A medium brown Virginia flake with a top note of Navy rum.

BrandFribourg & Treyer
Blended ByKohlhase & Kopp
Blend TypeStraight Virginia
Packaging50 grams tin
ProductionCurrently available
Where to Buy TobaccoPipes.com
Cup O' Joes
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Extremely Mild
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Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1829)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

This one rang my chimes and even caught me by surprise as I swear there is Perique in Special Brown Flake. The tin descriptive didn't mention anything other than a Rum topping, which I never detected at all. So, what's up with that?

F&T's Special Brown Flake arrived at just the right moisture content, rubbed out easily, packed well and burned to a nice, dry ash with no trouble.

The flavor was spicy Virginia (it gets more spicy as the bottom third of the bowl is consumed,) and overall, presented itself as a fresh tasting, clean, cool and a tad sweet smoke. The nicotine content was middle of the road.

I like these kinds of surprises.

22 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (3019)
Mild to Medium Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant

The dark stoved flue cured red Virginia offers earth, tangy stewed dark fruit, wood, bread with minor spice and a few sugar notes as the lead component. The mildly tart and tangy, citrusy, grassy, bready, slightly floral and sugary bright Virginia is a supporting player. The fruity rum topping mildly sublimates the tobacco. The strength is in the center of mild to medium. The taste level is a slot past that level. The nic-hit is a couple of steps past the mild mark. Won't bite or get harsh even if you're a fast puffer. Has a few very small rough edges. The flakes are a little moist, but I never saw a need to dry them. Well balanced for a blend with little complexity, it burns slow with a cool, clean, smoothly consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves very little moisture in the bowl, and can burn to ash. Requires some relights. The room note is pleasant, and though the after taste is short lived, it's pleasant, too. An all day smoke that should age well. Three and a half stars.

UPDATE: 7–6-2022. There are a few changes in this blend. There wasn’t much rum before, and it’s lightly more detectable now. This has more tart and tangy citrus and grass now, and less dark fruit, earth and wood. Replacing the dark stoved red Virginia is dark stoved orange Virginia as the lead component is the reason for it. The floral quality is a little stronger and the spice is as well. It has more bread, and is mildly more sugary, and acidic, too. The strength and nic-hit are a couple of steps past the center of mild to medium. The taste level is medium. It is a step rougher. All other aspects are the same. Three stars for this production as I updated them at TR.


19 people found this review helpful.

SteelCowboy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
SteelCowboy (685)
Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

F&T’s Special Brown Flake looks great in the tin. The flakes are neatly organized and while too moist for my pipe right away, it wasn’t overly wet compared to some other flakes on the market. It is no secret that makers of F&T use high quality tobacco and SBT is no exception. The rum flavor is barely detectible compared to other blends with added spirits. I chose to lightly rub out the flakes and settle in for a long slow smoke and on that note, SBT delivers. Is it my favorite flake? No, not even close because it isn’t all that complex. But with that said, I tend to judge VA flakes based on how well they age and I find that this flake ages quite well. I compared this tin to a tin that was six years old and the difference is delightful. The topping is more evident and the usual raisons, figs scent much more pronounced. It could be just the aging process, but in this case I don’t think so as there seems to be an additional topping that comes through with age. It doesn’t bite and while not my favorite, I enjoy it and will buy and age a few more tins for aging. Lovers of flakes that produce more bass notes can’t go wrong here.

Age When Smoked: New and 6 years old

9 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

Thin flakes of mottled light and dark brown, with a strong tin note of topping. It smelled a lot too close to some of the Mac Barens sugary fruitier stuff, which didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. The flakes were a bit too moist but dried out quickly. The drier the better with this one, but crispy was too dry. Drying it out subdued the flavoring to the point where it was enjoyable. Smoking in a morta helped as well, so if you really love the casing, smoke this one on the moist side. I lightly rubbed out the flakes for the best performance.

The flavoring didn't strike me as rum - more of a honey and sugar casing. It was a bit too prominent out of the tin for my liking but as the tobacco dried, it melded better with the Virginia. Almost no complexity here but a nice tobacco in the lower midrange level with dips into the upper bass. The tobacco tasted sweet but as the casing was always evident, I'd guess red Virginia to be the varietal. I did not taste anything resembling perique. The rum topping did provide the burnt sugary flavor I associate with that drink but again, it tasted more of honey than of rum to me. As rum-topped tobaccos go, and as F&T Virginia flakes go, this one is not so great, but not bad at all. Different from their other VA-based flakes, and worthy of a trial.

