Less Fruity, More Body (Mac Baren Modern Virginia Flake in a Rick Black Custom Dublin)

003-039-0086Early last morning I was given the opportunity to review Mac Baren’s Modern Virginia Loose Cut and found it to be an exciting, and robust blend.  Also, this being the second tin of Modern Virginia Flake that I’ve sampled since it debuted at the end of October, I was already certain that I liked the mixture.

So it was, with no small amount of anticipation, that I broke the seal on this can and wafted in the fresh, fruity, grassy aroma of the well-formed, typically sized, mottled dark and light brown, gold foil wrapped flakes.  Drawing out two of the attractive flakes, as the bowl on my Dublin by Rick Black is quite vast, I immediately start to rub them out into a very nice-looking pile that I directly begin to stuff in my pipe.

That’s when I realized that the flakes are denser than I thought.  The whole chamber filled there is still about a third of the tobacco left, so I put it back in the can and prepare to light my lighter.

That is when I realize, that I am out of coffee, and that simply will not do at 4:55 AM.  Oh no, at two bells of the morning watch, coffee is a necessity.

A brief pause while I go and make coffee…

…  OK, I’m back, a cup of fresh coffee at my side, and a pipe loaded with some of the best smelling tobacco that I’ve had the opportunity to scent in a long time.

Ready to write this review;

Before I start, let’s see what tobaccoreviews.com has to say about the blend;

The tobacco is pressed into blocks and stored for minimum 30 days before they are cut into flakes. Finally the flakes are hand packed to protect the tobacco from breaking up.

This flake is made of Virginias out of 2 continents. A bright yellow and a darker Virginia have been used in combination with a Modern Cavendish. A touch of Burley ensures a soft and smooth smoke. This flake gives you a natural sweet taste of tobacco and just a detectible topping of sweet, ripe fruit.

Hmm, a little more disjointed than their typical statements, but definitely makes me want to try it, and the fruity goodness of the tin note, with its apricot and pineapple topping, definitely cements that.

So, without further ado, I light the pipe.  Immediately, I am greeted with a citrusy palate, less bold than the loose cut, but with more tobacco body from the 30 day press.  Absolutely exquisite, is how I have to describe the taste, and I soon forget that I’m smoking a pipe.

The Dublin performs its job magnificently, though that is no surprise, after all it is a Rick Black and the tobacco burns down to a nice fine white ash without the faintest hint of dottle after 35 minutes of smoking. macbarenmodernvirginiaflake

Again, I’m smoking alone, so I can’t tell you much about the room note, except to say that it smells very nice to my limited sense of smell.

Overall, great presentation, brilliant tin note, easy rub, easy light, pronounced taste, exquisite smell, and no dottle; basically, a win in every department.

I have to hand it to Mac Baren, they have really gone overboard with this one, and they will find they have an instant classic.

When they first sent me a tin of this, you couldn’t get it anywhere; now it is available at smokingpipes.com for $8.20 USD, pipesandcigars.com at $11.48 USD a tin, and at 4noggins.com for $8.19 USD for the 1.76 ounce (50 g) can.

I can’t recommend this blend enough, I seriously recommend that you pick some up, and I’ll be amazed if they can keep it in stock, but once you’ve got it…

Smoke ’em if you got ’em!

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