A flake of full bodied, spicy latakia with Kentucky and a dash of black cavendish.

Manufactured ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeVirginia/Latakia
ContentsBlack Cavendish, Kentucky, Latakia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy SmokingPipes.com
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Medium to Strong
None Detected
Room Note

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JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3046)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Tolerable

The Cyprian latakia is the most prominent component, but this is not quite a lat-bomb in the sense that the other tobaccos obviously contribute. The latakia is very smokey, woody, and mildly sweet. It may also account for a hint of incense. The dark fired Kentucky burley is lightly floral, very earthy, fairly woody, smokey and nutty sweet with a fair amount of spice that underscores the latakia in every puff. The black cavendish has a very light vanilla hit, and serves to smooth out the smoke a little. I also get a vinegar/barbeque note through much of the proceedings, which works well with the fermented taste that stems from the pressing of the flake. The nic-hit is just past the medium threshold. I rate the strength level as strong and the taste is full. I do not recommend a big bowl for this.

The flake is a little moist, and easily broken apart to suit your preference. Needs no dry time. Burns at a slow pace with a cool, clean, spicy smooth, lightly creamy, very consistent flavor. Has no dull, weak, or harsh spots. It does require a few relights, but not enough to bug you. Leaves almost no moisture in the bowl, and will burn to the last ember. The after taste pleasantly lingers, though it does have a strong room note. A very rich, deep, well melded and complex, full-bodied flake for the experienced smoker.


20 people found this review helpful.

panduji68 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
panduji68 (28)
Very Strong None Detected Full Very Pleasant

I believe this is the first tobacco that I've ever rated as being "Very Strong" in the nicotine department. Dunhill Royal Yacht, Peterson Irish Flake, Samuel Gawith 1792 Flake, Gawith and Hoggarth Dark Birdseye, and Samuel Gawith Brown Rope #4 all rate as "strong" tobaccos for me. This, to me, means that my nicotine craving is satisfied with just one bowl as I am quite tolerant of it and find higher nicotine content tobaccos to be quite pleasing before bedtime. The Commodore Flake offered by Sillem's can easily accomplish this task in only half of a smaller sized bowl, which led to the "very strong" rating.

The reason I have commented on the nicotine content of this flake prior to mentioning any of it's other attributes is that I would not want anyone to ding it in a review due to it's high N content. Know that this one packs a punch prior to purchasing, and if that isn't your thing, stay far away from it.

That being said, let me get into my perceptions of the rest of this offering from Sillem's. This is a totally up front Latakia blend, and it is stellar. If you love Latakia, you will love this. If you don't know what Latakia is or haven't tried it as the primary player in a blend, you will either love it or hate it. We don't know what we love or hate until we try it!

To the Latakia lovers: This blend is amazing... It burns slow, cool and has no bite (and I am easily bitten). It is spicy, but the Cavendish and Burleys give it a semi-sweet undertone. I normally hate Cavendish tobaccos and cringe when I see it is part of a blend, but this one just pulls it off in spectacular fashion. After being tamped down a bit, this tobacco gives off a glorious thick smoke as well. I would write more, but I am already long winded in this review, and it's prowess has more than prepared me for bedtime.

If you love Latakia blends, and don't mind a high N factor, give this one a go. You will not be disappointed! I would give this one a solid 5 stars if the rating system here allowed for it.

Additionally, I find the room note to be spectacular, though it is most definitely not an aromatic tobacco. My lovely wife commented: "it smells great in the living room". I am stocking up on this one for certain! WOW!!!

18 people found this review helpful.

cobacco Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
cobacco (52)
Strong Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

It's really a pleasure to review a great tobacco! Commodore tin note: smoked brandy. About a dozen, slightly soggy flakes. Each flake is about the volume of a medium bowl. Flakes fall apart and rub out easily when dried properly. Relight is persnickety and best done slowly with a good pipe lighter. However, once lit you get a well behaved smoke. This is 100% high quality tobacco, with a long lasting smoke to fine ash. Two aspects of Commodore surprise me... First, the Latakia is not at all overwhelming. Second, the N strength is very predictable for such a strong flake. Flavor is a bit like Peterson's Irish Flake, sort of raisin-like but a bit smokier with a floral component that's not present in Irish Flake. Definitely one of the tastiest smokes I've had. On my Flake Shelf: 1792, Irish, Gawith Scented Brown, Conniston Cut Plug, Commodore. I'm torn between Petersons Irish and Commodore, but for budget reasons and smokability I've gone through more Petersons Irish.

Pipe Used: MM Diplomat COB

Age When Smoked: 6 Months

Purchased From: smokingpipes

11 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Strong None Detected Very Full Very Pleasant

How do I love thee, Commodore Flake? Let me count the ways!

