A complex and rich flake that has already been loosened and therefore smoke-ready. The excellent mixture consists of sun-ripened dark Virginia, spicy Burley, and is refined with a touch of smoky Kentucky and a pinch of luxurious Perique. The room note is very pleasant and unobtrusive. The gentle and cool burning will inspire even sophisticated pipe smokers.
Opening the tin, the first thing I notice is a fruity topping. Not too bad, though. Sweet VA and a gentle whiff of the Perique come through, with KY spice also noticeable. The tobacco is rather moist in the tin, so some drying-out is in order.
With a little rubbing-out, Broken Flake lights up well. The Perique comes through early, with the Burley dominating over the VA, which nonetheless contributes a very nice sweetness. The spice and bread from the KY and Perique come through a little from about halfway down the bowl. The burn is a tad hot, so slow sipping is your ticket there.
At the end, I have just a little dottle, a gentle aftertaste, and the room note clearly shows the Burley and Perique, but is not overly strong. Good enough for me to recommend.
Experience of Vauen's Aromatic Shire blends have not been great. In fact some of them are vile.
But this is different. It looks, smells and feels different than those.
The tin aroma is amazing. I've not smelt too many bouquets like this one and I have to say it's up there with the likes of Dunhill's Early Morning, as was. It's a fresh, hay-like malty fragrance that reminds me of a sweeter version of St Bruno. I certainly can't think of any other non-aro blends as good as this.
The tobacco itself looks and indeed feels rather moist and is quite broadly cut (it is broken flake after all I remind myself) so further rubbing will be necessary. Depending on your choice, of course.
There was no way I could hang around and wait for it too dry out after that initial aroma so I went straight in and dug out a bowlful with a pipe tool. The taste doesn't really follow the aroma - let's face it, it rarely does, but it's still quite a treat. Made even better if you leave the open tin alongside as you smoke.
It quite well behaved, with only a few relights with a very pleasant malty, non-floral smooth taste that is rather mild, but not quite tasteless. No idea what the room note is like, Mrs RH must be immune to some of the concoctions I have been smoking over the years.
Tin note: bready with a clear raisin note from the perique. A slight drying of about 15 min may be beneficial. The VAs play the dominant role during the initial phase: very sweet, with the lighter VAs slightly more pronounced than the darker ones. The spiceyness of the perique is there, the nutey burley supports the aroma of the first two ingredients. The kentucky is taking a supporting role but stays clearly in the background with it's smokey, earthy aroma. As the bowl progresses, the burley takes a step forward and the sweetness of the VAs slightly diminishes. The VAs seem to tolerate a medium cadence without leading to bitterness. Overall a very well made blend, taking over the role of great introductory blend to nonaromatics for beginners and people who would like to transition from the other aromatic blends of Vauen's Auenland series.
Pipe Used: Golden pipe (pear wood) w/ 9 mm charcoal filter
From all the Auenland tobaccos by Vauen this one clearly sticks out. I really do not get, why the shire should be associated with fruity, sweet standard VA/BC/Burley mixtures and a ton of aromas. When I think of the Shire I would see VA Flakes, vintage style english mixtures with Latakia and Orients or even plugs or curly or spun cuts, but okay perhaps this is just me. So as a pipe smoker and LotR Lover I frequently get these tobaccos as a present and smoke then and they are okay. The Broken Flake is really different though.
The smell in the tin is very nice. It is deep, leathery with hints of fresh wood and a subtle sweetness that is very pleasant. In 2022 the tobacco has just the right moisture and packs and lights very well. I did not need any further rubbing or anything, just straight in the pipe, two matches and go. The first puff come on strong, but when you figure that this tobacco burns really well and allows for a very slow smoke, it rewards you with a gentle taste: the virginia is grassy and sweet and fresh, the Kentucky is very well incorporated and provides a rich smoke. The Perique gives, if smoked really slowly a crisp yet light addition of freshness. You can really recognize the smell from the tin. The room note is surprisingly subtle and I would describe it as "old fashioned". Easily the best tobacco from Vauens Auenland range. If you like these kinds of blends with Perique and Kentucky: Give it a try.
The constituent tobaccos in this mixture really caught my attention. I enjoy smoking a Burley/Kentucky blend from time to time, so I was curious what this might bring.
The tin note is really pungent and it can lead you to believe that this is going to be a strong blend. It's smoky, woody, somewhat sweet with a bit of a chocolate/cocoa smell coming from the Burleys and also a bit of raisins, possibly from the Perique.
The broken flake is pretty finely rubbed, but some extra rubbing is required for a more consistent smoke. Other than that, there are no problems with this one mechanically. Smokes well, cool and dry. There might be some dottle left, but no moisture of any kind at the bottom of the bowl.
Given the constituent leaves and the smell of the unlit tobacco, this blend was not as strong as I'd expected. The overall character of the smoke is very earthy, nutty, somewhat spicy and, to my taste, the Burley is the main player in this one. The dark Virginia is there to lend a bit of sweetness and a bit of a bakery, yeasty character to the taste. The Perique and the Kentucky are supporting players, working in the background to lend some spiciness, pepper and some smokiness.
But this blend has one issue that kinda irks me: it's a little too dry. And I don't mean that as in a lack of moisture, but dry as in a dry wine. Most tobaccos I've smoked have (more or less) a creamy/buttery character in the smoke. This one does not and it puts me off quite a bit. The smoke is tasty, consistent and there are definitely high quality tobaccos in this blend, but that lack of creaminess prevents me from really enjoying it.
As such, this is not exactly a blend for my taste. That doesn't mean it's bad; far from it, but the dryness puts me off quite a bit. I will finish the tin and I don't think I'll buy it again. But I'm glad I've tried it and if someone likes this more than I did, I can see why.
Smell very well, nice presentation, and does not have a flavored sensation at all. It can bite a little bit if you push too much, but very pleasant and easy to smoke, especially for a relaxed period. Not my favorite from Auenland series but I like it more than others. Recommended to test at least once.
Vauen - Auenland Broken Flake (The Shire) classic Virginia/Burley/Perique style,smooth,balence,gentle,pure,very good quality for non-flavoring tobacco.maybe the best of The Shire series. rocommend rocommend rocommend rocommend rocommend rocommend
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