Pipe Used: meerschaum and morta

Age When Smoked: 2 years

6 people found this review helpful.

Voyaging Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Voyaging (80)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

The presentation is nice and typical of Kohlhase & Kopp manufacturing. No complaints. The moisture was okay. 15 minutes of drying would do it some good, but you can smoke it straight from the tin and be okay, if you don't mind relights. The tin note is typical of many Virginia blends. There is a tangy fruit note, but that might be from pectin more than rum, which is the stated topping. That tangy note recedes as time passes in the tin. It becomes grassy and hay-like and earthy.

A note on rum toppings: take this information loosely. The world of rums is a diverse one, probably one of the most diverse spirits. I learned that you usually will not taste rum itself in the blend. What I look for is what rum can do to the tobacco. Oftentimes it makes the blend sweeter, and sometimes more tangy, as it does with this blend. Drying this out seems to reduce the tangy nature of the topping, but it helps the combustion temperature.

The blend starts bright, grassy, and there are fruit notes, like dates, sultanas, and honey. The flavor does get darker as you smoke down the bowl, and you get some pastry notes, cereal, malt, toasty wood, salty cocoa, floral notes, cinnamon bread, earthy leather-like notes, figs, spicy notes, cloves. It's very tasty if you sip it and let it develop with a nice sweet, bready and nutty, toasty aroma. Pushing it will make it burn hot.

If you like straight Virginia blends, you can't go wrong with this one. To me, it's a darker Virginia. The rum will trick you into thinking there's more bright leaf than there really is. It's sweetened with the rum, and if you like a little enhancement to your Virginias, you'll enjoy this. It's tangy, and sweet, bready, malt-forward with some earth. Four stars, and age only deepens this blend.

It's mild in strength to start, but definitely builds in strength. You may or may not notice the nicotine. I'd say it's medium.

I have bought more tins after my first. It is a solid straight Virginia, and I love straight Virginia flakes. It's got every dimension one can get from just Virginia. It is both sweet and earthy with plenty of intrigue to suit me.

My issue with this blend is the availability. You can try Capstan Original Navy Cut, and you won't be far off with the flavor profile, but I think Capstan is maybe richer and more complex with a different topping (also sweeter). Capstan is more readily-available, but more expensive. Special Brown Flake is sold at a more favorable price.

If I can get more of this flake, I generally do.

Pipe Used: Bent brandy,canadian,billiard

Age When Smoked: a few months in sealed tin, then moved to jar

Purchased From: smokingpipes.com

Similar Blends: Mac Baren - Capstan original navy cut, Fribourg & Treyer - Vintage, Wessex brown Virginia Flake.

4 people found this review helpful.

aztobaccosavant Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
aztobaccosavant (12)
Mild Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Matey. This here Old Tobey harkened back to the pirate days of yore. Fantastic, let me dare say amazing pressed Virginia flake. Ever so delightfully topped with what 37.66 years of experience tells me is an effluvial ester ridden grog that would make her majesty Queen Elizabeth sit straight up in her throne and pass wind. Not a loud one mind you, just a satisfied one cheek sneak of a squeegee.

Ahhhhh. What was I saying. This stink weed is so amazing I digressed into an intellectual coma. Amazing flake. I know. I have tons of experience rubbing one out. A bowl of flake that is.

And to all you ninnys who insist on flake being smoked out of a small bowled pipe, I say balderdash and drink from the spittoon of Biezelbub. I smoked this is any damn size pipes I could find. Amazing

This flake is so damn fine it makes you want to slap your granny.

Pipe Used: Dunhill groups 2-6, cob, 76 year old Meer

Age When Smoked: 1.265 years in the tin.

Purchased From: The store fool

Similar Blends: Zastertsins Olde Monkeys Tail flake. But they stopped production of that right before the big one WWII..

4 people found this review helpful.

beaupipe Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
beaupipe (102)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant to Tolerable

F&T is responsible for commissioning some fine Virginias and Virginia-based blends. If Special Brown Flake claimed to be nothing more than a mid-weight Brown Virginia, it would be a decent, if dull, example of the genre. It claims, however, to be a rummified Virginia and sadly takes the title as the least rummy rum-infused tobacco I've ever had. I've tried it in briar and cob, tried it rubbed, tried it folded...heck, I even did an origami butterfly out of a couple of the flakes, and the stuff is consistently boring.

