Review by cortezattic
Luxury Twist Flake: bright, lemony and sweet.
Early last month I bought a box of Stokkebye's Luxury Twist Flake, and it was wrapped in plain cellophane, so I immediately transferred it to half-pint Mason jars. Although this was somewhat necessary, it was awkward. The 2mm. thick flakes are 2" squares with a cross-section that is swirled and serpentine-folded Cavendish-cut layers of compressed tobacco. The leaf is mostly brown and golden, and dotted with bright specks that are probably just leaf veins in cross-section (though I didn't notice any bird's-eye.) I didn't take notice at the time, but from the jar now, its aroma has a soft grassy sweetness, and vague chocolate smell (that you won't detect again until you get down to the heel of the bowl).
I rub out the flake by folding it over and crushing it between my fingers and it separates nicely into a ball of lacy threads that pack quite easily; and you'd almost never know it was a flake. This is a bright, refreshing, somewhat lemony Va. flake that I would put in the family of grassy Va.'s; but it is gentle and not the least bit hot and sassy like some of the racier Va. flakes. It is only somewhat sweet, and a hint of tartness and spicy zest gives it an edge that keeps me coming back for more. I smoke it often, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day; and when I pick up something else for a change of pace I feel that I'm somehow depriving myself.
I smoke this stuff slow and fast and anything in between, and it always delivers a cool, dry smoke with no bite. The best results come from "breath smoking," explained by G.L. Pease in an article at http://www.glpease.com/Articles/BreathSmoking.html. In my variation of the technique the draw of smoke is incidental to the process of shallow breathing; and I allow wisps of smoke to play on the palate, in the sinuses and nose. (OK, it's an oral-retentive thing, but at age 63 it's the only fun I have anymore.)
The soft lemony tartness and the scant spiciness of the tobacco lasts pretty much throughout the smoke, but as one smokes down past mid-bowl the sweetness slowly becomes more caramel-like. On occasion I think I taste something resembling vanilla, or perhaps hazelnut, but it's so insubstantial I hesitate to mention it. At the heel of the bowl the smoke begins to echo that vague aroma of chocolate detected in the jar earlier, and before you know it everything has turned to gray ash.
I wouldn't call this a mellow blend, but there is good balance between body, flavor and strength, which makes it smooth and satisfying. It produces a good volume of luxurious smoke, and I think Va. flake lovers will find it worthy of their finest pipe.