O-K, I'm a noob, but I've been trying a lot of high-quality strong tobaccies- such as Irish Flake; 1792; Black Irish X, etc. which are all very good...but once I tried Commodore, I KNEW that I found MY mainstay tobacco!

Having started out with English blends and then migrating away from them, I didn't consider myself a latakia fan; in fact, I was getting rather tired of lat making it's typical appearance in so many blends- but even knowing that this 'baccy is a "lat bomb", I tried it because a reviewer on another site said that it was the strongest tobacco he had ever encountered, and I love strong tobacco!

Well, in my opinion, it's not the strongest of the strong tobaccos (I'd rate it's strength as more than Irish Flake- which I consider rather mild- and less than 1792] but it does have enough strength to satisfy me, AND it is quite simply the tastiest; most pleasant; well-mannered; rich; creamy tobacco I have ever encountered, and likely ever will!

Although this may be a "lat bomb", I don't get the annoying overly cloying lat characteristic which I find annoying in other blends. In fact, I'm thinking it may be something else ion those other blends, combining weith the lat, which is causing me not to like what i perceive as lat...because there's no doubt that this baccie is high in latakia...but I LOVE it and get a far different taste from it than in the typical English blends.

I get more of a chocolate flavor from Commodore- and I love it! I have never smoked aromatics, and have never bought any tobacco that advertised a chocolate flavor....but I sure do like the chocoilate essence I get from the combination of tobaccos in Commodore! It's truly classic!- and it's not bitter nor acrid- but rather very smooth.

I've smoked blends [like Pease's "Fillmore"] which although good, irritated my nostrils; and which I couldn'/t wait to expell from mouth, as they were harsh and acrid.....but Commodore- what can I say? It's like the smoke it produces feels right at home no matter what orifice it seeps into, and you savor it and enjoy every last nuance of it, rather than trying to waft it away!

While Commodore's flavor is by no means subtle; yet it does not hiot you over ther head and kick you in the butt! It asserts itself, but in such a way that you can revel in it and savor it. Ditto the nicotine- there's plenty of it- but it doesn't punch you in the face and say "Here I am!".

And as another reviewer also stated, I also do not like cavendish, and scrupulously avoid it.....so I find it hard to believe that cavendish is actually in this beautiful flake!

All I can say, is that this is a very unique and surprising tobacco. Whether you like latakia or hate it; whether you like cavendish or hate it, I'd say try Commodore- as it's unique blend tends to defy all stereotypes and preconceived notions!

Bottom line: If you enjoy a strong, but not harsh or over-powering tobacco, with lots of [what I'll call "natural chocolate"] flavor, which is creamy and rich, and has a unique taste and aroma, give this flake a whirl!

No guarantee that you'll like it- it is what it is- and I don't see it as a middle of the road tobacco- you'll either love it or loathe it...but if you love it, you'll have discovered a unique gem that you'll enjoy for many years to come!

10 people found this review helpful.

Snappo's Pipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Snappo's Pipe (23)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Stated simply ...Sillem's Commodore Flake is one amazingly beautiful smoke experience! I rate this most highly a cult classic par excellence'!!! STRONG buttery semi-sweet unadulterated tobacco flavor unlike any other I've experienced - fragrant, sweet, woodsy, nutty, figgy, chocolaty, spicy, with a wonderful medium-high nicotine dose that builds a tingly stairway to heaven. The latakia flavor and nose defies comparison to any other blend - if it is truly there, I have to wonder - curiously, the smokey, piney, cedar incense aromas typical of the latakia ilk are not discernible to me in this blend, yet I find this Sillem's ambrosia simply a world apart from all the rest! Highest grade tobaccos, an olfactory magic carpet ride! Mellow and strong in one fell swoop - a velvet glove, an artisan's hammer! Viscous satisfying mouth feel and most pleasant lingering aftertaste. Never bitter, never burns ...and I'm an enthusiastic puffer. Takes a light nicely and requires no fuss. Room note is a musky cocoa-nut cologne for the ultimate man cave that will have even the most finicky feline growl desiringly! Not always readily available, stock up while you can! To date, Sillem's Commodore Flake stands head-and-shoulders above the rest in my stellar rotation - A Next-Level Rarefied Experience fit for the gods!!!

EDIT: For the Baccy Mad Scientists out there, give a 60/40 mix of SCF & Escudo Navy De Luxe a try. Rub out each to a med-fine texture and mix well - pack firm ...ENJOY!

EDIT II: I have been searching high & low to discover why my tins of Sillem's Commodore Flake don't present the typical incense latakia smokiness one ordinarily expects. Some good folks on the interweb forums have expressed their impression of this flake to be a lat bomb, while a few others have voiced their observation similar to mine regarding an obviously absent typical lat profile presence. I welcome any input on this mystery. But please don't misunderstand my curiosity - this is a magnificent blend, and I wouldn't change it one iota ...I only hope that the many additional tins that I've ordered stay true to my original tins. CULT CLASSIC PAR EXCELLENCE'!!!