The tin aromas suggest the classic burnt sugar notes of dark or Navy rum, but in the pipe, it proves to be nothing more than a tease, a rigid D-cup bra holding a pair of A-bumps. The burn is fine, I suppose and the flake quality is good, but it's simply not as advertised.

Disappointing in almost every respect.

4 people found this review helpful.

Eulenburg Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Eulenburg (193)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

I can't taste the rum, (I can smell it slightly on opening the tin) nor can I taste any substantive difference with Cut Blended Plug.

Fribourg & Treyer reminds me of Antonio Vivaldi who, according to Igor Stravinsky, managed to write the same concerto 400 times...

4 people found this review helpful.

BingCrosby Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BingCrosby (161)
Medium Very Mild Medium to Full Pleasant to Tolerable

Now this is a good flake.. very lovely raisin like tin note.. lovely sweet/sour fermenting going on.. seems mature.. smokes very well.. cool.. and it tastes amazing.. very high grade leaf.. the rum is very subtle. Almost undetectable.. this is a rich and flavorful virginia.. not too hay or citrus.. nice middle of the spectrum notes.. the raisin really comes through.. bravo

3 people found this review helpful.

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

This has a pleasant flavor of mostly dark fruit, but I get only the barest hint of rum. Mildly sweet with a touch of spice. It doesn't evolve and is very much the same throughout the bowl. I find myself getting a little bored with it. Not bad at all, but not something I'll be seeking out either.

Mild to medium in body and taste. I'm thinking that not all the fruit flavor is natural. I'd say the rum is less than extremely mild and the fruit is very mild. I'll kind of average that and go with extremely mild on flavoring. Burns very well.

Pipe Used: MM Little Devil Cutty, Little Devil Acorn, Marcus

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: pipesandcigars.com

3 people found this review helpful.

Tomcat Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Tomcat (212)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Unnoticeable

F&T Special Brown Flake - This is a top notch brown Virginia to my taste . The Rum is very mildly applied here . There is a very mild casing of something sweet that doesn’t intrude on the lovely Virginia tobaccos . A little hay and grass and bread . Dark fruit and a little molasses and vinegar . I could smoke this all day . Similar to BBF but not as sweet . A little sweeter than Wessex brown flake . I will buy more and cellar . Highly recommend. 4 rating

Age When Smoked: Fresh tin

Similar Blends: BBF , Wessex Brown.

2 people found this review helpful.

moniker Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
moniker (217)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

First things first: If you’re after rum from Fribourg and Treyer’s Special Brown Flake, try to buy a young tin and smoke the stuff ASAP after it’s opened. Pretty sure the (newer type, large, round) tin I bought had been sitting there for years, and the rum was quite subdued, just mildly sweet and fragrant, and not at all proof-y, as often happens with aged booze-topped blends. The tin is big for two short stacks of well-formed flakes that are mostly dark brown, with lighter brown and tan striations. I suppose this means there is some flue cured leaf and perhaps some orange in there with the featured air-cured brown VA. Tin note is light and very fragrant, something like rose and lavender over plum blossom. I think this might be Mirabel plum over fragrant, bready, slightly earthy and musty, meadow grass-y, citrus-y, hay-ish VAs. Though it burns better rubbed out I prefer the extra strength I get from keeping it more intact than that. 1 flake, broken, folded and spindled fills my VA pipe loosely. It takes a while to get it well lit like this, then it smokes all the way down with slow draws and regular, light tamping, along with some stirring at the tail end, and it’s a lengthy smoke this way. Scents and tastes follow the tin note, except combusting scents and tastes are actually better than the tin notes. IMO, SBF is far from being an aromatic, and after it’s rested it would be a stretch to call it a crossover, based on the tin I got. In any case, the lot is well-melded, tasting and smelling like healthy type pancakes. What was once rum is now more like natural cane/rum sugar, sweet with a bare trace of molasses, and I am not concerned with trying to unravel it but I just take it fairly easy and let it all come to me. After my VA pipe got “conditioned” to it I smelled and tasted something like a memory of an alpine meadow, with faint, pine-y dust. Soft, sweet, and savory, with a very mild zing to it, SBF is at once both natural and refined. Very nice. In terms of strength, it ramps up smoothly from mild to near medium, and the tastes get to medium. Room note is pleasant. Aftertaste is a drawn out, sweeter best of the smoke.

