The floral, earthy, woody, herbal, vegetative, spicy, very sour Turkish is the lead component. The nutty, earthy, woody, rugged burley is a supporting player. The Virginia offers tart and tangy citrus and grass in a secondary role. The Dutch toppings include a fair amount of coffee, sweet and sour raspberry, and some vanilla. They sublimate the tobaccos quite a lot, though they don’t totally drown them out. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps short of the medium threshold. The taste is medium. No chance of bite or harshness exists here. Barely has any rough notes. The strips easily break apart to suit your packing preference, and need no dry time. Burns clean, cool, and slightly slow with a very consistent sweet and sour, savory, floral, spicy flavor from top to bottom. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste, and room note. Can be an all day smoke for the veteran, and repeatable for the less experienced.
Instant love! I've smoked loads of this today but after just the first puff I ordered more tins!!
The flakes are only a little broken, about a bowls worth was loose. It smells, no surprise, of coffee! My tin had great moisture, for me; a touch damp but smokable. Crumbling a flake is as easy as can be!
The smoke.... oh, the smoke! Yes, it bites, but as a heavy aromatic I'm not shocked; so I puff it easily. There's no mistaking the coffee here. However, the vanilla smooths any astringency from it and keeps the flavour sweet. The Orientals and Burley form the leading tobacco taste. The Virginia doesn't have anywhere near as much force. A 'slight' touch of freshness but not much more comes from the Va. Every bowl has performed nicely, barring the bite; but, as I said, for a taste this good gentle sipping isn't a chore!
Nicotine: medium. Room-note: great.
Caffe Mocha Flake? A top-shelf aromatic. Four stars:
Summary: "Prince Albert" in flake form, a buttermilk cocoa chocolate flavored soft flake that smokes easily.
Sutliff makes this and like the other recent explorations in pipe tobacco, represents an attempt to take the same low-cost process that makes their bulk blends and sell them as boutique blends with fancy names on the label. On the downside, this tobacco is overpriced by a factor of two; it belongs on the bulk shelf with the "Prince Albert" clones whose formula (white/brown Burley, brown Virginia, and Turkish for a Perique-like bittersweet spice interacting with the VAs) has long been a favorite. These flakes are "soft" style, closer to cake, like the Orlik "Golden Sliced," which means that they are comically easy to smoke. Bend, stuff in pipe, sprinkle a layer of the odds 'n ends from the bottom of the tin, light, tamp, light, and you are off to the races for a couple hours of smoking delight. That is why people like flakes, after all; they burn the best. These burn admirably well and are not over-sauced, so they stay cool and provide a steady stream of flavor. I might do a slight amount less sauce, since at this pace, the mocha (cocoa, chocolate, vanilla) needs only complement the naturally nutty, bean-ish, and chocolatey flavors of Burley. At the price this sells for, I would rather just get something from one of the established blenders, but if they sold it at an entry-level price, this would be a great all-day smoke for "Prince Albert" fans and others who like piquant, light aromatics.
First off, for being a Sutliff product and only 1.5oz, this stuff is comparatively overpriced... it kind of feels like they released a new product for the sake of a cash grab. That said, the open tin was really quite welcoming, with a sweet (more vanilla, than what should be chocolate) believable 'mocha' flavored espresso. An actual mocha will often have the syrup dominate the taste of the coffee bean, so the parallel lack of coffee vapors is excusable.
The damp, topping laden flake really ought to dry out a bit, but being the impatient type, I wedge into a bowl. Also, I should point out, many flakes were frayed and broken -in my tin at least (so don't except to see a bunch of pristine bacon strips). The dampness and flake density leaned into a smoldering burn that really kept the flavor alive in the smoke. This was one of the few times an Aromatic maintained it's initial tin aroma after being lit.
The pressed tobacco, really kept the flavor alive in this one, making me wonder if all Aromatics should get a flake makeover. I ha da lot of fun with this one... easily the best thing I've smoked from these guys.
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