Was planning on jarring up some more bulk for the cellar but it's not happening today so I decided to "stay busy" and open up a tin of something "old" :velho: Butera Royal Vintage "Dark Flake" 07-2004 vintage. Opening the tin, the smell was mild vinegar and very light ketchup/catsup like odor. Opening the tin fully revealed extremely dark brown, nearly black broken flakes, a few whole but mostly broken. A few lighter brown specks but overall, very dark. Not as black/dark as Stonehaven in comparison. The flakes seemed to be "rts" (ready to smoke) so I proceeded. MM Legend (stock stem) was the next "ho" up in line so she got her hole stuffed (actually gravity filled with a light tamp). First light (charring) was a bit difficult and only the center got going. Next light got her workin' and off she went. Sweet Va came through almost immediately. Very smooth gentle sweetness. A milder, gentler sweet, more mild than C&D Opening Night (which I reviewed last week). The mild sweet taste continued throughout the smoke but about 1/3 into the bowl, the tangy flavor started to make a show. Again, the tangy flavor matched the mild & gentle strength of the sweetness. Nothing overpowering, nothin "in yer face", just well balanced and good. The tang appeared momentarily and then would slowly fade while the sweet continued to "ramble on". Very nice! Nothing boring about this toby, just mild and gentle. N-Godess was kind and didn't slam my head around at all. She must've been smiling at me. I got a nice soft n-buzz but no room spinning, or anything of the like. Very enjoyable smoke. About 1/2 into the bowl, the creamy, buttery, caramelly character of the smoke started to show up and noticable but not overpoweringly so. The qualities mentioned above continued to the end of the bowl. The smoke was thick and tastee, no sourness noticed at all, garage note (no room, just the garage ) was pleasant and my wife and youngest daughter (17) approved even with a "that smells good" comment. I tend to keep the fire burning almost at the point of going out, slow trickle of smoke, sipped nice and easy......damned this is some very well behaved toby! This IS truly an ALL DAY'R IMO. But, I wouldn't want the N-Godess hand it to me in this silky smooth manner all the time. Sometimes I like it rough , you know, a bit of a punch now and then. Dark Flake delivers in a very smooth and polite manner. If any of you want a "soft VA", this is one worth trying. It has all the flavors but in a very mild manner. Imagine maybe MVF/Golden Glow's little sister? Less tangy-ness for sure, but all the sweetness. Rich and buttery towards the middle. A very nice smoke. Fine gray ash with very little dottle in the end. Remember, this was fresh out of the tin with ~20 minutes dry time (if that). Also, this tin had a bit of age, '04 edition. Can't say the current production would be this good but hey, it's Butera so it can't be bad. I'll agree with TR in 3/4 stars. I'd buy more if I ran out or my cellar level got low. If I had to sum it up in a short sentence, it'd go like this: Dark Flake, the mild and gentle Va, with nothing left out except for "bad behavior". :whistle: Ed Puff!