Pipe Used: Custom Briar Ramses by Doug McGregor

Age When Smoked: New tin

Purchased From: PipesAndCigars.com

Similar Blends: Defies comparison to any other!.

9 people found this review helpful.

rattdogg99 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
rattdogg99 (53)
Medium to Strong None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

I'm not going to describe the strength, taste, or nicotine level of Commodore flake as the previous reviewers have done a far better job than I could. This is a very strong blend but it's smooth as silk. For my taste Commodore flake is everything I want in a tobacco. After nearly forty years of pipe smoking and God knows how many blends tried I'm going to say Commodore is the best I've ever had..'

Pipe Used: Variety

Age When Smoked: 6 months

Purchased From: Pipes and cigars

7 people found this review helpful.

King T Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King T (9)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

You love this blend if you are a latakia lover and not a softy. That pretty much says it all. But of course I will elaborate this blend. Commodore Flake (CF) is a rather strong blend. Not the strongest, but not mild. It's a blend that can kick you if you're on an empty stomach and smoke it too fast. But it's really best smoked slowly.

I've cracked open serveral tins of this and every time I need at least 15 mins drying time. No problem. It comes in the typical stacked flake form. Easy to rub out if that's your method of choice. Also folds and stuffs fine as well.

Packing is typical and very much like your normal procedure. Nothing special here to do and there are no tricks to this. Just load it like you normally would. And lighting is the same as well.

Now smoking it, I'd recommend slowly. Smoking it quickly and you tend to get more of the bold dark Kentucky fired flavor and just a tad of the latakia. But slow the smoking down to sipping slowly and it's a whole new world. The room note becomes more accepting and alive. Tastes of dark chocolate come out. As alwats you smell the latakia but the taste of the latakia is smooth and almost creamy. I liken it to ODF mixed with latakia.

I really enjoy this blend late at night when nothing is happening and no one is around. No distractions of every day life. Just my pipe and I. And I recommend it. But I don't think I'd recommend it to a new pipe smoker. It may be that this blend has a required taste. And maybe I have that taste.

Pipe Used: various

Age When Smoked: 0-1 yrs.

7 people found this review helpful.

number_seven Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
number_seven (1)
Very Strong Mild to Medium Medium to Full Very Pleasant

It appears that I am a lat freak. I bought this today when I bought a Caminetti bent bulldog pipe and mentioned that I'd use it as a flake pipe. So he pulled this out and let me sniff it. And I bought it.

And it is a strong Latakia blend. In fact, I'd say it's Latakia with a couple other tobaccos pinched in. It's a Lat Bomb.

I loved the flavor and the room note. It has the odor I've come to appreciate with other tobaccos of its ilk. It is a solid flake and comes out of the tin nearly perfect. I'll try drying a little, but it smoked superbly in my new pipe.

But it's STRONG. It has a full room note, but I find it eminently pleasant (thus my rating there). But I had to stop this afternoon because the nicotine hit it gave me made me break out in sweats. This is not a tobacco for the meek. A solid Latakia tobacco, but balanced. It does cause some tongue bite as you smoke it. Not initially, but halfway down the bowl I noticed it.

All in all, an excellent smoke, but it's not something you just throw in your pipe and go on your merry way. It demands respect.

6 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2081)
Medium to Strong None Detected Very Full Pleasant

Sillem's - Commodore Flake.

The tin holds two and a half rows of virtually black flakes. Unfortunately they're a little damp, smokeable but quite damp nevertheless. Even though they hold a touch too much moisture they're easy enough to crumble. And then it's 'load and light'.

The first thought for me was one of great approval: it burns well, gives a cool smoke, and has a delicious soft flavour. But after about ten minutes I noticed the Black Cavendish' sweetness calming down, being overtaken by the fiery Kentucky and that then becomes the prominent taste: this is where my approval becomes subdued somewhat. I don't get too many of the Latakia's flavours, I only get a gentle nudge of it: this disappoints me in an English blend.

I don't find the nicotine as strong as a few of the other folks on here do: medium to strong, but I wouldn't class it as being anymore than that. I'd say the room-note's quite pleasant: nothing remarkable, but it's definitely not a bad one.

My initial rating was one of full marks, but then the Kentucky caught up with me. If you like some of that you'll love this, but if you like a tamer smoke you won't. For my palate it couldn't have any higher a rating than a 'somewhat recommended'.

Two stars.

