This blend is heat treated Virginia and burley flake matured in the press for 8 weeks to allow the natural prune and chocolate notes to come through. Full bodied with superb flavour and cool smoking qualities.
The very nutty, earthy, woody, burley also sports a touch of molasses and light chocolate as the lead component. The stoved Virginias provide a fair amount of stewed dark fruit, earth, wood, grass, and a small dose of citrus as a secondary player. I sense a couple of pinches of dark fired Kentucky, which would account for the dry, woody earthy, floral, spice notes way in the background. The prune topping is extremely mild, and doesn’t tone down the tobaccos at all. The strength level is a step past medium, while the taste is just short of the center of medium to full. The nic-hit is medium. Won’t bite or get harsh, though it does have a few rough edges. Being a mildly moist flake, it burns slow, cool and clean with a very consistent flavor from start to finish. Leaves little moisture in the bowl, and requires some relights. Has a pleasantly lingering after taste and room note. Not an all day smoke.
Dark Flake No 7 is cool, full-flavoured, slow burning and without the soapy or perfumey mannerisms that so many people associate with British tobaccos. Its initial appearance might lead you to suppose that it will need endless relights. It doesn't, though; it lights easily and burns well from top to bottom. I prefer to fold-and-stuff, but it's just as well behaved whether you fold-and-stuff or rub it out (unfortunately, Careys have recently stopped making the very fine ready rubbed version). DF No.7 is enough like Esoterica's Stonehaven/ Germain's Rich Dark Flake to be a substitute, and it's a good replacement also for the now defunct Sinclair's Highland Sliced (I don't, in fact, discount the suggestion that it's really Highland Sliced in disguise). No doubt it too will go out of production in due course, as we head slowly towards prohibition (I'm in pessimistic mood, brought on by the recent rash of de-listings) but, for as long as it's available, it's a must-try for the lover of dark VA/Bur flakes. It's an old-fashioned smoke with an old-fashioned fragrance; and such things are important to old codgers like me. I think it would be reasonable to say that DF No 7 belongs to the same 'family' as Peterson's Irish Flake.
One can't, incidentally, speak highly enough of the outstanding service provided by E.A.Carey (Europe).
Pipe Used: Dr Plumb billiard
Age When Smoked: fresh
Purchased From: E.A. Carey (Europe); only available from their website
Similar Blends: Esoterica Stonehaven/Germain's Rich Dark Flake; Sinclair's Highland Sliced; Peterson's Irish Flake..
Dark Flake is one of my favorites in the long list of Carey tobaccos. I got my first (and only) bags of it a few years ago and loved the straight forward Burley taste with the hints of stoved Virginia in the background. I put my bags in a few mason jars and when I feel like an outdoors kind of smoke with a cob, this is my go to. It is one of those tobaccos you don't have to think much about as you smoke as it offers straight forward flavor and strength while remaining a remarkably cool smoke from top to bottom. Now, just don't tell anybody that I sometimes smoke cobs. (-;
I originally purchased this from EA Carey, Europe about 2-3 years ago. I did review this and am puzzled as to why it is no longer listed. I did, however, mention it when I reviewed the Carey Ready Rubbed version of the same. At first, I found this to be identical to Irish Flake, but after several bowls, concluded that it wasn't. What it turns out to be is John Sinclair's Highland Sliced. Both HS and DF no 7 are manufactured by Orlik. If you've ever ordered HS, you will find the flakes to be of the same length and overall consistency. EA Carey's no 7 is produced by Orlik, and the packaging of HS says the same.
On to the smoking experience. In a word - excellent!! Very pure, tobacco taste with an ever so slight prune note. Can be smoked fresh, but I prefer my flakes a bit on the dry side. No bite, goop, dottle, or moisture. Smokes like a charm each and every time. As Irish Flake is one of my two top favorites, HS and no 7 fall right in line. They are all very pure tasting tobacco goodness, and each excellent in every way. If it wasn't for the hassle of ordering from Europe (extra expense and time involved), I would have both HS and no 7 in rotation. For that reason, Irish Flake satisfies my tastes for this type of tobacco. For those wanting a pure tasting flake experience, Burley/Kentucky forward, IrFL, HS, and no 7 will provide that experience. 4 stars.
Upon opening this one, if I didn't know any better I would think it's J.F Germain's Rich Dark Flake, a very positive point in my opinion as that was in my favorite list for quite a while. The moistness can't be faulted, a good quantity that's ready to rub and fill straight away. Once lit I am impressed right from the start. It takes to lighting well, mind you, I normally rub my flakes instead of 'folding and stuffing' so it will take the flame easier but with that in mind it still lights well compaired to some flake blends I have tried.
The taste is also similar to J.F Germain R.D Flake. Very cool smoke with a full taste of both tobaccos, the standard Virginia hay flavour is beautifully accompanied by the lovely deep buttery taste from the Burley making for a supremely Creamy Smoke! The nicotine is at a decent amount in Dark Flake, not too strong for me because I myself enjoy 'N' but it could possibly be too much for a taste only smoker. The room-note is a very "old fashioned" one, imminently conjuring up a feeling of days gone by. The flavour doesn't weaken any as the bowl burns down, all the way the creaminess is perfectly balanced with the hay note. One of the few negatives, possibly the only one, is if you're quite a firm puffer then towards the end it can develop a slightly ash-like taste.
When I bought this on a whim from EA Carey I tried a bowl or two fresh and was a bit taken aback by the nicotine. Lets say I am not a novice pipe smoker and I had an attack of the nic hiccoughs. Fast forward and a month later I decided to give it another go in a falcon after some half an hour of drying time. Definitely strong, but now manageable with some delicate puffing and the breath method. It smells good in the jar, definitely an old school codger blend with notes of leather and hay and a barnyard undertone. Lights effortlessly and maintains a slow smoulder. No bite and a full pleasant taste. Did however give me the jitters if no hiccoughs. Too strong for me.
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