Astleys Tobacco is made in Germany by Kohlhase & Kopp (K&K) since 1979 and is currently imported by XYZ Direct, LTD. NO. 44 is a square-cut dark Virginia flake that the blender describes as "full strength." I enjoy Virginia flakes and have tried my hand at blending, stoving, and pressing one in the past. K&K describes this blend as "cold pressed" (a process with which I am not familiar) and I can hardly wait to try it.
The tobacco is dark brown with some yellow mottling, moist, cut into fragile 1 1/2" x 1" rectangles, and smells "malty" with a subtle sour hint. I rolled a few flakes into a tube and packed the tobacco into my pipe. The smoke is medium to rich in body with a subtle citrus tone and (thankfully) no trace of the McClelland ketchup. As the bowl progressed, I did notice the citrus subsided and a not unpleasant sour flavor emerged. I was expecting more spice but it is smooth and I experienced no tongue bite throughout the smoke. This flake burned evenly and slowly although I did have to re-light twice throughout the bowl. The ash is darker gray and the room note was present without overpowering.
Overall, this is a pleasant satisfying smoke that would be perfect for outside in the woods. The closest I can place this tobacco is either McClelland 2035 without the ketchup or MacBaren Roll Cake without a trace of topping or spice.
Rating: 4 Puffs out of 5