Pipe Used: GBD Oom Paul

Age When Smoked: One month

Purchased From: Smokingpipes.com

5 people found this review helpful.

tomobedlam Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
tomobedlam (16)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

Delicious, full bodied English blend with a nice nicotine kick. Flakes are just the right level of moisture right out of the tin. Latakia is up front, but underneath lies the full force of Virginia and Kentucky. Love it. I only wish it came in a larger tin!

5 people found this review helpful.

King Weed Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
King Weed (228)
Strong None Detected Mild Tolerable

I have read and re-read the reviews of this blend and noted that they are consistently positive. I cannot concur. I found Commodore Flake to be a flawed blend with sins of both commission and omission. First, I want to explore the commissions. When I first opened this tin it seemed adequately dry to smoke right away and, so, I did. On the very first lighting draw my tongue was attacked by a corrosive smoke that made a sore spot immediately. I've been smoking a pipe for almost fifty-five years and have never experienced anything like this. Ignoring the sore spot on my tongue, I pressed on and made sure the smoke went to either side of my tongue, but, to no avail. Soon the sides of my tongue were tingling and I knew I had to stop if I wanted to smoke and enjoy a pipe later in the day. Then there is the taste of this blend; thin and flat and heavily dominated by the latakia with precious little of the nutty characteristic of a good burley component. It reminded me of smoking straight latakia, which I have done before several times. Then there is the room aroma; again, thin and flat. I applied the technique suggested by Regis McCafferty of smoking for a short while, leaving the room for about ten minutes and going back in to find out what the blend's room aroma is. I did this and could only slightly detect a thin and vague English aroma. I laid off smoking CF straight for a couple of weeks and used it in microblending as a condimental ingredient and this worked-out okay. I decided to try smoking it straight again and this time the tobacco was more dried-out. The aggressive tongue bite on light up didn't happen this time. As I smoked the bowl down it began to irritate my tongue, however, this time I pressed on to finish. I found that if smoked in a careful manner, it was tolerable. But, and this is a very big but, smoking faster made this blend flat and tasteless and smoking it very slowly ALSO made it smoke flat and tasteless! That left a very narrow range of puffing that was difficult to maintain but yielded a beautiful marrying of the latakia and burley. As to the omission factor: this blend needs something added to it in the middle range of tastes to give a platform for the other tobaccos to push off from for a really good smoke. The result is that this blend seems incomplete in it's current configuration. Now, a lot of you really like this blend and I am so positive about Sillem's London Blend (I would have rated it five stars if I could have) that I am giving Commodore Flake two stars and cautiously recommending it to all English smokers, even though its not for me.

Pipe Used: Becker quarter bent yatch

Age When Smoked: recent

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

Similar Blends: different from but somewhat Penzance-like in a burley kind of way.

5 people found this review helpful.

Lit a Kia Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Lit a Kia (69)
Medium to Strong Mild to Medium Very Full Very Pleasant

Figured I should give one of the highest-rated English blends on this site a try. Had to wait a bit for smokingpipes.com to get it in stock but it did not disappoint.

The blend is a unique formulation for an English--latakia married to dark-fired burley (Kentucky) and cavendish rather than Virginias. Flakes are somewhat narrow, a bit delicate, and jet, jet black. The tin note is straight-up incense. Smells like it may have bergamot or a similar flavoring? Once exposed to air, it gives off a strong note of grilled red meat as well.

Rubbed out a flake and let it dry for about 24 hours (a bit excessive, but I couldn't get to it sooner), then a three-layer pack. Lit up and burned like a charm to a clean ash. Lat-heavy for the first half of the smoke. Short-lived taste of meat over hardwood charcoal that opened up into strong floral and toasted bread notes (burley?) toward the end of the bowl. Room note smelled like a stick of nag champa.

Nicotine didn't hit too hard at first, but by the end of the bowl, I was feeling pretty softened up. Also has that rich and heavy mouthfeel you'd expect of a lat blend. Absolutely nothing to object to with this tobacco.

Pipe Used: Boswell hand carved

Age When Smoked: new

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Nothing I know of.

5 people found this review helpful.

manno Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
manno (50)
Very Strong None Detected Full Strong

Cult classic is right. Have been a Sillem's London Blend fan for a while and, while I'm not sure I'll be a Commodore devotee, I'll certainly be a fan. For what this tobacco is and what it professes to be, it merits every bit of 4 stars. Extremely strong, which I like (as one who would rather half-fill a pipe than stuff it just to have a bottom third that is often painful to smoke with a smile). As for quality of leaf and manufacturing process, spot on. Well smoked Latakia and well cured cavendish. Easy to light and smoke and surprisingly complex and subtle flavors throughout. "Lat bomb"? Overused phrase but maybe apt here. "Bomb" for sure. Fun like a great roller coaster. If you are not turned off by strength, definitely give it a try if for no reason other than educational research. Smoking a pipe is not a habanero eating contest, but if you like the heat buy a tin or two. And again, this is in fact a quality tobacco/smoke and not a novelty item.