Here’s a First Class offering for experienced VA lovers that shouldn’t put off beginners. No doubt it will continue to age well. 4 stars.

Pipe Used: dedicated VA briars

Age When Smoked: rested to 1 month +

Purchased From: Liberty tobacco

2 people found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

When I first smoked Special Brown Flake, I was immediately smitten with its close resemblance to Capstan's Navy Flake (Blue) in terms of appearance, aroma, tobacco composition, and smoking characteristics, but at a much better price point. The rum is mildly applied and barely noticeable. The dark Virginia leaf offers a smooth and mellow smoke with slight fruity (figs) hints if sipped at a slow cadence. The bright leaf offers more undertones of grass with less citrus notes than similar leaf in blends such as Orlik Golden Slice. There is little chance of tongue bite even when puffed quickly, though you will see the subtleties in the flavor disappear.

If you prefer a more intensely flavored straight Virginia, SG FVF is a good alternative. That said, I prefer Fribourg & Treyer Special Brown Flake, because it is mmm good.

2 people found this review helpful.

FP Stew Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
FP Stew (25)
Medium None Detected Medium to Full Pleasant

Special Brown Flake provides a very pleasant smoke that is consistently good and one I look forward to. The charring light is robust with richness. There is sweetness from the Virginia and something extra that I can’t put into words, yet it is very enjoyable.

The simple description from Fribourg & Treyer says that there is a Navy rum top note; from the tin, I cannot detect it and in the smoke, I cannot taste it unless it is the source of the enjoyable charring light.

Nevertheless, the initial pleasure gives way to a completely satisfying and somewhat sweet Virginia Tobacco smoke. There is a spiciness that begins to come forward around the 1/3 point and stays along for the ride. While F&T did not indicate the inclusion of Perique, SBF acts like a nice full and rich VaPer with no bite.

Some have written that this blend does best with some age. My tin is 4 year old is superb and now is half gone. I’m going to buy some more to age and save this last half for the days when I want to enjoy a Proven Champ.

This one gets the 4 Stars and will be missed if it ever goes away.

Pipe Used: Several Size Briar and Meerschaum

Age When Smoked: 4 years

2 people found this review helpful.

StevieB Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
StevieB (2075)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Friborg & Treyer - Special Brown Flake.

My flakes are a medium brown in colour with many light spots all over. They are only a little too moist, drying would be a benefit however it isn't imperative as without airing they can still be easily rubbed out if you wish to do so. The smell from the tin is stronger with rum than the flavour, the aroma is a definite rummy one but the taste just has a slight rum embellishment to it.

From start to finish Special Brown burns good, to initiate the burn it only requires a quite short touch of the flame which then becomes almost redundant due to the only necessity being the odd tamp. The temperature is fairly cool, a good feature well accompanied by zero bite. I find the nicotine quite mild, not fully mild hence why I tick mild to medium!

My initial thought upon my first puff was "four stars" and a few bowls have done nothing to assuage that feeling.

Four stars.

Pipe Used: Jolly Roger

Age When Smoked: New

Purchased From: The Danish Pipe Shop

2 people found this review helpful.

dedalto Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
dedalto (25)
Medium Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

F&T'Special Brown Flake is exactly what it says it is,'a medium brown Virgina flake with a rum top note. The rum seems to fades as the smoke reaches mid bowl. It is an inoffense brand which over buns well and delivers exactly what it promises. It is though somewhat a neither nor. The virginas are not quite top shelf nor is the rum flavoring worth remembering. I would think that you would better suited with something Wilke's Rumcake if you looking for that sort of experience. Over all 2 stars.

2 people found this review helpful.

CoolPilot Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
CoolPilot (69)
Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

I agree with the previous review entirely. I too smoke Cornell and Dhiel Afterhours and the GH rum flake. The difference here is that it is less intense, better balanced, in the right quantity (the rum) and the smoke is perfect. One of the best Rum flakes, if not the best available. This is my second tin. Update: after the thrid tin, even more convinced this is a top quality, exceptionally good stuff.

