Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

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Adam Z
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Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by Adam Z » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:22 am

I picked up a single ounce of these two Newminster blends at my local tobacconist in November 2018, but I didn't get around to actually smoking either of them until last night. In short - I'm not impressed with either. Both blends seem to be lacking in flavor IMO.

I tried the navy flake first, smoking it in my Peterson 01 - a modest bent pot. It came as somewhat of a broken flake - not quite what I'd call ready-rubbed, but pretty close to it. Definitely no nice, pretty rectangular flakes in the jar. This flake is a straight virginia with no perceptible casing. Normally I'd be happy about the lack of casing, but in this instance a little rum might have been nice. It smells great in the jar, but I felt like I was just sucking air once I lit it. I dumped it halfway through, as I wasn't really enjoying it. Other reviews I've seen online seem to indicate that this blend does need some age to it, so I added a date to the label on the mason jar and stuck it in the closet - maybe I'll try it again in a few years. I don't plan to buy this again.

Moving on, I grabbed a fresh pipe - my Savinelli 311 cherrywood, which has a narrow, conical chamber that is a bit small on total volume. Loading it with the Newminster Round Slices, I figured that this had to be a more flavorful experience than the tobacco I just dumped. The slices have a core of dark fired kentucky wrapped with what I suspect are the same bright virginias used in the navy flake. There was definitely more nicotine strength to the slices, and a bit more flavor, courtesy of the kentucky, but I still wasn't impressed. I smoked this one down to the bottom, and it smoked dry, leaving no dottle, but again, it lacks in flavor. Like the navy flake, the rest of the jar is going in the cellar for a couple years. There's too many blends I enjoy more to force myself to smoke blends that I'm really not that into.

Taste being subjective, someone who really likes mild tasting blends might enjoy these two more than I do. I'm not against all mild blends - I just smoked an ounce of Mac Baren Virginia #1, which I consider to be quite mild, yet it was more flavorful than the Newminster navy flake. Generally speaking, I do gravitate toward more medium to full-flavored smokes, some of my favorites being Gawith Hoggarth's Brown Flake, Ennerdale, Old Dark Fired, Solani ABF, and Irish Flake - so when all those blends are in my rotation and then I try something light, it seems really light in comparison, and not all that satisfying.

Maybe if I ever get around to starting a pipe club in my area, I'll bring these Newminster blends along to share with others who might enjoy them more than I did.

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Re: Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by hugodrax » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:28 am

Great review. I tried these two as well and could only think "meh." Very objective review.
I am also of the opinion that the Jesuits should be suppressed.

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Re: Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by Adam Z » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:31 am

Perhaps the worst part of it is that in my efforts to coax more flavor out of these blends last night, I think I scorched my mouth, and I'm not tasting things to the fullest extent today, like the bowl of Ennerdale I tried to smoke, or even some Doritos with my lunch.

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Re: Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by sweetandsour » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:48 pm

Adam Z wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:31 am
Perhaps the worst part of it is that in my efforts to coax more flavor out of these blends last night, I think I scorched my mouth, and I'm not tasting things to the fullest extent today, like the bowl of Ennerdale I tried to smoke, or even some Doritos with my lunch. Image

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No worries, Doritos taste like cardboard anyway. Great review, these are off my radar screen.
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Re: Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by DAN » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:48 pm

I've tried both. It too, I think, about a year to finish the Navy Flake, and it did seem to me to improve, but I think the best that'll everbe said for it is that with some age, it's good for the price. The Round Slices were better, but I'm not going out of my way to add any to the cellar.

It has to be said that it's always worth trying different pipes. I've had some tobaccos that are markedly better in some pipes than in others.
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Re: Newminster Superior Navy Flake & Round Slices

Post by DepartedLight » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:25 pm

Gentlemen,

This thread has been a powerful PSA to yours truly.

I am always on the lookout for interesting Navy Flakes. Nothing to see here, clearly.

And now, we're moving on.
DL Jake

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