Peterson – Irish Flake
From the tin: “A full-bodied blend made from equal proportions air-cured, flue cured and dark fired. True to the pure, unspoilt tobacco taste. Recommended for the experienced pipe smoker.”
In The Tin/Pouch
Often when you buy flake tobaccos you receive mostly flakes along with some broken pieces, but not here only whole flakes neatly arranged and carefully packaged. The tin aroma I get from this is an earthy smell, along with a hint of leather. It is a real natural smell, and it kind of reminds me of camping after a rain, a fresh earthy smell. The flakes are mostly dark brown, though they do have some light brown pieces intermixed in the flakes. They are about a centimeter in thickness, which seems about average for a flake tobacco. For me the moisture level seems a bit high, but I usually prefer to rub out these flakes and if I let it sit out a bit it crumbles much easier, but if you want to utilize the fold and stuff method its moisture level seems just about right.
Once properly dried and loaded into the pipe, this tobacco takes the light nicely. It burns very well when rubbed out, I had no issues with relights or with it burning too hot. It burned dry and I had no issues with gurgle with very little moisture in the bottom of the bowl after the smoke. I did try to smoke this using the fold and stuff method, but it seemed to be a bit more difficult to light and keep lit, and seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, especially since it burns so well rubbed out. When using the fold and stuff method I did find a bit more moisture, and even a bit of gurgle while smoking.
I found this to be a nice strong tobacco that has a deep rich flavor. It is a bit bitter, and it’s flavor was like a strong black coffee, but it was also a nice clean earthy taste. I could defiantly feel the strength of this tobacco as I drew the smoke into my mouth. As the bowl progressed the flavors became richer and intensified though the bitterness did subside some. The smoke was nice and smooth, though it could be a tad bit bitey especially if abused.
As usual, I can’t really make much of a comment of the aroma from this tobacco as I usually smoke outside. From what I can tell, it gives off a strong natural tobacco aroma that is not artificially sweetened. It probably smells very close to how it smells in the tin, and how it tastes. If anyone can describe the aroma better please leave a comment on it.
The Packaging, and Price
This tobacco is sold in square 50 gram tins and is available at most online retailers as well as in B&M tobacco shops. I purchased mine from www.smokingpipes.com for $9.33, but it is also available at www.pipseandcigars.com for $10.00.
The Bottom Line
For me, I feel this tobacco fell a little short of the praise that it often garners, don’t get me wrong it is still a good tobacco but not as great as I was expecting. It is often touted as one of those high in nicotine, and that is certainly true, but with other strong tobaccos out there I think this one just isn’t for me. It is certainly a clean and pure tasting tobacco, but I prefer Kendal Kentucky to Irish Flake. There is no doubt this is a quality tobacco, and for those of you looking for a strong one this could be it. This would be one of those tobaccos I would recommend to a cigar smoker, as the smoke and strength remind me of a cigar and I think they would find it enjoyable.
Great review Nick, and nice format, full of information. My take on IF is similar, it's strong in Vitamin N and taste, but not a regular smoke for me. I tend to smoke a few flakes straight and then mix them up with "lighter" tobaccos to put some kick in them.
Thanks. I'm glad everyone is enjoying them, though I am always open to suggestions on how to make them better. I am trying to answer the things I always wonder when I see a new tobacco, and I think the pictures are a big part of that (I always wonder what a tobacco looks like)... of course reviews are always a "your experience may differ" kind of thing, but I'm glad everyone is enjoying them.
Great review Nick! Have you tried any other Peterson tobaccos, if so how did you like them?
Thanks. Yes I tried University Flake a long time ago when I was first getting into flakes, needless to say it was kind of a frustrating experience trying to figure out how to smoke a flake, but remember liking it... I have a tin in my cellar along with some other Peterson blends. When I pop them open I will post reviews of them.
Super review, Nick! :tu Your take on Irish Flake is a lot like mine. I enjoy it straight, but like John, I tend to mix it with something to add some complexity, especially Vanilla Cream Flake (which I'm out of! :frown. It is strong, but there are certainly stronger out there -- not that it's weak by any means! I've been through a few tins of it at this point and will keep it in my rotation into the foreseeable future.
Vegetarian -- that's an old Indian word meaning "lousy hunter". -- Andy Rooney