2 people found this review helpful.

pauliepipes Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
pauliepipes (5)
Mild Mild to Medium Mild Pleasant

I am a rum flavor fan. I have tried Cornell & Diehl's After Hours, Garwith Hoggart's Rum Flake, and now (drum roll please) Fribourg & Treyer's Special Brown Flake. I like them all; however, F & T stands out on top in my opinion. There is a good rum flavor, slight sweetness on the tip of the tong, and a smooth all the way through smoking experience.

In comparison to the others, I would say there is a slight tong bite with each of the others that occurs during the smoke. It reminds you to slow down a little. They both have nice rum aroma but F & T has the most rum taste.

If there is any downside the F & T's Special Brown Flake is that it is a little fast burning and it won't be around much longer. I wish it came in bulk. I would buy it by the pound! If you like rum, this is a must try.

2 people found this review helpful.

orka Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
orka (66)
Mild to Medium Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

The tin aroma is definately rum, with hints of chocolate/cocoa and raisin. It comes in a square 50g tin, with the only downside that it doesn't hold the moisture very well if left as it is after opening.

Packing this tobacco isn't any harder than any other flake, although they have a tendency to stick together and can be a bit of a nuisance to separate. But you get used to it. In my experience it is best smoked by folding and twisting rather than rubbing. When newly opened the moisture content is perfect, almost a little on the dry side.

The first puffs after the false light can be somewhat harsh. But it quickly settles into a very much well behaved and delightfully sweet experience. The aftertaste at this point reminds me alittle of liqueur, somewhere along the lines of licorice.

As the smoke progresses it takes on a slightly bitter cocoa taste, which starts to intermingle with sweet and dark stoved figgy notes. The mouthfeel is really quite velvety and a good body to the smoke develops making this an excellent smoking experience.

Burning characteristics are very good and there are no problems keeping it lit. Despite its tendency of being stout and heavy, I've never had any bite problems with this blend, even when tempting fate - but of course, keeping the puffing rate slow and steady keeps the flavour consistent and enjoyable.

It burns down to a white and dark grey ash, it sometimes leave a little oily goo by the airhole, but nothing a pipe cleaner won't handle.

The room note is pleasant and leaves a small tingle in the nose for a while, nothing out of the ordinary besides that that I can sense.

Final verdict? This is an exquisite and deeply satisfying virginia flake. Not one I smoke on a daily basis, but rather when the mood strikes. I seem to find it especially satisfying on cold autumn or winter evenings. When the conditions are right, I find it pretty much flawless.

2 people found this review helpful.

Paddy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Paddy (127)
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

I tried some F&T flakes or cut plugs at the Chicago Pipe Show which led me to buy four of them. Special Brown Flake appears to be a thinly sliced plug, medium brown throughout with a light sweetener. The aroma in the tin is a faint peach or apricot and Virginia tobacco. No fruitiness comes through in the smoke. It appears to be well aged because the flakes come apart quite easily, almost like a Krumble Kake, although this may be the result of the F&T process. The tobacco packs, lights and burns easily to a white/grey ash all the way to the bottom of the bowl. The smoke is a very mild, slightly sweetened Virginia flavor. This tobacco reminds me of Dunhill Light Flake but with less nicotine. I fill the pipe by making a dottle and then folding the flakes and inserting them endwise. This is extraordinarily good tobacco with a great, lightly sweetened Virginia flavor. I will be keeping the F&T cut plugs on hand as part of my regular rotation. Highly recommended. Paddy.

2 people found this review helpful.

Slow Triathlete Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Slow Triathlete (62)
Medium Mild to Medium Medium Very Pleasant

Appearance – Small, thin flakes that are pretty much the same size and shape as the MacBaren flakes.

Prep – I rubbed this one out and then I also cube cut the flake with scissors. For me, the cube cut worked better for this blend. It came a little wet so I dried it out for about 15 minutes before loaded the pipe. Not crispy dry but a bit damp tasted the best for me.

Smoke – The cube cut took a bit to get lit but once it did it was pretty much cruise control from then on out. To me, the base notes are very similar to other Brown Flakes (warm bread, spicy citrus, and hay) that are out there but this one has added rum. That rum flavor in the background pretty much stayed there for the whole smoke. It never went away really like it does with most Navy Flakes. You can tell that this blend is still a bit young (2019).

Summary – I bought 3 tins to age in the cellar. I like it but feel that it would be better with a year or two of resting. Not my favorite from F & T but still up there high on the list.

1 person found this review helpful.

