I honestly think that Kendal flake tobacco is an acquired taste. Or perhaps it is simply one that you either possess or you don’t. Some people, myself among them, really enjoyed the floral taste of the Kendal flake tobaccos, while they’ve been described, by others, to me, as akin to smoking flower petals.
So, I’ve encountered very few people who are on the fence about Kendal flake tobaccos.
My friend, Tad, was eager to trade this one with me, so I imagine he falls into the latter camp.
About two weeks ago at our local pipe club meeting, we were breaking out the less intimate parts of our tobacco cellars, and Tad offered to trade his tin of rum flake for pretty much anything people were willing to part with. The can had been opened for the meeting, though only a couple of us had sampled it.
Of course I, with the biggest cellar, have the advantage when it comes to acquiring new tobaccos on trade, and of course I, with the biggest magazine, have the most need of having new tobaccos.
In any event, I am one of those people who enjoys a good Kendal flake, so I don’t even remember what it traded for it.
However, if you’re not a person who enjoys that soapy, flowery flavour, so common in Kendal tobaccos, this is not one for you.
When you first open the tin (and the bag within), you are struck with a relaxing, sugary, rum-like aroma that is immediately warm and welcoming and does not overpower the earthy tobacco smell.
The broken flakes, pressed into a plastic bag for freshness is deep and inviting and the tobacco loads readily, as is, or rubs out easily for a quicker smoke.
I finally get to look up the tobacco online as I’m writing this review and find this at tobaccoreviews.com;
The ‘Christmas cake’ of all our tobaccos. A very rich, sweet fully flavoured blend. The main feature is the high proportion of naturally sweet sun-cured tobaccos in the blend – over 40%. Only 30% Virginia leaf, with the rest of the blend coming from burleys and Dark-air cured contribute to a strong, but rewarding smoke. The whole blend is cased in maple sugars to further enhance the natural sweetness of the sun cured leaf and then rounded off with a dash of rum.
I load the chamber of my pipe, a Brigham Voyageur rusticated billiard, without any further rubbing and prepare for a long, slow smoke.
The unrubbed flakes are a more difficult light than if I had rubbed them, but that is to be expected.
However, I am soon treated to a rich, robust, sweet and flowery smoke that is altogether satisfying.
Almost an hour later I’m reaching the bottom of the bowl. I found a taste of this tobacco to be one of those that makes you want to be productive, so while I was smoking it, I got a lot of work done and even had time for a few Facebook chats.
I didn’t find the dottle to be too excessive, though there was more of it than I would like. It was, however, to be expected since I didn’t rub the broken flakes out.
Overall, as far as Kendal flakes go, this ranks among the best. Smooth, robust, sweet, and satisfying, if you like those rosy tastes then you’re going to love this.
Pipesandcigars.com sells this fine blend in both the 1.76 ounce can and in bulk for as low as $3.15 USD an ounce.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!