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Virginia tobaccos blended with burley, suitable for the established pipe smoker. Rich cool satisfying flavour.

Blended ByJohn Player & Sons
Blend TypeVirginia/Burley
ContentsBurley, Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionNo longer in production
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Medium to Full, Full
Room Note
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Player's Digger Flake is a golden oldie that you can't find anymore because it is not being made. A very powerfully delicious and long burning tobacco that was heralded in the old Pipe Smoker's Ephemeris on numerous occasions. The Burley provided some punch and the Virginia really stood out with a lot of depth and the thick cut of the flakes made this one tough to burn out of your pipe. If it is ever reproduced, well,I'll buy some tins!


7 people found this review helpful.

PiperOne Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
PiperOne (1)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

I smoked Players Digger Flake for many years and have not yet found a suitable and satisfying replacement. I have tried the substitute fron Exeter and was extremely disappointed as it totally lacked. what I would describe as, the fruitiness of Digger. It was never harsh, always slow burning and had a high resistance to drying out. I have tried many of the brands currently available without success. I will keep on trying! My review is as I remember the true Digger!!

Pipe Used: Barling, Dr Plumb, Peterson, The Pipe and others

6 people found this review helpful.

John_B Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
John_B (33)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I had never smoked the original tobacco blend as sold by Players, but this is a review of the currently available flake sold under the Digger name from McGaheys of Exeter. Depending on your point of view, this is not like the original, and others claim it to be Walnut (Original) flake. I smoke Walnut flake and it most definitely is not the same. It has none of the smokey Kentucky component that Walnut has. Instead, it seems to be a hot pressed flake of Virginia and Burley. If anything, it is most like the old Ogdens blend, Redbreast Flake. It smells fruity in the bag with some hay and earthy notes and a hint of leather. It is indeed a very typical English working mans smoke of days gone by and it goes well with a cup of English tea. It rubbed out very easily and packed with minimal effort. On lighting I was met with a very pleasant flavour with a good balance between the component tobaccos. It took to the flame easily, with one char light and one true light and the smoke was rich and fulfilling with plenty of body and zero bite. Rich dark Virginia breadiness and dark fruits melding with the nutty Burley in perfect symbiosis. As the bowl progressed, there was no tendency to bitter notes or harsh cigar flavours but it smoldered along nicely to the fine white ash that we find so desirable. Room note is classic British flake and smells of good quality leaf indeed. In summary, judged on its own merits, this is a very fine example of its type and a nicer smoke than St Bruno, which many consider the bench mark blend. I would not hesitate to buy this again. It reminds me greatly of Ogdens Redbreast, a blend that I did smoke back in the day and that is a very good thing. An easy 4 stars and a hearty recommendation from this happy smoker.

Pipe Used: Peterson Shamrock Zulu

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: McGaheys of Exeter

Similar Blends: Redbreast Flake, St Bruno, Walnut flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

Danno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Danno (106)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Strong

I miss reviews by 'Grimpeur'. I hope he is well. Now, on to the actor in our little drama. Digger Flake is a hardy, no- frills burley flake of stout character. It isn't friendly, accomodating or even refined. However, such negative adjectives still appeal to some, and I am in present company. DF is not easy to locate but for my money, it is THE burley flake. I wish I could smoke it often but as an occasional enjoinder it is magnificent. Uniform, powerful, slow to burn and all too quickly, gone.

04/16 - Addendum

I too recently ordered some Digger Flake from McGahey. What I received appears to be a G&H product, and not a bad one. However, it is clearly NOT a 'reformulation' of Digger Flake - no relation whatever.

Caveat emptor, and all that.

4 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30126)
Very Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

A flake that I used to smoke once in a long while, it's been longer than usual since my last encounter because it's not available any more!

Or wasn't until recently. At the moment, it can be purchased as a six inch flake, bulk. Apparently, it's an experimental re-introduction by Imperial Tobacco.

