|Reviewed By||Date||Rating||Strength||Flavoring||Taste||Room Note|
|PipesterJim (47)||Medium to Strong||None Detected||Medium to Full||Tolerable|
It has been quite a while since I last reviewed anything on this excellent website. My pipe smoking has settled into a rotation of my favourite 10 or so GH&Co and SG blends with the odd dip into the Dunhill line or an experimental tin of something to add a bit of variety.
But for quite a while now I have been curious about the shag tobaccos on offer at mysmokingshop, my baccy supplier of choice. I really should have taken the plunge sooner.
Another reviewer has devoted high praise to one of mysmokingshop's ready rubbed Virginia blends, which is found in the 'Pipe Tobacco' section. The shags are housed in a different area of the website, which is perhaps why they have been overlooked for so long.
There are currently four on offer: Medium Virginia, Gold Virginia, African Virginia and 'Virginia Blend'. I opted for the African Virginia as my first exploration of the offering - I needed to replenish my supplies of blending latakia and perique, so I figured that if I got a non-descript, average, nothing-special VA, I could always blend it.
Let me be absolutely clear. African Virginia shag is very, very far from being nothing special. I might still be in the honeymoon phase, but I will stick my neck out and say that this stuff is up there with FVF and maybe surpasses it.
The overall flavour profile reminds me of Dunhill Flake, but if Dunhill Flake is a 6 or 7 on the 'flavour volume scale' (which I just invented) this tobacco takes that flavour and turns it up to 11. The bright, citrus notes are dominant, but that nutty, biscuity toastiness is still present, supporting those sparkling top notes.
My sample arrived quite dry, requiring just a brief airing out before smoking. Being a shag cut it burns a lot quicker than the VA flakes I am used to. This gives it a pleasant kick of vitamin N, which as someone who now favours Brown Irish as a daily driver, is something I definitely appreciate.
I have no idea where this blend comes from. I assume (and it is a big assumption) that given the location of mysmokingshop, Simon purchases it direct from either GH&Co or SG. Judging by the flavour this could even be the same leaf as FVF, just processed differently. Who knows? And ultimately, does it matter?
I shall definitely be acquiring a lot more of this blend, and those other mysmokingshop shag VA blends will no doubt feature in some of my future orders.
In summary, if you enjoy VA tobacco and live in the UK, you need to order some of this. You won't regret it.
Pipe Used: Various Cobs
Age When Smoked: Fresh
Purchased From: MySmokingShop
Similar Blends: Full Virginia Flake, Dunhill Flake.
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