Badmedicine Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Badmedicine (51)
Medium Mild Medium Very Pleasant

A nice, straight-forward Navy Flake. My favorite of the genre. The rum is applied lightly, so as to compliment the tobacco without overwhelming it. Won't bite, but gets a little cigarrette-ish if pushed too hard. Lacks the deep complexity of BBF or FVF, but is much less finicky about preparation. Rolled and stuffed into a narrow bowl, this is a delightfully honest tobacco; it is what it is, without gimmicks or pretention.

Pipe Used: Big Ben Pipo, Peterson 999, Savinelli 320KS

Age When Smoked: Fresh

Purchased From: S.G Roi Tobacconist (B&M)

Similar Blends: Mac Baren Navy Flake, but much better behaved..

1 person found this review helpful.

steppx Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
steppx (186)
Medium Very Mild Medium Pleasant

A hugely overlooked tobacco. F&T have several pretty good tobaccos...their straight virginia is notable for being bertrand russells favorite smoke, but in fact it is quite a nice mild uncomplicated tobacco. Cut Blended Plug reminds me of something Dunhill might have produced as a bespoke blend at their old duke street store. The real star of the line is Cut Va Plug.But this is the a close second.. Special Brown Flake is not overly complex, but it is very satisfying in its depth and for lack of a more creative word, in its deliciousness. It just tastes great. The Virginia is both bright and stoved I believe, with a moderate Rum addition, much as rum is added to McClellands Navy Cavindish. But it is a spicy rum so there are hints of cinnamon and clove way in the back (as in Hogarth Gawith's rum flake or cut bosun plug,....though this is nowhere near as strong). It has a nic hit that is a notch above mild. And two notches below medium. Over all it is simply an outstanding flake and I highly recommend you give it a try.

addendum. I should add that i smoked a tin i had that was ten or twelve years old. I bought a new tin and its not quite the same. This is something one finds a lot these days. Sadly. It is still a very worthy virginia flake ...not something there is an abundance of in these times.

Purchased From: 4noggins

1 person found this review helpful.

Virginia lover Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Virginia lover (218)
Mild Extremely Mild Mild Pleasant

The top note is more present in the tin than when smoked. It's a sweet, slightly toasted flavor with some burnt sugar taste from the rum topping. A very smoker friendly flake that is easy to pack and smoke from the tin. The flakes pack better with the ball method since they are thin and almost broken. It's a quality product but I prefer other brown flakes with a more full bodied flavor.

Virginia lover

1 person found this review helpful.

WmZiggy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
WmZiggy (81)
Mild Very Mild Mild Pleasant

I purchased a tin of SBF at Iwan Ries in November 2008. At that time it did little for me, so I cellered it and have not smoked another bowl until now. Well, what a difference a year and a half of aging has made. Smoked in several different pots - a Barling and a Benchmade - only lightly rubbed out,this tobacco "rings my bell". The flake has a top note of rum, combined with the traditional fruity aromas of Virginia leaf. It is not unpleasant. I cannot taste the rum top note while smoking SBF, just pleasant Virginia tobacco, mild with a very subtle sweetness. It does not bite or burn hot. I cannot detect any Perique in this flake. According to the label on the back of my tin, Germany is listed as the country of origin. A nice flake in a nice presentation. If you are looking for a mild Virginia flake, this is worth trying and cellering.

October 9, 2015 Just returned from London where I looked up the old F&T shop at 34 Haymarket Street. Almost 300 years old, but now a suvinoir shop. Yet the ancient shelves where jars of snuff were pulled for 265 years were still there along with the famous bow windows. Saddened that it is no longer a tobacco shop. But it inspired me to pull out my tin of SBF now 8 yrs. aged. This is a fantastic smoke. Plum and fruit flavors are pronounced. Coupled with an Islay scotch its just a little heaven. I'm glad something of F&T is still available and this flake ages beautifully.

Pipe Used: Calabash

Age When Smoked: 8 yrs.aged

1 person found this review helpful.

OleFattGuy Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
OleFattGuy (27)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Medium Tolerable

I bought this one hoping I was in for a treat. Somehow it never answered up to my expectations of a dark chocolaty experience which reviews elsewhere had led me to believe. It is a really nice Virginia flake but it can't stand up to Marlin Flake which to me is the epiphany of VA Flakes. Like other reviewers I can't find the rum in this one? I have put the tin away in a tupperware box hoping that it will age with grace but it's only been two months yet. Might have to try this one agin and come back with an update...