5 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (220)
Very Strong Mild Very Full Strong

IMO, Sillem"s Commodore Flake has what it takes to become a Cult Classic. While it's not for everyone, there is definitely enough There here to make it an object of lust for a certain few. Preparation, presentation, smoking qualities, aroma and taste are all 4 Star, and it only gets better on that level as it is smoked down. At the the same time, the nicotine level keeps building, from a rush to a blow to the side of the head. Is this the stuff of legends? We'll see.

As for aroma and taste, this tobacco is all about undertones, reminding me in this way of a true mole' sauce, at least when it's fresh from the tin. I would say of the tin note, it's "subdued, yet potent; almost brooding". The Latakia, Cavendish, and Kentucky are blended, pressed, and well fermented to provide a rich, intoxicating blend of dark, smoky, unsweetened chocolate, sour prunes, piping hot, dark, bitter coffee, and roasted Brazil nuts. I find it hard to describe the unique combination of prime Latakia "smoke", sour, sweet and nuts on the tongue, but it is more than a blast; it is the tobacconist's art at its zenith. It gives off a great profusion of thick smoke that smells wonderful, but the smoker inhales it at his own risk. And just to be triple sure one never forgets it, it has the best aftertaste of any tobacco I have smoked. It is certainly the best of the Lat blends in this regard.

07-29-13: Yes, it's too soon for new impressions, but because this is/can be such special stuff I just wanted to share that my original review was based on "native moisture", as from the tin. Today my jarred stash was pretty dry, but I smoked some anyway. Excellent, but mostly cedar incense as a trick, and there seems to be some sort of rum or "rum sugars", or something like this. FYI, the celebrated intensity, complexity and aftertaste I first described seem to depend on correct (wet-ish) moisture. Drying did seem to reign in the nicotine somewhat, however...

08-11-13: OK, re-hydrating CF at this point has brought back the heavy nic effect, along with most of the exceptional, myriad aromas and tastes. However, FWIW, those who wish to smoke CF at its best might want to consider smoking it soon after the tin is breached. Again, if you are at all sensitive to nicotine, believe me, this stuff will get you. Try a small pipe or a partial load, and puff cautiously, before you go hog wild.

Pipe Used: various briars; recommend starting small

Age When Smoked: stright from the tin to jarred 1 year +

Purchased From: Liberty Tobacco

Similar Blends: Interesting comparison to Peterson's Irish Flake.

5 people found this review helpful.

DeathMetal.org Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DeathMetal.org (231)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Summary: a strong Virginia flake dominated by the flavors of dark-fired Burley and Latakia.

On first light, these black little flakes give off a strong tangy Latakia flavor with an undertone of Virginia sweetness, but as the bowl goes on, the dark-fired Kentucky Burley swallows up the more piquant Latakia and produces a dense, powerful flavor. This takes Latakia in a different direction than your standard sweet-and-sour English blend, making it more like an English Christmas pudding, a rich and almost morbid intensity with a blanching dose of nicotine compared to your average English blend. Within that, a gentle sweetness drifts to the surface. This blend made me rediscover Latakia and I will likely buy it again.

4 people found this review helpful.

Badmedicine Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Badmedicine (51)
Medium to Strong Mild Full Tolerable

I can't really call this an English Blend. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what to call it. I can say that I like it, a lot. Lots of Latakia, and just enough "other stuff" to make it socially acceptable to smoke. There's a vanilla sweetness to this that makes me think there may be a topping or a decent dose of black Cavendish. The flakes are certainly black; glossy, crumbly, and dark as a Raven's wing. The tin note is very jerky-like; smoke and lots of black pepper. The smoke is cool and creamy, rather sweeter than one might expect. Rubbed out or folded, it takes a light easily and refuses to go out. I can't speak to the nicotine content; nothing but the strongest ropes or irrational quantities even touch me. It's certainly a full-flavored smoke.

Pipe Used: Big Ben Pipo, Wimbledon Author

Age When Smoked: 1 year

Purchased From: B&M

Similar Blends: Pirate Kake (for the lat content, but much smoother).

4 people found this review helpful.

BBowdenpdx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BBowdenpdx (1)
Very Strong None Detected Full Pleasant

On a whim yesterday I grabbed a tin of Sillem's Commodore Flake. No date stamp appears anywhere on the tin. When I popped the lid, I was hit by a wallop of fire cured prunes. As I peeled back the paper it was all dust and diamonds; there was a thick layer of plume(not mold, I inspected it closely) and crystals atop the brick of ancient leather below. The flakes broke apart like cedar bark, easily, but took a great deal of rubbing to become pliable. The char light took two matches, but opened with an aroma, and flavor much like a Pinot Noir reduction. Once fully lit, I can only describe it like eating mincemeat or pecan pie from a stovepipe. The bowl burned ferociously in the beginning, until I realized I was puffing like a locomotive. I tamped lightly and relaxed into dopey nicotine bliss, accompanied by Piano Jazz: with Marian McPartland on the radio. The sweet, fruity cavendish and spicy latakia were perfectly married by time, and the Virginia or Kentucky offered an elegant, yet understated presence. Like a campfire the end was a mixture of fine ash and small lumps of charcoal. A euphoric, and invigorating experience only pipe smokers can know.

