So, anyone who has paid attention to my reviews may know that I'm not a huge Virginia fan. I don't dislike them, there are some very good Virginias, but in general they tend to seem like they are missing something. Well, this one is a good VA and will probably be part of my permanent rotation.
I bought a tin of Dunhill Flake from a local B&M several months ago (probably in mid-February, possibly late-January or early February). I have no idea how long it sat at the B&M, I opened it about 2 months ago and jarred it. I just opened it to try it this week and I had it last night and today.
It definitely has some nice earthy smells. From the jar it smells of chocolate and the tell-tale Virginia hay-like smell. While smoking it smells a little hay-like but I also got some smells of fresh cut firewood. Not wood burning smells like latakia, but smells like fresh cut wood (a very nice smell IMO).
When smoking, for the first third I thought "here we go again, another Virginia where there isn't a lot there." It tasted good, like good tobacco, but there just didn't seem to be a lot of there, there. With the second third it started to really come into its own. There was a tad bit of spice to it and I could taste the fresh wood type flavors as well as smell it. Last night I didn't notice it, but today I found something I thought a bit strange- in the middle third where the flavors came out I almost felt like I could chew on the smoke as it got a very pleasant bread dough like flavor to it as well (that is a good deal of the lingering aftertaste right now while I'm writing). The last third was still good and I got most of the flavors of the middle third, but it was also giving me some hot and ashy flavors as well. Still, not enough to interfere with the smoking pleasure. Throughout the pipe bowls I got a lot of the characteristic natural VA sweetness.
One less pleasant aspect of this tobacco, it burns hot. I didn't really have any tongue burn issues, but the pipe bowls were very hot to the touch, getting to where they were too hot to touch at all. I smoked it last night out of one of my Mario Grandi's (the one that is more of a billiard) and today out of my Ben Wade Deluxe apple. Neither pipe usually has an issue with feeling too hot, but they did with this tobacco. I should try it next in my Ser Jacopo which does a great job of taming hot tobaccos. One positive of this, once it was lit (took a few tries to get it going) it stayed lit most of the bowl (today, when I put it down a little too long to return a text it did go out once, not at all yesterday).
Another negative is that it smokes very wet. I needed to run 5 or 6 pipe cleaners down the stem each time I smoked it. Neither pipe I used with it was a bent or a filter/balsa insert pipe. Maybe trying a bent might help, and certainly one of my Savs or filter pipes (with the Sav insert instead of a filter) should tame it quite well.
As usual, I smoked outdoors, so I can't comment on the room note as there was no lingering smell.
So, Dunhill did a very good job on a type of tobacco which I sometimes feel is lacking a little something. Maybe it sat a long time on the B&M shelves, or maybe this stuff is just extremely good tobacco. I'm planning on heading out tomorrow to the B&M where I bought it to see if they have any left and picking up another tin or three, so I would definitely recommend it.