A superb blend of golden Virginia tobaccos spiced with Louisiana perique. Pressed in cakes and aged before it's cut into delicate slices. To this medium strength flake is added rum to enhance the round and natural tobacco taste.
This is quite a stout flake from W.O Larsen. You'd might call it the older brother to Shamrock and Flake Cut from the same company, but without the topping. The Virginia used here is bright orange; it says Périque on the tin, but I could only detect a smidgen if any.
At first, one might think this one quite bland, but after a few bowls and a slow puffing cadence, it is there: Sweet rich VA with a bit more nicotine than in Shamrock.
Like Brown Clunee from Rattray's, Navy Flake demands a slow smoke. If you do not smoke this really, really slow, the taste and aroma will not reveal itself properly. Navy flake is not in my rotation since I tend to like English Flakes better, but if you are into Danish flakes, give this one a go and see if you can tame it and make it behave the way you want. For me, it is good tobacco but somehow a challenge to smoke properly.
One of the world's most underrated VaPer blends, Larsen's Navy Flake is a dandy! Nicely rich Virginia leaf that is obviously top-shelf, combined with the real Louisiana born and bred Perique, offers a strong VaPer trail at the match. In fact, I don't think I've ever smoked a VaPer with this much strength. It demanded my attention and got it!
All though I have not smoked this one for a while, it is a very good flake: dark brown, easy to rub out and equally easy to pack in a medium size bowl. I have always thought that Larsen takes great care with the quality of its tobaccos, and this is no exception.
This flake is not moist, but fresh. When lightening, the tobacco burns smooth and dry. The first thing I noticed was the piquant taste of Perique. It was my first encounter with this tobacco, and I found it exceedingly spicy, and to a certain extent piquant, to the point I didn?t notice the Virginias! The second thing was that the added rum aroma virtually vanished after the first few puffs, and was never present as an aromatic/flavour element. Non the less, it is a tasty smoke. By mid bowl, the Virginias have tempered the Perique, and the--for me--more familiar taste of traditional tobacco appears.
From then on, it was a long lasting joy. It leaves the pipe clean, with a dull grey ash. Recommended to all Va/P smokers. If not one of the best flakes of its kind, at least well worth trying.
When I opened up my tin I was a little surprised at how bright in colour the flakes were, I about needed my sunglasses on! The flakes are superb in the area of moistness. They really demonstrate what 'perfection in hydration' means.
With Navy Flake I find the Perique definitely takes a stronger stance in the taste. I can notice the Virginia albeit it's nowhere near as heavy as the Perique. Nicotine is fairly strong, it's not a total 'head wrecker' but it's a very satisfying blend with N nonetheless. Other than the two tobaccos I struggle to notice any underlying flavours, I find it's a very steadfast Va-Per. I don't get any bite from this all the way through and the temp' is not too warm. This gives a brill' burn for the whole pipe long. It only needs moderate maintenance with the odd tamp unless you leave it un-puffed for too long.
As I can't get this in the U.K I think I may have to stock up on my next order from the Danish Pipe shop!
Golden brown flakes with a tin nose of hay and perique. Smells like quite a bit of perique! Came very dry and I think this tin had some serious age on it. Flat tins, particularly square ones, seem to be suspect as far as overall seal goes. This was dry but certainly not too dry. In fact, I dried it out some more so that I got the full range of flavors, which is typical of Virginias, especially flakes.
The Virginias were extremely mellow with a fair bit of sweetness, although not nearly as much as I suspected from a Danish flake. The perique was liberally engaged and there was a minor hint of rum flavoring that almost completely subsided by mid-bowl. The overall effect was a spicy overtone to an almost carmelized and fermented batch of top drawer leaf. There was a minor hint of tongue sizzle but not enough to be offensive. The biggest issue I found, and it wasn't huge, was the "Danish essence" that was in the background, a sort of Mac Baren-esque pastry-type sweetness that didn't sit well. It was a small amount but it was just enough for me to notice it with each puff, and the overall experience was lessened as a result. But what the heck, you can't fault the Danish for being Danish! Top to bottom, this is a very worthy Navy flake that may suffer in comparison to blends like McClellands Navy Cavendish but was preferable to something like Mac Baren's Navy Flake. Not sure if this is still being made, but it's worth a try.
Larsen’s Navy Flake is a medium in color flake with some light Virginia interlaced. My tin has some age, so I am sure the colors have changed. Unlike my experience with a lot of Danish style flakes, Larsen resists overly topping or casing the flake. I really don’t taste any rum and it may have dissipated with age. Strength wise, it’s just a shade over medium and I don’t find it overly strong. However, it does have a fair amount of body. A little bit of hay with some caramel notes too. No bite and for me, very straightforward in flavor without much in the way of complexity. While it’s sweet, I don’t find it as sweet as similar aged flakes in its class. I don’t believe that Navy Flake is available any longer in the US, at least I haven’t seen it, which is a shame.
The unifying theme in the reviews for Navy Flake seem to be "smoke it slowly". I very much agree; I'd go so far to say that it's a must.
My first several bowls I smoked in a distracted manner, expecting a variation of Orlik Golden Sliced. Smoked that way, the tobacco disappeared. Giving some attention to the smoke, reveals several layers of taste happening. It seems a little "darker" or fuller in taste, compared to OGS. A little more body. A little more zest, and way in the background (I don't normally talk like this, honest!) a clear sharpness...from the touch of rum?
It took some time, but it grew on me, as they say. In that it's not available (yet?) in North America it will never be a regular smoke, but I can see myself ordering this on occasion in the future.
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