Purchased From: Rich's Cigar Store, Downtown, Portland OR

4 people found this review helpful.

Ig88 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Ig88 (9)
Very Strong None Detected Extra Full Very Strong

In the phase of my tobacco experience, I tend to go for the 'powerful' smokes. I enjoy 1792 and Dark Flake and consider those to be my standard for 'strong'. With that said, I found this blend to be just as strong if not stronger than those previous mentioned blends.

The flakes are very dark and almost black and break apart very easily. The flakes have a oily, greasy feel to them. Moisture content was good. Packing was easy and effortless.

Initial taste was good upon first light. Heavy thick smoke and the taste reminds me of a bbq. If you could produce a blend that tastes like smoking ribs over a fire, this is it. The nicotine hit is very strong on this blend and half way through the bowl I was satisfied. I did notice that this blend has a bitter smoke taste left in my mouth. Reminds me of that bitter taste after eating a heavily smoked meat.

Excellent blend and surprising strong. This isn't an everyday blend for me and I'm sure this will age nicely.

Pipe Used: Briar Poker

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: 1792 , Dark Flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

Gentleman Zombie Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Gentleman Zombie (729)
Medium to Strong Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

The flake is a bit moist and rubs (crumbles) easily. It burns nicely after some drying time.The flavor profile is of a floral, mildly sweet Latakia. I assume the sweetness is from the Cavendish. There is a very mild earthiness that may be coming from the Burley. If so, it's all of the Burley I can detect. I like this best in the smaller bowled Country Gentleman. In the taller bowled General it lasts too long and I find myself tiring of it. I find it to be a nice tasting flake and an enjoyable smoke.

Pipe Used: MM General, MM Country Gentleman

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

4 people found this review helpful.

Knightsmoker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Knightsmoker (218)
Medium to Strong Extremely Mild Full Strong

Sillem's Commodore Flake has a tin that is very smokey, woodsy, and sweet. The smoke is pure harmony, I get a very smokey, woodsy,nutty and earthy flavor profile which is slightly forward from the floral and spicy notes that trail behind. The black cav has a vanilla note that I assume has been add to it before it was added and pressed. The smoke has a sweetness that counters the spicy notes that is rather creamy, yeasty with something that reminds me a little of nougat for lack of anything better to compare it to. The nic hit is med to strong but not overpowering. It is not an all day smoke but has been enjoyable several times throughout the day. All I can say about the room note is that even the dog left the patio while I was smoking it and the wife was unhappy when I came back inside too! The finish does linger but not for too long. Whatever that sweet nougat flavor is did ghost my pipes as well. Still a very good and unique smoke for an English blend that I liked quite a lot.

Age When Smoked: 1 month

3 people found this review helpful.

Brunello Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Brunello (166)
Medium Mild to Medium Full Pleasant to Tolerable

I'm an avid home blender with one-third of my rotation being blends I've created myself, so commercial offerings are held to a high standard: they've got to be better than what I can do at home, or they've got to have some kind of distinctive character that I can't duplicate at home. Commodore is winner on both counts, and would be part of my regular rotation if it were more readily available, and at least in the U.S., a little easier on the pocketbook.

Hard to believe this is mostly Latakia, because the aroma and flavors do not have the typical campfire smokiness. The muted smokiness that is here is a deep, roasted malt flavor that reminds me of a German Rauchbier. Occasionally there are draws that taste like somebody put a tiny marshmallow in my dark ale. On the retrohale there are occasional hints that a pinch of anise may have been part of the casing, and a nice savory flavor of smoke-cured meats (like Tyrolean Speck). When I put my nose right to the bowl it smells like beef jerky! The aftertaste is of dark ale.

If you like brighter flavors like Va-Pers, lemon sorbet, or hoppy beers, you won't like this one. It is at the opposite end of the spectrum: rich, dark, and malty. If you like dark lagers or ales you've absolutely got to try this one. I wouldn't be surprised if when this formula was originally developed somebody slipped a pint of Dunkel Bier into the mix. When they liked the results, a new creation was born!