Update: It's been another four months and I sat down with this giving it time, and suddenly it released all of its flavour when I came into "the zone" with it. Marvellously sweet and interesting, lots of chocolate and an tinge of vinegar, really nice have to give it one more star! It did improve with age, and drying out. Also giving it enough time and smoke really slow enhanced the experience a lot!

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

This is a very straightforward dependable smoke to me. The tobacco seemed toward the dry side when I opened the tin and the aroma was sweet moderately matured VA and not any strong casing. I was prepared to be underwelmed, although right from the match it was very pleasant. It smoked cool, and while not complex, it was sweet and nutty down to a gray ash.

I like it as a morning smoke. It will handle numerous relights (due to distraction) without penalty or back talk from the faint rum casing. I also think there are a number of VA's in this slot that may fit its role in my rotation with more presence, but all in all ... it's not a bad smoke.

Cheers, VC

1 person found this review helpful.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

This tin was picked up at the TinderBox in Santa Monica, while I was on a trip. I am always looking to try different Virginia Flakes.

Nice looking tin, but I noticed that just one afternoon of "dashboard stoving" had popped the seal. So a bit of warning to others on this...don't trust this tin to remain sealed in heat.

The flakes are 3/4 in x 2 3/4 in. with great coloring, nearly black streaks mixt with light browns and specks of bright virginia.

The tin aroma suggested a light topping, but not overwhelming.

The flakes rub out easily if needed, or will fold up for stuffing if one prefers.

I always do an initial surface char with a fine pointed Torch lighter, a couple quick one second blasts. Then let it go out. I follow that with a proper lighting via Old Boy or match. I sat waiting for the topping sweetnes to hit but it never arrived, only the subtle smoothness of very mature virginias. Noting in your face. just hints of different tastes as the bowl progressed. One puff would yield some hints of sweet, the next may waft a bit of Lakeland-like floral.. This is NOT a tobacoo to load up and smoke while doing something else, way to soft for that. This smoke needs your concentration. It demands that you relax on a calm, cool moonlit evening. It forces you to study every draw, taste and smell. This is a tobacco that will bring back many memories of various other events. The entire bowl was this way, top, middle and bottom. Complex isn't the right description, I like to try and use visuals, and this reminds me of an old library full of classic literature. You can walk thru it and quickly look at the contents. But to get the full measure of what it has to offer, one has to sit and become part of the experience.

I have tried this in several sized bowls, bothe rubbing it out and using the "Frank" method, with no real difference.

Epiloge...If you want lots of in your face flavors...this is not the tobacco for you. But if want to take the time, and study what it has to offer, you will be well rewarded. I give it 4 smoke rings out of 5. Al in Colorado

1 person found this review helpful.

TonePipero Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
TonePipero (4)
Medium Medium Medium Tolerable

Viene con la humedad perfecta. El aroma en lata es de frutos rojos y oscuros, arándanos, tomate maduro, algo de madera y sí se nota algo se licor. El comportamiento en pipa bueno, los flakes son bastante cómodos de desmenuzar, cargar y prender. En la fumada, se nota mucho el topping alcohólico, ofreciendo un picor algo químico y no muy agradable en boca, pero sobre todo en nariz, en nariz pica bastante. Las notas sutiles de Virginia quedan bastante eclipsadas y solo se perciben las notas de más fortaleza, las de madera y tierra, con una base dulce de frutos maduros y arándanos que suavizan la mezcla y la hacen más armoniosa. En general, un tabaco correcto que no da complicaciones en la fumada más allá del picante antinatural, pero que tampoco ofrece una amplia gama de matices ni un sabor especialmente rico ni agradable. 2 estrellas.

Pipe Used: Stanwell Relief 207

Age When Smoked: Directo de la lata

Purchased From: Cava Valdelagrana

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Martini Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Martini (17)
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

This is a mild Virginia, that you can smoke in the morning and all the day with satisfaction. It is hard to find the Rhum flavoring. It is smooth and cool but still quite tasty. The smell is the one of the pressed virginias: raisin and figues. it is sweet and quite stable across the smoke. I would not be unhappy if this was the only tobacco left on the face of the hearth. I am a bit uncertain between the ranking 3 and 4. But this is really an enjoable tobacco, so I grade it 4. Maybe a bit single tone, but still quite satisfactory.

