MacBaren Navy Flake is another one of those classic blends that pipe smokers talk about all time. Thats not to say that everyone loves it, or even likes it, but rather that everyone has at least heard of it. As the name suggests this is a flaked tobacco, which is my favourite. This particular tin was not the traditional 50g but it was a larger 100g tin which is always nice to have when you find a tobacco you like. I would like the reader to keep in mind beyond this point that this tin is not a fresh tin. The tobacco as of this review has been aged for approximately three years; this unquestionably changes the aroma as well as the taste.
The tobacco, for the last few years, has been sitting closely packed inside of a glass bail jar. The nose aroma was delectable with a hint of toffee and a little salty hickory in the background. I grabbed my pear shaped Joe Case pipe and packed it with one flake. I was surprised to find that it only took one flake to fill the 1″ wide bowl, but it was most likely because I folded the tobacco rather then rubbing it out. I lit it up with my pipe lighter and started puffing. The flavour stayed consistent from beginning to end which is great if you are doing something while puffing. Notes of hickory and salt, which was in the background of the aroma, now dominated the entirety of the flavour profile. It was a nice profile which was definitely reminiscent of traditional navy blends.
Steven Umbrello – Senior Editor