Saturday, December 1, 2007

Tobacco Review: Astleys NO 44 Dark Virginia Flake

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

-Safari Bob


  1. Hmmm...I love MacBaren Roll Cakes, so it sounds like I might well like this one. Thanks for the review!

  2. Comparing it to 2035, one of my favorites, had me wondering about the body of Astley's No. 44. I always assumed No. 44 was a fairly strong blend. I find 2035 a mild blend. I have a couple of tins in the back of my closet that have to be a couple years old now. I may open one fairly soon and find out for myself. Good review.