A full strength, mellow tobacco, comprising a blend of dark fired leaf. Our best-selling premium grade flake starts as 7 lbs of stripped leaf going through a steaming process prior to being pressed, the "cake" having been prepared, is wrapped in a selected leaf and packed by hand into a 12sq.in.press and left for a minimum of 2 hours. The next stage is to place the pressed "cake" into a steam press where it is baked at full heat for 2-3 hours. Once baked, the "cake" has taken on cobs characteristic rich, dark colour. The "cake" is then hardened by being left to cool. The final process of cutting the flake and adding a tonquin flavouring is carried out followed by hand wrapping and packing ready for the pipe. MSR: $8.55; 50 gm tin.
The tobacco is dark chocolate brown with a subtle reddish hue and is cut into 3.5 inch flakes that are moist and easily folded (I do not rub-out my flakes). I have no trouble lighting the flake, although I did have to relight several times as the bowl progressed. The "tonquin" flavor seems to remind me more of a gin or juniper that does meld well with a smokey sweetness that does fade about half way through the pipeful. The overall experience is a full-bodied smoke that has some complexity at first but dies over the span of the smoke. In some ways it reminds me of the old Robert McConnell Red Virginia - especially the last half of the bowl - as a malty flavor either develops or is revealed as the other flavors subside. After several bowls, I am not quite sure if I like it or not. It does burn cool and the flake combusts into a dark, gray ash.
Rating: 3 Puffs out of 5