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The ultimate Virginia flake. Superior taste, excellent body and deliciously sweet throughout.

Notes: The original concept for Deerstalker called for it to be similar to Escudo - a rolled flake cut into quarter sized disks. This proved impossible as the aged contraption McConnell had for pressing tobacco to this shape wouldn't work! After some discussion, it was decided that it would be a partially rubbed conventional flake. Ken had met some smokers who were unaware flakes should be "crumbled" and as he didn't want to print instructions on the tin he decided to crumble it for them. This is a partially rubbed out flake of matured Virginias. By now they are undoubtedly very mature! Many smokers have made it a point to mention that Deerstalker was the finest Virginia they've smoked, and what a shame it's no longer being made. Agreed. The Deerstalker was an E&C original. Like the "Isle of Skye" but unlike "The Roanoke" - which was substantially, if not completely F&T's Golden Mixture, it was a new mixture created by McConnell to fill a void. As with all the tobaccos in the Elephant & Castle range, all tins of "Deerstalker" were hand blended in the McConnell factory on Barking Road in London, England. They are at least 13 years old.

Information from "The E&C Story" on the Marble Arch Ltd. website: http://www.serjacopo.com/e%26c/E%26C_000.html

BrandElephant & Castle
Blended ByPetre & Robert Siegel
Manufactured ByC.E. McConnell
Blend TypeVirginia Based
ContentsVirginia
FlavoringNone
CutBroken Flake
Packaging50g Tin, 250g Foil Bag
CountryUK
ProductionNo longer in production
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Strength
Mild to Medium
Flavoring
None Detected
Taste
Medium
Room Note
Pleasant
3.7
3 reviews
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DK Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
DK (810)
★★★★
Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Rich bronze to chocolate brown broken flakes with a tin aroma of deep charbroiled Virginia. Ok, Virginia isn't charbroiled but this smelled like some of the rope tobaccos that always brought on mind-visions of cooking steaks. The paper cover was so discolored that the writing was barely readable and the tobacco was dry but not crispy. As usual, further drying was needed to bring out the inherent flavors in the Virginia leaf. Just shy of crispy was best.

There is a faction of pipesters that believe that perique, like latakia, declines in potency of flavor over time. I find myself in neither camp, as I always wonder if the Virginia simply gets richer over time and causes the perique to seem mellower. This blend does little to convince me either way. The Virginias were indeed rich and mouthfilling and the perique was very mild. I smoked a few tins of this back in the 1990's but certainly can't recall the specific flavors. In this tin, the Virginia taste was more along the lines of Sam Gawith and less like McClellands, a robust, meaty flavor with less sweetness. Still I was nagged with the impression that this one didn't age as well as other blends. It was very, very good but I'd actually call it 3.5 stars rounded up. There was some mild sourness that detracted slightly but only at times. I could have used a hair more sweetness. But those are personal preferences. If you find a tin reasonably priced, this is well worth your time. Robert McConnell really knew how to blend. I'd prefer a well aged tin of McClellands St James Woods but I sure didn't kick this one out of my bowl.

Age When Smoked: 21 years

7 people found this review helpful.

JimInks Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
JimInks (2040)
★★★☆
Mild to Medium None Detected Mild to Medium Pleasant

The Virginias have a bit of grass and straw along with some earth, toast and a slight rough edge. The fermented ripe dark fruit plays well with the more obvious citrus. There is a sour note that underscores the experience, and the overall sweetness level is mild. The nic-hit is mild. The taste level is slightly above the center of mild to medium, while the strength is a shade closer to mild than it is to medium. No chance of bite or harshness. Burns at a moderate pace, cool and clean with a fairly smooth, consistent flavor. Needs an average number of relights. Leaves very little dampness in the bowl. The pleasant after taste is short lived. An all day smoke.

2 people found this review helpful.

Pipestud Reviewed By DateRating StrengthFlavoringTasteRoom Note
Pipestud (1825)
★★★★
Mild to Medium None Detected Medium Pleasant

Dark and bold Virginia, softened to perfection by the famous McConnell's special processing of Virginia leaf, provided a heavenly smoke for many years before E&C finally closed their doors. The most remarkable thing about this blend is the way it slowly built a firm bottom note as the bowl got down to the last third. It seemed to pick up a flavor depth that has never been surpassed. No wonder Deerstalker is so highly acclaimed.

1 person found this review helpful.