What can I say about Digger? Try smoking Cob Flake (a.k.a., 1792 Flake) minus the tonquin and what little Virginia sweetness there is, and to make up for the loss, substitute an extremely earthy Burley taste. And there you have Digger Flake. Exceptionally strong, taste and nicotine, not at all sweet, easy to smoke, and no longer available with the little portrait of a Digger on the package. Nice every so often, but I would rather have Mac Baren's Navy Flake, or, in a pinch, Edgeworth Slices, to satisfy the craving for Burley.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30126)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Mmmm. I love St. Bruno - and this, my fellow pipesmokers, is be St. Bruno without the berryish flavouring. A Virginia base, a healthy dose of Kentucky. (so, I've changed the "curing group" from "air" to "flue-cured") That's all. Stoved. Nice humidity, ready to smoke. A slight sweetness. Great depth. Quite strong in nicotine. For a tobacco with a large content of Kentucky, relights and DGT is exceptionally good.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipemanuk Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipemanuk (76)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Apropos of recent comments regarding McGaheys selling something else as Digger Flake....when I bought some it came in 6" long slices, far longer than the size flakes found in Walnut Flake or Player's Navy Cut. In addition the Digger Flakes I bought were VERY dark in colour and smelt nothing like Walnut Flake or Navy Cut. (ed January 2016) Well first thing is that it gives me great pleasure to let you know that this is still available from McGaheys of Exeter...he tells me that it is used now as a base for tobacconists blending their own mixtures; but having received 100g this morning I can testify that this IS the original, still alive and kicking! So get online and order yourself some.

I remember this stuff, powerful, earthy and leathery scents of a classic British pipe tobacco. This is the stuff your fathers and grandfathers smoked in years gone by. It bears a family resemblance to Condor Long Cut and St Bruno...if you like them, you will like this. At the same time it has a scent of it's own and holds it's own against CLC and SB.

There must be a lot of burley in the's that taste that predominates right through the bowl. I'd advise you packing the pipe and leaving it for a while to dry a little or you will need a good few relights...not that DGT here is a bad thing at all. From start to finish theres a meaty, leathery taste sort of on the lines of Irish Flake, but with nuances much closer to St Bruno. Vitamin N is in abundance but not overwhelmingly least for this puffer...though I know your sensitivities will be different to mine.

I hovered between 3 and 4 stars here...I've always wished we could have 5 stars to award, because there is a difference between excellent and outstanding in my opinion...I would award 4 out of 5 for sure here, but given the circumstances I think it just deserves 4.

Just go and order some and let us know how you find this venerable old British tobacco ok!

2 people found this review helpful.

DrDyson Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrDyson (148)
Medium to Strong Medium Medium to Full Pleasant

It seems strange that, alone of all the world's tobacconists, McGahey's of Exeter still has access to Digger Flake. One can understand the opinion of LeoMiddlefinger that the tobacco that McGahey's sell under that name is something other than the old and original Digger Flake; just as one can understand the opinion of those who suspect that McGahey's Buckland Curlies (qv) are really Samuel Gawith's Cabbie's Mixture repackaged. I don't want to do McGahey's an injustice; but, as a reviewer, I have to report that this 'Digger Flake' seems very like Ogden's Walnut Flake (now called 'Original Flake'). I'm happy enough to recommend it as a good robust smoke (see the reviews of Walnut/Original Flake); but I can't quite escape the suspicion that it's sailing under a false flag. Perhaps it doesn't matter, if you like it.

Pipe Used: Dr Plumb billiard

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Similar Blends: See review..

1 person found this review helpful.

Bluenoser Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Bluenoser (34)
Strong Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I solidly agree with all the previous reviewers who reference Digger Flake to St.Bruno Flake. Really and truely a wonderful blend with mounds of British flavour.......which is the way flake tobacco should taste. Thanks to Martin at Exeter for extending his service and inventory to Canadian customers like me.

1 person found this review helpful.

Leo Aldopold Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Leo Aldopold (6)
Mild Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Just a note of caution to anyone buying what McGahey's of Exeter are selling as "Digger Flake"; After hearing that they sold it, I went in there a while ago to get some for a 79 year-old friend of mine who used to smoke Digger as a younger man. The lady in the shop said it was "in the basement". (This is not uncommon as much of their stock is kept in the basement). However, while she was down there she radioed up to her colleague in the shop and asked her to pass her down a pack of something else (I couldn't see if it was Ogden's Walnut Flake or Player's Navy Cut Flake, but I suspect the former), then came up with the alleged "Digger Flake" in a loose package. When I challenged her about it she eventually mumbled something about it being the same thing. So, living nearby as I do, I can tell you that if you order Digger Flake from McGahey's of Exeter, you're actually getting another regular OTC instead....

Similar Blends: Er....Ogdens Walnut Flake?.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30126)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable to Strong

Well I used to smoke this back in 1997 when I guess it was the Real Thing. I wish I could still get it; I remember it was a really good smoke.

I can't say much more about it than that. I haven't tried any of the stuff that is knocking about these days - haven't seen it anywhere.

Nobody has rated this review yet.