. In the beginning, I expected more and it disappointed me badly. I decided to give it a chance and stick with it until I get to like it. There was improvement after all, and now I almost enjoy it.
Pipe Used: wide variety
PurchasedFrom: gift from a friend
Age When Smoked: 4 years
5 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Mar 20, 2017 Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable
Marlin Flake gave me quite a surprise when I first popped the 3.5 ounce tin. I expected a similar ready rubbed ribbony broken flake as Hal o the Wynd and Old Gowrie...instead, in that big ole soda can sized tin were exactly four long and wide intact flakes, neatly folded over each other. I get a pleasant somewhat fruity tin note. My kids usually like to give me their impressions of tin note when I open a new one, but they weren't being very cooperative tonight - my son said, "I dunno, it just smells like all your other pipe stuff." LOL.

Tonight, I arbitrarily chose the Lorenzo churchwarden for the review. I rubbed the flake out until it was about the consistency of HotW and OG, and gave it 20 minutes on the paper plate to dry a bit.

Initial flavors are mild Virginia. Perique comes into play soon after. Supposedly, there's some black cavendish in here, but I don't really get it. The Virginia is pleasant enough. The perique seems disproportionate. I like perique, and I don't mind a hefty dose of it.....but I prefer a blend to have something else to carry it, some structure and backbone. To me, too much perique in a blend that is too light and fluffy is like dousing marshmallows with habañero sauce. My tongue and mouth are slightly uncomfortable smoking this blend....I've experienced this before with one or two other blends, so I'm sure this is just me, and not the fault of the baccy itself.

It took several matches to get it started, but once lit, it burned great straight to the bottom of the bowl.

Not my cup of tea. This is only my third bowl, so I may give it a couple more tries, but I'm thinking I won't be able to finish the tin.

UPDATE: I'm revisiting MF approximately one year later. And I'm wondering now if I was somehow brain damaged the last time I smoked it LOL. I really don't think my perceptions of the flavors would change this much in this period of time, but something is different. Maybe my pipe was heavily ghosted with perique (I kinda doubt this - I don't recall precisely, but I ordinarily give a blend a few chances in a few different pipes before typing up a review). Maybe a year of age has improved it (I doubt this too, as the change is so drastic). I think the most likely scenario is that there was some additive, flavoring, or humectant that didn't agree with me...something that has evaporated off after a year in a mason jar. Something that caused that spicy/peppery sensation that I thought was heavy perique. MF seems to me to now to be mostly a straight Virginia flake containing only the barest whisper of perique. I still don't notice cavendish per se. Still not my cup of tea....but only because of my preferences, not through any fault of the tobacco on its own. I still think there's better stuff out there in this genre, but MF isn't so bad after all.
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Jul 13, 2015 Medium to Strong Medium to Strong Medium to Full Tolerable to Strong
I have smoked Rattray's Tobaccos for quite a number of years now. My favourite being Old Gowrie, but occasionally also adding a tin of Marlin Flake to the rotation. So far, I have regarded Marlin Flake to be a very nice alternative to Old Gowrie - to my tastebuds they seemed similar, but of course MF had the addition of the Cavendish, it is somewhat fuller in taste and room note. Always pleasant. BUT, I recently bought a tin of MF from Germany, which I have done so many times before. What a disappointment !!!! What went wrong here? Did I get a bad tin? Marlin Flake in that tin seems to be heavily flavoured with some sort of alcohol (whiskey, cognac??) The flakes are significantly darker than usual. And overall, I find it quite unsmokable - not the delicious Marlin Flake I've grown used to. They even changed the label. Although the label now seems more informative with regards to contents, strenght etc., I really liked the old label better. It even says: 'For Gentlemen Only' - I will not bother with that, and will buy it regardless. But, if this tin is an indication of what Marlin Flake will be in the future, I will certainly look at alternatives. Thus Marlin Flake will join the army of many tobaccos, that have changed for the worse.
Pipe Used: Various
PurchasedFrom: pipe-shop.net (Germany)
Age When Smoked: New - max. 3 months
3 people found this review helpful.
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Reviewed By Date Rating Strength Flavoring Taste Room Note
Oct 29, 2015 Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Tolerable
Tin note on a moderately-aged sample is mild grapes and dry grass. Not very strong. Taste off the charring light is similarly weak- motor oil, and a slight oakiness. She settles down quite nicely to a flavor of toasting wood, some spice, and very faint cereals. Flavor through the nose is all spicy cedar. A little more time and I'm getting more cereal, a little burnt grain. Pleasant. The wood doesn't go away, it harmonizes nicely with the grain. The perique doesn't really make itself obvious to me, which I like. It's there on the snork- a hot sensation in the nose and head, but if I don't retrohale, it's not there. Fine by me. In the mouth, it's a steady stream of sweet cereal-- reminiscent of wet cardboard. You know that smell- it tastes like that. It doesn't sound good but it is.

This smoke, I should add, is from the tail end of a year or so-old tin. The fresh leaf, if I recall, was far sweeter. Almost a champagne sweetness. I think I prefer the younger stuff. Far more distinctive. Not terribly complex, but quite unique. The light aging on this stuff was not fortuitous. Just dull.

I like this stuff fresh. Aged, it's not that big a deal.
Pipe Used: James Davis bent brandy, Neerup pot
Age When Smoked: 1-2 years
2 people found this review helpful.
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