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Navy Flake

Old Toby

Active Member
Member
#21
Speaking generally since I can't smoke the MB vanilla stuff... and this is going to sound weird but remember, it's just my experience... anything that comes in flake form tastes better to me than a loose cut even if I rub the flake out before loading.

It might be all in my mind but it seems that tobaccos that come in flake form taste better simply because of the way the cut is processed and tinned.

Yep... weird! However, all in my mind or not, it works every time.
I really do think some of it is in our heads. There's a tea ceremony aspect to preparing the flake and packing it that makes the experience somehow a tiny bit richer.
 

Joe Ahearn

Active Member
Member
#23
I've been smoking out of a fresh tin of MB Navy Flake pretty much non-stop for 2 or 3 days in a variety of pipes. Am I wrong, or did fresh Navy Flake taste a lot better 10 or 15 years ago? I can't say I dislike my current experience with MBNF, but sometimes there just doesn't seem to be much there, and other times I get an undertone to the taste that is a bit funky and bitter. This is sort of making me crazy. I seem to remember a lot better flavor, and more flavor, back in the day. I used to smoke a lot of Navy Flake--like a tin out of every four or five I smoked was MBNF. Now I find the blend sort of underwhelming, whether I smoke it in briar, meerschaum, or cob, or regardless of the size of pipe I smoke it in. Don't get me wrong--it hasn't been a bad smoke, but it hasn't really been a good one, either. I know so many people that are nuts about this blend, but I'm just not getting that much out of it. (I have also been smoking quite a bit of recent 965 and I taste a lot of inconsistency tin to tin, and a much less complex taste than the blend used to have--so don't even get me started on Dunhill... )
 

Old Toby

Active Member
Member
#24
I do believe there is some truth to this. Although, I think the flake forms age better before smoking, and that tends to also make them taste better.

my $.02
There's almost definitely some truth there. Case in point, for any given blend offered in both a flake and ribbon/rubbed version, the flake is better. (And the plug is usually even better than the flake.)
 

Grimpeur

Active Member
Member
#25
I've been smoking out of a fresh tin of MB Navy Flake pretty much non-stop for 2 or 3 days in a variety of pipes. Am I wrong, or did fresh Navy Flake taste a lot better 10 or 15 years ago? I can't say I dislike my current experience with MBNF, but sometimes there just doesn't seem to be much there, and other times I get an undertone to the taste that is a bit funky and bitter. This is sort of making me crazy. I seem to remember a lot better flavor, and more flavor, back in the day. I used to smoke a lot of Navy Flake--like a tin out of every four or five I smoked was MBNF. Now I find the blend sort of underwhelming, whether I smoke it in briar, meerschaum, or cob, or regardless of the size of pipe I smoke it in. Don't get me wrong--it hasn't been a bad smoke, but it hasn't really been a good one, either. I know so many people that are nuts about this blend, but I'm just not getting that much out of it. (I have also been smoking quite a bit of recent 965 and I taste a lot of inconsistency tin to tin, and a much less complex taste than the blend used to have--so don't even get me started on Dunhill... )
It is possible that it's a little different than it was a decade or so ago, but, "Consistency" seems to be Mac Baren's middle name; their blends are known for that. Year in, year out, the buyer knows what to expect; I'd to find out that is changing. One thing I have noticed, now that they have the date of production on the tin, is the tins I have been receiving sure are fresh, generally about two months old.

Mac Baren's other midd name is, of course, "Nice Tins".