This is one to sip and savor, not because it will get hot, but because there is so much flavor that big gulps would be a waste! In a wide bore bowl like my Charatan pot, flavors are slow to develop, while in tall, narrow bowls, they arrive sooner - in either case, flavors deepen and tend to concentrate at the end of the bowl giving the last few minutes a flavor that reminds me of a fine aged cigar, like a Padron Aniversario (while keeping the dark ale aftertaste).

Some have mentioned strong nicotine but this one has never bothered me.

Verdict: Different enough that I wouldn't turn to it often, but when I do, I always thoroughly enjoy. All in all, nothing else quite like it. Perfect choice for an evening session with a good dark ale!

Pipe Used: Alpha, Charatan, Peterson Meerschaum.

3 people found this review helpful.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (124)
Medium to Strong None Detected Full Strong

Commodore Flake: A fantastic Lat bomb that defies genres.

The tin-note smells of sweetened beef jerky. The tobacco is made up mostly of Latakia, and while potent, melds together with the dark-fired leaf. They provide a pleasant burning cedar flavor with a rich barbecue undertone. The addition of black cavendish adds a smooth-creaminess and just enough sweetness to turn this into a fantastic and distinct flake tobacco. No other blend compares to it. It is not really an English or a Virginia/Latakia blend. It is its own thing and I cannot get enough of it.

3 people found this review helpful.

Briar Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Piper (89)
Medium Extremely Mild Extra Full Pleasant


Sadly, this blend, unlike most pipe tobacco, does not take to age well at all. When fresh it is easily a 4 star tobacco. Once it has about a year on it, it becomes a rather bland mixture, wherein the latakia is muted. The kentucky also becomes muted, and the burley taste becomes predominant, loosing most if not all of its smokiness, resulting in a very mediocre tobacco.

I had aged this in a well sealed mason jar as well as in original tins (I cracked a second one to be sure) and the same thing resulted. Aged, at best this is a one and a half star blend. I find this very odd, because all of my other English blends have only deepend in taste.

I ordered a fresh tin to compare with my 30 aged tins, and the fresh tin was as vibrant and good as I remembered it. But aging does not do this one any good. It is like laphroaig scotch, in which the 8yr and 10yr bottlings are divine, the 15yr has rounded, but the 18+ bottles have lost their original "zing." Nicotine content is the same in aged samples, just a whisper short of medium.

Original review: This flake is a modern masterpiece destined to become "THE" flake tobacco of fame, which pipe smokers the world over will lament the passing of, as has occured with lost blends such as 965, balkan sobraine etc.

This is undoubtedly the best latakia flake I have ever tried. Can hold its own against any other latakia blend, and is even better than many old classics. It is a lat-bomb without the bitter, which has the strongest incense taste of any english blend I have ever tried, without any orientals! Not a replacement for your favorite english or scottish blend, this is in a class all its own. It is the most flavorful tobacco that I have ever tasted. Too much so for every day smoking, this is like the richest Finnish smoked custard you ever had. But oddly, has no long lingering aftertaste. Even the room note is pleasant to others! This is not the nicotine bomb it is said to be, as the nicotine is no stronger than in most full English blends, but is just right.

This flake is so good that if you haven't tried it, and enjoy latakia even a little, you positively, absolutely must get a tin.

This blend is always sold out for good reason. It is the best modern blend on the market.

Pipe Used: grabow, peterson

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: Many retailers.

Similar Blends: Old Ironsides.

3 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30167)
Medium to Strong Strong Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

A tobacco of undeniable character, my constant companion wether strolling outside, sitting in contemplation inside, waking up or settling into sleep. This is my go-to tobacco. If I'm out of Commodore, I'm off to the tobacconist straight away, regardless of whatever other luxury tins of varying varieties I have on hand.

This is the flavor base for all my pipes as the Cavendish and Kentucky (Burley, which in other blends has been the tongue-burn factor for my own personal chemistry, which, you will find, with just a little research on the web, is asserted by some self-declared "tobacco experts" as the actual cause of that loathsome condition. I tend to agree that one's personal body-chemistry factors just as heavily into what tobaccos are enjoyable. But I digress.) give a whiskey-tinged sweetness at the top of the bowl, and get more complex and dark going further. For me, its like flavoring a bowl with a vanilla cavendish without the hot-burning additives on finely cut leaf.

Agreed, this is a full bodied, mouthy latakia based flake, (flake being another attribute which contributes to its versatility--and flavor. Its useful going from pipe to pipe, experimenting with a course or fine texture that fits each pipe's temperament) and the spice of that base ingredient comes out quite a bit by the middle and especially the end of the bowl. My lips tingle happily with the lovely nicotine spice that plays out by the end! It should be noted that I can and do the occasional full and smokey spice-laden Latakia from start to finish such as Lancer's Slices when I'm in the mood, but Commodore is no such animal; as soon as the pipe in which the spicy smokey blend was smoked has rested, I immediately "re-flavor" the bowl with this agreeable sweet flake.

