Saturday, September 8, 2007
Review of Dunhill's Light Flake
I got this little blue and white tin of Dunhill Light Flake at a store in Bangor that sold herbal tea and bongs. Upon first opening, the aroma was ripe, a little sour, and laden with orange and purple notes. It had a tartness reminiscent of dried apricots, with a dark and prune-ish sweetness underneath. In the three weeks since I've opened it, this lovely bouquet has diminished and given way to a more mundane "raisin bran" tobacco smell. I'd like to try a tin that has been aged for a few years, but I have yet to find the money and patience to get a proper cellar going.
The flakes are nicely presented and economically packed. However, they come apart a little too easily when I'm taking them out of the tin and when I'm putting them into my pipe. I don't usually rub out my flakes at all, and I hate it when they break up and fall all over the floor as I try to fold them.
I smoke a lot of virigina flake tobacco (Best Brown, Long Golden Flake, Blackwoods and Dark Star, mostly), and I find different blends can usually be characterized along the axes of "fruity," "toasty," and "grassy." Dunhill Light Flake lands heavily in the first category, but its fruitiness combines with Dunhill's characteristic strength, astringency and severity (an overall quality I have noticed both in Dunhill's pipe blends and their cigarettes) to produce an intriguing and highly original blend.
This is not an all-day smoke (nor am I an all-day smoker), as it bites easily and its sour-ish, slightly bitter middle notes can overpower the sparse, delicate sweetness and complexity that peeks through at the top end, especially toward the middle and end of the bowl. But during those rare moments when everything comes together perfectly (O sapient hybrid! O perfect daughter of Cup and Wand!), there's nothing else like it. It's like an unsweetened fruit jerky in smoke form that makes the tongue tingle in the most peculiar (and addicting) way.
Dunhill Light Flake is a good smoke. I'm considering adding it to my regular rotation, assuming I can find it in Halifax.