Pipe Used: Any.

Age When Smoked: fresh

Purchased From: Dubini Chiasso

Similar Blends: Gawith best brown.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

BrokenRecord Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
BrokenRecord (124)
Mild to Medium Very Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

Special Brown is Special in the World of VA Flakes

The Virginia varieties are mostly dark leaf with some lighter bright leaf scattered throughout the flake. The smoke is sweet with a little earthiness, and some pleasant grassy notes. The rum casing is noticeable in the tin-note and somewhat in the smoke, but it plays well with the Virginia leaf and does not overwhelm the tobacco like an aromatic.

Similar Blends: I find Special Brown Flake to be a good cost-saving alternative to Capstan Blue. The Virginia varieties, rum casing, and the smoke are quire similar, though I do find Capstan Blue to keep my interest a bit longer with the slight crispy edges to the smoke..

Nobody has rated this review yet.

DrT999 Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DrT999 (317)
Mild to Medium Extremely Mild Mild to Medium Pleasant

I generally like brown Virginia flakes, and this is basically a straight-forward middle of the road example with just a bare hint of rum (at least in this tin). This is a solid, everyday example of the genre: mild; tasty; easy and long smoking. If that's what you are looking for, and don't mind a hint of topping, this is worth trying/cellaring.

Pipe Used: briars, cobs, and meers

Age When Smoked: 2.5 years after purchase

Purchased From: 4 noggins

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Briar Piper Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Briar Piper (89)
Very Mild Mild to Medium Medium Pleasant to Tolerable

Of all the rum flavored or scented flakes I have tried, this one has the strongest rum flavor, short of peterson's connoisier's blend, but that is not a flake, though it contains some broken flake.

What special brown flake contains is some rum soaked virginias, probably soaked sopping wet then dried to a smokeable level. Marvelous. Has very little nicotine, but more than makes up with it, through its very rich flavor.

You get that sweet ephemeral molasses tang with a slight alcohol (probably heated off) right behind it. Then, the highest quality virginia taste follows, with the rum weaving in and out to the last ember, where they finally marry.

This is every bit as good as Dunhill flake was, in its own way. One that, in my humble opinion, should be more well known, and more popular than it is.

If you like virginias, and like molasses or rum, this is a must try. It is a blender's masterpiece.

Pipe Used: ser jacopo full bent billiard

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium Pleasant

A great flake offering from F&T. A medium strength, tasty, high quality tobacco. Pressed and sliced into very thin flakes, which makes it great for folding or rubbing out. Will be buying more of this......very tasty.

Nobody has rated this review yet.

Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium Extremely Mild Medium to Full Pleasant

Generally, I have a very good opinion about the Fribourg & Treyer mixtures. This blend confirms my opinion once more. Honest mixtures. Not 100% this time though, as in the description a rum flavor is mentioned, which I wasn't able to find at all. It has perfect moisture once you open the tin and it fills the pipe easily. It either has an undefined, bit spicy, chocolate flavor ??? or just a very intense and distinct flavor from the Virginia, I don't really get it. As almost all mixtures of this company, it is smoked up until the end of the bowl. Medium to strong regarding its nicotine level. I had it for at least 2 years in my cellar before I smoked it.

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Emeritus Account Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Emeritus Account (30125)
Medium None Detected Mild Pleasant

I was given a tin of this to try, upon openning the tin I thought there may some kind of aroma but could only detect the aroma of the Virginia. Looked like a chocolate candy bar when I first unwrapped the white paper, the tobacco itself was not dry and not real wet, but it did have that freshness that I enjoy in a tobacco.

I began to rub enough out to fill my Larsen Port, I did notice it did not fall apart as you rubbed the tobacco, but came off in a size like a tooth pick only shorter. I only rubbed a very little as not to make the the tobbaco too fine, but just enough to fit into the bowl without strands of tobacco hanging out over the bowl. As I lit the tobacco I could sense this was a Virginia, but smoked as if it were a straight Burley as it burned quite cool. I really never did detect a Rum Flavoring in the aroma or the taste.

This is is one of those tobaccos you want to set down but cannot as it is a tantalizingly tobacco that one wants to continue smoking, sort like going back to the cookie jar one more time.

To me the tobacco was mild, with no tongue bite, but cannot determine if I would recommend it to a beginner or not. I figure it will be one more to add to my collections of tobaccos to smoke on occasion.

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