Finally, I find Commodore Flake blends beautifully with bright and nic-kick virginias of many varieties, adding a harmonious contrast of flavors in the chambers of my go-to pipes.

This was my introduction to Latakia from aromatics and Black and Gold Cavendish and what a revelation it was. A sweet whiskey bouquet bordering on an aromatic ending in a robust, satisfying but subtly spicy smoke. An indispensable staple in my humidor. If I ever find its being discontinued I will hock several items of value to purchase it en mass. Hats off to our German friends at Sillem's!

3 people found this review helpful.

Antonius Blok Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Antonius Blok (192)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

Among so many similar mixtures in their composition, it is always nice to find an exoticism like Commodore Flake, as can also be Cornell & Diehl's Mississippi Mud.

The flakes are black like charcoal and come with a moisture level that pulls to the high side, allowing them to rub off easily for subsequent drying. The aroma in its tin is unique. Experience tells me that in the best mixes the cold smell does not differ much from the flavor that it will provide later in the pipe, and this is no exception. Despite its appearance it is not an excessively strong tobacco in any sense, nor is it overwhelming. Rather I would say that it is a very balanced mix, where Latakia and Kentucky go hand in hand. The Cavendish smooths and rounds the mix so that all the ingredients work as a team, providing a relaxed, pleasant, reflective, very rich and nice smoke. I usually smoke it at night and not every day, but when I smoke it it never disappoints me and it always gives me a long and pleasant smoke as it burns quite slowly.

You should not expect typical English mix, because it is not. Don't expect a typical Kentucky-flavored mix either, because it isn't either. It's something else, it's ... Commodore Flake. As another reviewer has said, you will never know if you like something if you don't try it first. Do it, and if you don't like it, send it to me, I'm willing to sacrifice generously for you and smoke the rest of what's left in your tin. You don't have to thank me, that's what friends are for ...

Age When Smoked: 1 year

2 people found this review helpful.

WellPipeJr Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WellPipeJr (4)
Strong Medium Medium to Full Extra Strong

Full English Delicious latakia high nicotine tobacco. (I do. It inhale) Mild tongue bite while smoking and the next day. Smoke outside if people on home are sensitive to strong pipe tobacco smells. (I personally love the smell of a strong English room note, many don’t and this one is excessive)

Pairs great with hot coffee or tea

Pipe Used: Wellington Jumbo

Age When Smoked: New tin to 3 years old

Purchased From: Pipes and Cigars

Similar Blends: Very unique. Gets you the kick of a full Virginia flake with the taste of latakia..

1 person found this review helpful.

Wellpipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Wellpipe (66)
Strong None Detected Full Pleasant to Tolerable

If this rich, dark, and slightly mysterious flake is not a cult classic yet it will become one. The fragrance is incense-like, the strongest flavor impression to me is dark chocolate, as in Mole Negro from the Red Iguana (THE killer Mexican food in SLC), with maybe just a little citrus lingering in the background (think dark chocolate covered orange peel - the slightly bitter kind) over a framework of full, sturdy but natural woody / leathery tobacco flavor. The smoke is dense with a silky mouthfeel, I get some dark fruit on the exhale through the nose. The nicotine level is strong but the overall package is so velvety smooth that the strength does not overwhelm. Dark, rich, deep. I like to let it dry out a bit, then tear the flakes lengthwise into long skinny strands and fold them together for an inverted pack with a generous air gap. Highly recommended for the experienced smoker who doesn't mind a stout dancing partner in the nicotine department. I have stashed a few tins of this in the cellar - it is too strong for every day but I definitely don't want to run out of this.

Pipe Used: Peterson XL5S, Wellington bent

Age When Smoked: 3 years

Purchased From: Mars Cigars & Pipes

1 person found this review helpful.

Aaron Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Aaron (2)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild Tolerable

Smokey, woody, earthy, with hints of sweetness, this tobacco can be a bit harsh with a faster pace of puff. It also changes significantly for me throughout the bowl, as the Cyprian Latakia overtones become less consistent even with a slow and gentle rate, moving from an awareness of the complexity of the leaf to a more general roughness in taste towards the bottom of the bowl.

Pipe Used: Savinelli

1 person found this review helpful.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (318)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Tolerable

The Latakia is the key player, but not overwhelmingly so. The Kentucky adds its own slightly vinegar/smoke essence. The flakes are easily worked but hold together moderately well for those who prefer to fold. A nice balance between the Lat and the rest of the blend; good for those looking for something in this vein for a chilly day. Not an everyday smoke for me, but those looking for a Latakia/Kentucky blend rather than Latakia/Oriental or pure Latakia should find it serviceable or better.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 2 months after purchase

Purchased From: Smoking Pipes

1 person found this review helpful.