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MacBaren Navy Flake

This is a discussion on MacBaren Navy Flake within the Pipe Related Reviews forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; I've smoked a fair amount of this since I got it from UserName about a month ago. It is a ...

  
  1. #1

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


     

    MacBaren Navy Flake

    I've smoked a fair amount of this since I got it from UserName about a month ago. It is a good tobacco, I recommend it, and while it may not be a permanent part of my cellar, it will be a regular.

    In the tin it is an attractive, medium to wide, thin, medium brown flake. The flakes are about the thickness of the cloth used for an Oxford shirt. The mix of dark and light brown tobaccos make for an attractive medium brown flake. The smell, pretty strong of alcohol. Spiced rum and earthy aromas.

    I have always done some variation of the fold and stuff (sometimes adding some extra twisting, or cutting up some of it to put on top for easier lighting). I've smoked it mostly out of one of my Savinelli 320KS pipes (the Tundra), but also used others. It generally lights fairly easily and stays lit without too much protest.

    I've mostly smoked it outside, once smoking it in my car with the windows and sunroof open, so I can't say anything about room note. It does have a pleasant smell fresh off the pipe, definitely a rum based aromatic smell. Just a hint of roasted nuts (probably from the burley in the blend).

    The taste is definitely strongly influenced by the rum casing. It is definitely a sweet tobacco due to the Cavendish, Virginia and rum components, but still not overpowering. There is a definite burley nuttiness in the tobacco as well. Overall, a pretty well rounded flavor where, while there are hints of the various components, the flavors blend quite nicely.

    The bad? I absolutely love my MacBaren Vanilla Flake, so much that I will never be without. I may have been expecting too much. In comparison, this is a pretty average tobacco. It is good, but definitely not up there with the Vanilla Flake (to my tastebuds). The other big negative, like many alcohol cased aromatics, it can have a nasty bite if you don't smoke it carefully- I almost forgot what tongue bite could be until I smoked this a little too fast (OK, a lot too fast).

    Overall, like I say in my first paragraph, it is a good tobacco. A mildly aromatic tobacco (from the rum casing), that doesn't totally taste like an aro. It tastes good, smells good, and I suspect has a nice room note (I have to try it in my apartment sometime, but my roommate really hates when I smoke inside and he lives here too so I try to be considerate, so it may be a while). I like it enough that I'll keep it on hand pretty regularly, though it isn't a Penzance, Perfection, Vanilla Flake, Frog Morton, Solani Sweet Mystery X, or a few others that I will always have on hand.
    Last edited by Jeff10236; 06-16-2011 at 10:55 PM.

  2. #2

    he that puffeth RJpuffs's Avatar


     

    Re: MacBaren Navy Flake

    Good review! MacBitten Navy Flake is primarily a burley, the "casing" does make it a little fruity when its fresh. And it lives up to the 'bitten name if abused. This one does VERY well with a year+ of sleep. The aromatic element evaporates, leaving behind a nice burley that tastes like tobacco and not fruit salad. And it gets much easier on your tongue. The flakes are perfectly sliced, unlike Gawith's crazed-ninja-hack'n-chop freestyle flakes. I would suggest putting away a tin (or few) till next summer, aging does wonders for this blend.
    Ron aka RJ aka RJPuffs
    --
    Old age isn't too bad, when you consider the alternative.

  3. #3

    Alpha Puffer Fish laloin's Avatar


     

    Re: MacBaren Navy Flake

    good review, I actually love MacBaren Navy flake, that I've got at least 4 tins in deep sleep, and a half pound or soo cellered.
    I haven't tried it with any age thou, but out of the tin, I enjoy it. I don't taste of the rum casing, but I taste the sweetness that MacBaren is famous for, as well as a nutty almond like taste.
    probley the only time I can say I get a nutty taste from a burley/virginia blend, usually burley I get coffee, earthy tones, go figure heheh
    troy

  4. #4

    Leading Puffer Fish Jeff10236's Avatar


     

    Re: MacBaren Navy Flake

    Quote Originally Posted by RJpuffs View Post
    Good review! MacBitten Navy Flake is primarily a burley, the "casing" does make it a little fruity when its fresh. And it lives up to the 'bitten name if abused. This one does VERY well with a year+ of sleep. The aromatic element evaporates, leaving behind a nice burley that tastes like tobacco and not fruit salad. And it gets much easier on your tongue. The flakes are perfectly sliced, unlike Gawith's crazed-ninja-hack'n-chop freestyle flakes. I would suggest putting away a tin (or few) till next summer, aging does wonders for this blend.
    I actually kind of like the SG and G&H "freestyle" flakes. Easy to pack in the pipe. Though, there is something about the presentation of a proper flake- the MacBaren flakes I've had just look absolutely incredible when you open up the tins.

    I do like this tobacco and will have some around. So, I'll have to give your suggestion to age some a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by laloin
    ...probley the only time I can say I get a nutty taste from a burley/virginia blend, usually burley I get coffee, earthy tones, go figure heheh
    troy
    Funny how different tastebuds can be, well, different. I usually get nut tones in the flavor and aroma of heavy burley blends. Now that you mention it though, I can see the coffee hints as well. I sometimes get a little chocolate out of a burley as well (though not as regularly as the nuttiness).
    Last edited by Jeff10236; 06-18-2011 at 11:02 AM.

  5. #5

    Alpha Puffer Fish laloin's Avatar


     

    Re: MacBaren Navy Flake

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff10236 View Post
    I actually kind of like the SG and G&H "freestyle" flakes. Easy to pack in the pipe. Though, there is something about the presentation of a proper flake- the MacBaren flakes I've had just look absolutely incredible when you open up the tins.

    I do like this tobacco and will have some around. So, I'll have to give your suggestion to age some a try.



    Funny how different tastebuds can be, well, different. I usually get nut tones in the flavor and aroma of heavy burley blends. Now that you mention it though, I can see the coffee hints as well. I sometimes get a little chocolate out of a burley as well (though not as regularly as the nuttiness).
    burley can be coffee, chocolate, earthy to me, I should have said chocolate, but when I put my thoughts onto paper, or the keyboards, my fingers have their own minds ha
    troy


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