This Stirling Flake is one of Rattray's more intense tobaccos. What you get with a bold combination of Dark Fired Kentucky, Burley, and Virginia is a blend that punches harder than most others. Because of it's power we suggest smoking it at night or after a full meal.
Model: Stirling Flake
Tobacco Type: Burley, Dark Fired Kentucky, Virginia
Blend Type: Burley
Strength: 5 of 5
Room Note: Tolerable
Size: 50 g. / 1.75 oz.
This is a fine tobacco, in my opinion. All I expected from a flake. Bold, full flavor.
I ordered a couple of tins of this tobacco when Peterson Irish Flake was out of stock. It came recommended to me as a close match to IF. Very good. Full-flavored yet smooth. What I need to do is compare the two tobaccos side by side. But I will purchase this flake again, even when Pete's IF is back in stock.
I had been trying to obtain this for some time. After discovering TPC was one of the only official vendors of K&K tobaccos, I quickly subscribed to receive a restocking notification. I missed my chance the first time, as I yet did not know how fast K&K products sell out. I don't understand why such a limited product would be discounted, yet it was. I normally smoke full-body cigars, but I have begun dabbling in pipe smoking due to the significantly lower cost. A decent pipe costs less than a decent humidor as well. Anyhow, I was surprised to discover just how mild even "strong" pipe tobacco was. So I looked for the absolute strongest, and from reputable manufacturers, and I discovered that K&K was the manufacturer of many legendary blends. They had recently been renamed, and here we are, me facing the legend and lighting up.
Upon first opening, you are met with a tidy paper package. Unraveling it reveals a tidy stack of very moist flake. From my experience with their Hal O' the Wynd, they like to go a bit heavy on glycerin, which to my rather a novice opinion seems like a completely unnecessary additive. I tried smoking folding the flake and stuffing it straight out of the tin without drying, and it was a mess of relights. One observer commented that pipe smokers actually like their tobacco to go out constantly so that they have something to fiddle with. So for my second attempt, I did the fold and stuff only after drying the selected flakes out until dry to the touch. Now it smoked perfectly. As I now near the end of the tin as I've been smoking this regularly for a few weeks, I feel confident in knowing this tobacco The taste is mellow, yet feels full in the mouth. There is no harshness whatsoever, even when I abused the tobacco and burned it too hot. There's simply no way to coax a noxious smoke out of this herb. What a brilliant job they've done. The taste is mostly of some fire-cured variety, I know not enough to identify what woods were used, but I did not get that "campfire in my mouth" feeling, like smoking some other fire-cured tobaccos. While the taste is nothing to get too excited about, at least to my palate, it is completely inoffensive.
In terms of strength, I was looking for a tobacco that would satisfy me with a single bowl, and this delivers. While I did finish two bowls in succession a few times, I was getting quite light-headed halfway through the second. This is tobacco best suited for a single, quick bowl, as we don't all have the time nor desire to have a pipe in our mouth the entire day. This tobacco also lends itself to smoking fast, as it produces minimal gurgling and no tongue bite whatsoever, no matter what I did. You do have to puff fairly often as it has more of a tendency to go out than others, but you can keep puffing often and keep it going as you fiddle with the herb with your tamper.